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Cristiano Ronaldo opens up on his controversial Manchester United exit for the first time

Cristiano Ronaldo has described himself as a ‘better man’ after his bitter Manchester United exit.

Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford for a second spell in 2021. He had a fine season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but saw his game-time reduced massively once Erik ten Hag took over.

He was highly critical of the manager and the club in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan. This forced the club to mutually terminate his contract in November 2022.

Speaking ahead of Portugal’s upcoming 2024 European Championship qualifiers (via O Jogo), he admitted that it was a bad phase of his career.

He said: “Sometimes, you have to go through some things to see who is on your side. I have no problem saying, ‘I had a bad career run, but there’s no time for regrets’.

“Life goes on and, doing well or not, it was part of my growth. When we are at the top of the mountain, we often cannot see what is below.

“Now, I’m more prepared and learning that was important, because I had never been through this, like in the last few months. Now I’m a better man.”

The 38-year-old joined the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in December on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

Since then, he has scored nine goals and registered two assists in eight Saudi Pro League games.

Meanwhile, Man United have enjoyed a stellar run post the World Cup. They have won the Carabao Cup and are sitting in third spot in the Premier League.

They can lift more trophies by the end of the season, as they are still competing strongly in the FA Cup and the Europa League.

Ten Hag wants his team to play a high-octane style of football. He demands his players to press and defend from the front – something Ronaldo is not known for.

The former Real Madrid star was not a regular starter under the Dutchman which infuriated him even more.

The club and the United supporters backed the new manager as his ideas were producing fruitful results on the pitch.

Ronaldo targeted everyone associated with the club in his explosive interview, which was his final act for the Red Devils.

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