Cristiano Ronaldo has addressed his controversial interview with Piers Morgan for the first time and called for the media to stop asking his Portugal teammates about him.
Ronaldo hit headlines in the two part chat with Morgan on TalkTV, laying into Manchester United and claiming there being "zero progress" at the club since he left in 2009.
Stating he does not "have respect" for manager Erik ten Hag, he also claimed he has been "betrayed" by his employers.
He now appears to have played his final game for the club, with United reportedly exploring ways to terminate his contract after announcing they had "initiated appropriate steps" in a club statement.
The interview has overshadowed Portugal's preparations for the World Cup, with so many of the press conference questions relating to his comments.
Ahead of Portugal's first game on Thursday, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner made an unexpected appearance at a press conference on Monday and discussed the controversy.
"Timing is always timing. From your side it is easy to look at how we can chose 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. They have known me [here] since I was 11. They will not be influenced by what people say and write about me.
"The atmosphere is excellent, no problems, we are completely focused. You can help by not talking about me. I’m completely bullet-proof and iron-clad.
"If you ask other players about Cristiano Ronaldo I would be upset. If you want to ask him about the World Cup and the team, I would like you to do that."
🚨 Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken to the media this morning— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 21, 2022
“I am bulletproof. I wear an iron suit."
"Stop asking my teammates about me. Ask them about the World Cup. I don't care what other people think. I speak when I want to." pic.twitter.com/lmFCFClGdM
🎙 "From your side it's obviously easy to give your opinions and write things, sometimes truths, sometimes most of them lies"— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 21, 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo says he is convinced that his controversial interview won't have any impact on the team this World Cup 👇 pic.twitter.com/37Jy563bx6
When Ronaldo joined up with the national team, he appeared to be involved in an awkward greeting with United teammate Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes played things down and said the clip not containing sound made it look like there was a problem.
Ronaldo has explained the two were sharing a joke and also claimed the training interaction with Joao Cancelo was blown out of proportion.
He added: "We were just playing around - we have great relations. His plane was late and I asked him, 'Did you come by boat' I was goofing around.
"Same with [Joao] Cancelo. He was sad during practice. I said, "wake up, come on, you’ve got this!" Another controversy on your end."
Portugal play Ghana in their opening game on Thursday, before taking on Uruguay and South Korea in Group G.
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports News
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