When the Portuguese national team contests their World Cup dress rehearsal against Nigeria in the evening (7.45 p.m.), superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will be absent from the pitch. The superstar has stomach problems. However, just over an hour after the scheduled kick-off, all attention will be on him again. Then the second part of the big billing interview will be shown on TalkTV.

Even the first part, broadcast on Wednesday evening, confirmed the explosiveness that the previously distributed excerpts suggested. Well-known tips, such as that of ex-coach Ralf Rangnick, of whom he had “never heard” before joining the Red Devils, were mixed with new details. Like the ones from the 2021 transfer summer.

Back then, according to his own statement, Ronaldo almost ended up at United’s biggest archrival, Manchester City. “It was tight, it was tight. They wanted me,” said the former world footballer. City coach Pep Guardiola courted him accordingly. In the end, his past at Manchester United, Ronaldo already played in England from 2003 to 2009, was the deciding factor for a return to the English record champions. “Your heart, your feeling, the story you’ve experienced before makes all the difference,” he said. A conversation with coaching legend Alex Ferguson also convinced him.

It was a fine line Ronaldo walked in conversation with host Piers Morgan. On the one hand, the blunt reckoning with one’s own club, ex-players or even the young generation of players who would be “distracted by new technologies”. On the other hand, the pure conviction of himself. Especially when Ronaldo’s success came up on social media, he crept to the limit of exaggerated self-love. No star’s Instagram account has more subscribers – almost 500 million follow the 37-year-old. Ronaldo does it “proudly”.

“You have to be charismatic,” Ronaldo said about his secret. “I’m a fruit that people want to bite into. Like a strawberry. Looking good also helps.” Ronaldo and looks – a special relationship. Even in an attack on Wayne Rooney, who had criticized Ronaldo’s behavior and intentions to change the summer before, he used it as an argument: “I don’t want to say that I look better than him, but that’s the truth.”

When the last words are spoken on Thursday evening, there should be movement around the debate about the consequences of Ronaldo’s sweeping attack. Manchester United said they would wait through the entire interview before making a decision about Ronaldo’s future. Forcing a winter switch is considered the most likely.

Before that, Ronaldo wants to lead Portugal to the World Cup title. After all, in this circle, to which he has kept a low profile in the previous passages of the interview, he enjoys great support. “It’s a very personal interview that has to be respected. It’s about tolerance here,” national coach Fernando Santos defended him on Wednesday. Ronaldo is a “free” person.