10 of the most brutally honest player interviews ever, ft Ronaldo, Messi & Keane | OneFootball

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·21 September 2023

10 of the most brutally honest player interviews ever, ft Ronaldo, Messi & Keane

Article image:10 of the most brutally honest player interviews ever, ft Ronaldo, Messi & Keane


  1. Andre Onana faced a disastrous Champions League match, making a howler that led to Bayern Munich's opening goal against Manchester United.
  2. Despite the mistake, Onana took full accountability for his team's loss and gave a refreshing, brutally honest interview after the game.
  3. This kind of honesty is not uncommon among players, as seen in interviews from Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Roy Keane, Lionel Messi, Peter Odemwingie, Romelu Lukaku, Thierry Henry, Dean Henderson, Charlie Austin, and Cristiano Ronaldo.


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Andre Onana's first Champions League fixture at Manchester United couldn't have gone much worse. The former Ajax man conceded four times as Bayern Munich beat the Red Devils 4-3, but it was the Bundesliga side's opening goal that was the worst, with the shot-stopper making a massive howler.

Just before the half-hour mark, Leroy Sane picked the ball up on the edge of the United area and took aim on goal, but the shot seemed like a routine save for Onana and shouldn't have caused any real issues. Somehow, though, he jumped over the ball, and it snuck in underneath his body in comedic fashion. Fair play to the former Inter Milan man, though, who came out after the game, demanding an interview.

Speaking to the media, the goalkeeper took all accountability for his team's loss, owned up to his mistakes and faced it all head-on. It felt refreshing to see him open up and be brutally honest in the interview, but it's far from the first time a player hasn't been afraid to make their feelings known before. With that said, here are 10 of the most brutally honest player interviews ever.

Harry Kane

Harry Kane finally left Tottenham Hotspur this summer as he joined Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. It's clear the move was made in an effort for the Englishman to start winning some silverware, the one thing that's evaded him in England. He actually let fans know one year prior to his departure, though, that it was something on his mind.

In the summer of 2022, Kane appeared on The Overlap with Gary Neville and shared thoughts on his future. He said he was eager to start winning trophies every year and didn't want to retire with any regrets. It wasn't what Spurs fans will have wanted to hear, but it was the brutal truth and he proved as much this summer.

Raheem Sterling

When Raheem Sterling decided he'd had enough of life at Anfield and wanted to leave Liverpool in 2015, he was pretty vocal and honest about his reasons. Initially accused of only doing it for the money, the winger conducted an interview with BBC where he revealed it had nothing to do with finances, and he was interested in winning trophies, something he didn't think was feasible with the Reds.

The interview left the club's then-manager Brendan Rodgers incensed, and the Englishman joined Manchester City shortly afterwards. He won numerous Premier League titles and more, so if it was all about the silverware, it certainly worked out.

Roy Keane

Roy Keane has always been known for his brash and honest nature. He's never been afraid to share his opinion, and it's what's earned him such a stellar career in media. Things weren't much different during his playing days, though, and there was one instance in particular where he gave a brutally honest review on his former teammates.

While he was out injured, Manchester United lost 4-1 to Middlesbrough and Keane was tasked with giving an interview on the MUTV shortly afterwards. He didn't hold back either, claiming Rio Ferdinand thought he was a superstar after playing well for 20 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur, but was poor. He said he didn't understand why Scotland fans were raving about Darren Fletcher, he said he didn't understand why Alan Smith was even at United and much more about the rest of the squad.

Things must have been pretty awkward in the dressing room afterwards. Check out what Keane had to say about the incident years later in the video below:

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi shocked the world when he publicly revealed his desire to leave Barcelona in a scathing interview back in 2020. The Argentine had been at the Camp Nou for 20 years and had become the club's greatest-ever player, but wanted out and wasn't afraid to let the world know why.

Speaking to Goal, Messi explained his reasons, saying: "It comes from many things. I always said I wanted to end here, and I always said I wanted to stay here. I wanted a winning project and to win titles with the club, to continue expanding the legend of Barcelona. And the truth is that there has been no project or anything for a long time, they juggle and cover the holes as things go by."

For fans of the club, it had to hurt hearing the superstar openly criticise the side and want out. He stayed on another year, though, before eventually leaving in 2021.

Peter Odemwingie

Who can forget the sheer ridiculousness of Peter Odemwingie's interview with Sky Sports? The former West Bromwich Albion man had grown disillusioned with the club and after interest from Queens Park Rangers made the waves, he was determined to bag the move. In unbelievable circumstances, he travelled to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day back in January 2013.

Once there, he gave a quick interview from his car where he was open and honest about his desire to join QPR and how he hoped West Brom would get a deal done. Unfortunately, the move collapsed and he had to return to the midlands and remained at the Baggies for another year. How awkward.Check out how the situation unfolded below:

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku's return to Chelsea was supposed to be a hero's homecoming of sorts. The striker had left Stamford Bridge in 2014, but after impressive spells at Everton and Inter Milan, he returned in 2021 and the stage was set for a successful reunion. He even scored on his second debut for the Blues, but things quickly turned sour afterwards.

After struggling to replicate his past form, the Belgian spoke out in January 2022 about how unhappy he was at Chelsea and he openly admitted his desire to rejoin Inter Milan. While it was a shocking action, he was brutally honest about his situation and sure enough, he was soon shipped back to the Serie A side on loan. He's still technically a Chelsea player, spending this season on loan at AS Roma, but after that very public revelation, it's hard to imagine he'll be playing for the side again.

Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry was always the consummate professional. That's what made his brutally honest outburst after the 2006 Champions League final all the more shocking. The Frenchman had been on the losing end of the game, as Arsenal were beaten 2-1 by Barcelona, but he was clearly frustrated by the officiating throughout and let the world know it.

Henry accused the referee of being a Barcelona fan, saying: "I don't know if the ref had a Barcelona shirt on or something."

He also felt the officials wanted the Spaniards to win and told them as much. He said: "I told the ref, 'I'm sorry, if you don't want us to win it, just say it from the start'. Some of the calls in the game were a bit strange." He went on to criticise some of the La Liga side's biggest stars in Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o. Considering he joined the club just one year later, though, it's safe to assume he didn't hold a grudge for long.

Dean Henderson

Dean Henderson's Manchester United career held so much promise, but there was no going back after he spoke out against the club during an interview with talkSPORT. The Englishman sat behind David de Gea in the pecking order at Old Trafford, but once he joined Nottingham Forest on loan, he let his feelings on the club be known.

Henderson called them criminal for allowing him to waste a year of his career on the bench and said he was happy to have come out of the situation now. He claimed he was promised the number one spot, but the club went back on everything they said. It was no surprise to see him leaving permanently this summer when he joined Crystal Palace, where he has ironically been forced to play second fiddle so far to Sam Johnstone.

Charlie Austin

One of the most famous public outbursts from a player, Charlie Austin's interview following Southampton's match against Watford is the stuff of legend. After the Saints had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside cost them two points, the forward let the world know just how angry he was.

He said the officials had cost Southampton the game and begged for VAR to be brought into the Premier League to help them. He called the situation a joke and said the referees needed help. It was brutal, but incredibly entertaining. It's not often players are as honest as Austin was here, but considering all the controversy surrounding VAR since its introduction to the top flight, we're not sure about that shout, Charlie. Check out footage of the interview below:

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ahh, yes, possibly the most famous and controversial player interview of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to go on to Piers Morgan's show and just let loose about Manchester United in the most brutal fashion was a wild one, but certainly honest. He spoke openly about his feelings surrounding the club and how he felt he'd been treated during his second tenure there.

He talked about the lack of ambition and how he felt he'd been scapegoated at Old Trafford. The interview tore the club's fanbase apart, with some fans taking his side while others called for his exit. It wasn't long either before he left Manchester, released from his contract. If that's what he was after, it was an extreme way of ensuring it, but it worked.

The interview was wild, it was a questionable decision at best, but it was as honest as you can get and considering where things are heading for United now, less than a year later, his words are beginning to hold more weight.

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