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WATCH: 'Not in Ronaldo's nature' - Former Bafana Bafana star Fortune backs ex-Manchester United teammate

16:18 GMT+3 27/11/2022
Quinton Fortune
Former South Africa midfielder Quinton Fortune says it would be “strange not to love” Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Fortune backs Ronaldo after Ten Hag remarks
  • The two were teammates at Old Trafford
  • Ronaldo has now left United after a second spell

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo recently criticised Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, expressing how he lacks respect for the Dutchman. The Portugal captain was struggling for game time at United, leading to him leave the club. The explosive interview was with journalist Piers Morgan as Ronaldo detailed how unhappy he was at Old Trafford. Now, Fortune has rallied behind his former teammate, saying “it is not in his nature” to make those remarks against Ten Hag.

WHAT FORTUNE SAID: "I was fortunate enough to play with Ronaldo, and I was fortunate to play for Manchester United," said Fortune as per TJ Sports USA. "So, it's sad the way it ended. Things happen in this game, but nothing stays forever.

"I would have loved to seen it end in a beautiful way by Ronaldo staying in the club, winning the league, helping them get in the Champions League first, and that wasn't meant to be.

"He is an out-and-out winner, and he's always looking for excellence in everything he does. He's always going to push the boundaries of wanting to get better. I didn't expect [his interview]. It's not in his nature, and I was a little bit surprised, but these things happen in football. Most important is that the club is on the move, Ronaldo is on the move and both will succeed wherever, whatever they do.

"It would be very strange for them not to love him. You know what Ronaldo has achieved at the club, and I was lucky enough and fortunate enough to be the witness at the beginning when he arrived.

"[He was] such a special player, but what made him better than all the players was his mentality, his self-belief, I've never seen anything like it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The interview with Morgan showed that the relationship between Ronaldo and Ten Hag was now beyond repair. It led to his Machester United departure, ending a trophyless second stint at the club. It was a difficult spell, particularly this season where there was an incident when he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur.

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? Ronaldo is now a free agent and his future could be decided after the 2022 Fifa World Cup. His next destination is not yet known.