Outrage against Cristiano Ronaldo has assumed a new dimension after the club ripped apart his image at Old Trafford.
Manchester United tore to pieces a giant mural of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford on Wednesday few hours after his controversial interview hit the airwaves.
The wantaway striker opened a pandora box of problems after the Red Devils were greeted by a demeaning interview granted by the player.
Alejandro Garnacho had put smiles on the face of the club, going into the World Cup break with a last-minute winner against Fulham to keep the hope of finishing in the top-four alive.
However, their excitement was short-lived when Ronaldo brought the ruble within the Premier League giants to the media space with an interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo’s interview sparked a barrage of criticisms, with fans and pundits hitting back at the forward for the infamous interview.
Former teammate Roy Keane, who had always defended Ronaldo in the midst of his frustrations at Manchester United this season, said the Portuguese star has ‘banged out of order.”
Another former teammate and top pundit, Rio Ferdinand, said it may be very difficult to defend Ronaldo now following the interview.
Meanwhile, Erik Ten Hag – who was among those Ronaldo slammed for disrespecting him – had canceled his family holiday and summoned an emergency meeting with the Man United board to take a decision on Ronaldo.
He had reportedly informed the board that he doesn’t want Ronaldo to play for the club again.
According to reports, Manchester United wants to kick Ronaldo out of the club over his claims that he feels betrayed by his treatment and has no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
The Portugal star has also criticized United for lack of empathy when his baby daughter was reportedly ill last season. He also slammed the Glazers for the deplorable state of the club.
In what could be seen as just a prelude of what is to come against Ronaldo following the interview, workmen were seen tearing down the mural of United’s famous No.7s – including Ronaldo, David Beckham, Bryan Robson, and Lionesses star Ella Toone – that dominated the front of Old Trafford.
United’s lawyers are planning to initiate a process to sack Ronaldo for breach of contract following the controversial interview.
If that option doesn’t go through, the Red Devils will try to terminate his £500,000-a-week contract.
The club are fiercely opposed to paying up the final seven-and-a-half months of the deal, worth up to £14million, because it would be seen as rewarding disloyalty.
There is growing resentment towards Ronaldo on the back of this interview, and many around the club believe he has played his last game for United.
United will not welcome fans back to Old Trafford until December 21, when they host Championship high-flyers, Burnley in the Carabao Cup.
The front of Old Trafford, above the club shop, will look distinctly different when fans return, with Ronaldo likely to have been airbrushed off much of the signage in and around the ground.
Meanwhile, the club have insisted that the timing was purely coincidental, and they had planned to remove the mural so new branding could be displayed for the Rugby League World Cup finals this weekend.
Ronaldo has proven a popular marketing tool on murals outside Old Trafford, but it is unlikely he ever features on one again following his bombshell interview.