Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he is “bullet proof” and “iron clad” as he addressed the media at a Portugal press conference.
The 37-year-old and Portugal have been at the centre of a media storm since the Manchester United player’s bombshell interview with TalkTV last week.
Over the course of the week, Ronaldo has said he feels “betrayed” by United, that he does not “have respect” for head coach Erik ten Hag, that the club “doubted” him when he said he could not attend pre-season training due to the illness of his daughter, told fans that the Glazers do not care about the club and hit out at former team-mates Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville.
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The fallout from the interview has been widespread. Reports emerged that his club were looking to terminate his contract, and a frosty-looking interaction with Bruno Fernandes at Portugal’s training camp heightened fears that the interview could impact World Cup preparations.
However, in an unannounced appearance at a Portugal media briefing, Ronaldo addressed the furore – telling journalists that he and Fernandes were sharing a joke, and adding that he was “bullet proof” but urged journalists to stop asking other Portuguese players about him.
The Portugal captain also addressed the timing of the interview – which has been criticised – adding that he does not worry about what others think.
“Timing is always timing,” added Ronaldo.
“From your side it is easy to look at how we can choose timings. Sometimes you write truths, sometimes you write lies. I don’t have to worry what others think. I talk when I want to. Everybody knows who I am, what I believe in.”
For his part, Fernandes has said that he has not watched the interview and there was no issue between him and Ronaldo.
“I didn’t read the interview, so I’m okay with that,” Fernandes said. “As I said before, now [it] is [the] national team, [it] is Portugal.
“I said to him, the coach made a point that it’s ‘us’, so he made that point since I came to the national team in 2017 I think, and that is still clear in his mind.
“The main thing here is the national team, and us, so we have to be focused on the World Cup because the World Cup doesn’t come every time, you don’t have a chance to play a World Cup many times.
“Cristiano is lucky to play it five times, this will be his fifth time in the World Cup, so everyone is ready for that and everyone wants to give the best for the team.”
Ronaldo told Piers Morgan in the TalkTV interview that he is unsure of his future, and is concentrating on the World Cup.
“It’s difficult to tell right now, it’s because, we, my mood is right now to the World Cup,” he said.
“It’s probably my last World Cup, of course, my fifth World Cup. I don’t know what’s going to happen after the World Cup, but as I told you before, and I will say again, the fans will be always in my heart.”
Ronaldo’s focus is now on the start of Portugal’s World Cup campaign against Ghana on November 24.
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