“Sorry, I am not that kind of player,” says Cristiano Ronaldo at one point during his interview with Piers Morgan. He says it with pride and his admirers will point to it as evidence of his elite mentality. But it cuts to the crux of his inability to adapt to his new reality.
They say that most players are the first to know when their time is up. Ronaldo, as has so often been the case throughout his extraordinary career, is not most players. His curse is that the mentality that drove him to the top of his sport is the same mentality that is making his descent much uglier than it needs to be.
If anyone expected this explosive but ultimately excruciating interview to include revelations about Erik ten Hag’s shocking treatment of a 37-year-old man in the workplace then they would surely have been disappointed as they waited in vain for evidence.