The five-time Ballon d’Or winner spoke to the press for the first time since his interview with Piers Morgan went global.
Cristiano Ronaldo has defended his interview with Piers Morgan and rubbished suggestions of unrest in the Portugal camp.
Millions of viewers tuned in from around the world last week to watch Ronaldo’s 90-minute interview with Morgan on TalkTV, where the forward openly criticized Manchester United and manager Erik ten Hag.
However, while Ronaldo’s time at Old Trafford appears to be at its end, the Portugal captain’s sole focus is now on the World Cup.
“There are millions of people who like me. That is what motivates me. There is no money to pay for that. The joy of the children,” Ronaldo said in a press conference at Portugal’s training camp.
“Timing is always timing. From your side, it is easy to look at how we can choose timings. Sometimes you write truths, [and] sometimes you write lies.
“I don’t have to worry what others think. I talk when I want to. Staff, players, everyone knows me, they know what I think, they’ve known me since I was 11, they won’t be influenced by what [the critics] say.”
The 37-year-old also insisted his interview won’t derail Portugal’s World Cup preparations and slammed the media for asking his teammates about it.
“Please, don’t ask players about me,” Ronaldo said.
“Ask about the World Cup, I’m bulletproof. I have an armored mind. I have no doubt that this recent episode, that interview, and other episodes with other players that happen sometimes, can sometimes shake the player but won’t shake the team.
“Everyone really wants this competition, everyone wants to play, which is something I like to see. The ambition is very high.”
When asked about his alleged frosty exchanges with Bruno Fernandes and Joao Cancelo, Ronaldo replied: “I made a joke with Bruno, with whom I have an excellent relationship.
“His flight was delayed and I asked if he had come by boat. It was a joke, as it was with Joao Cancelo.”