Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has dropped a bombshell by condemning Cristiano Ronaldo’s early departure from Old Trafford during Sunday’s friendly game with Rayo Vallecano.
Ronaldo has asked to leave United to join a Champions League team and did not join the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, citing family reasons for his absence.
In his first warm-up game on Sunday, the 37 year old was seen arguing with manager Erik ten Hag during the game and was substituted at half time.
He was then snapped leaving the ground early while the match was still in progress, much to the outrage of fans on social media.
However, a club spokesperson later played this down, saying that Ronaldo had been given permission to leave.
That statement has now been blown out of the water by Ten Hag, who insisted in an interview with Viaplay.nl that he had not given Ronaldo permission to leave during the game, and believed the action was “unacceptable”.
Erik ten Hag gaat in op het gedrag van Cristiano Ronaldo. Net als andere spelers ging hij afgelopen weekend na de rust naar huis toe. Hoe gaat de trainer van Manchester United hiermee om?⁰
Het hele interview is later te zien in de Viaplay-uitzendingen van de Premier League. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/gIFJcL8QQE
— Viaplay Sport Nederland (@viaplaysportnl) August 3, 2022
“I don’t certainly accept this. I think this is unacceptable. For everyone,” the manager said.
“We are a team, and then you stay until the game is over.”
Ten Hag has made a very brave decision in calling out the legendary star publicly, especially after the club had said the opposite.
He risks the wrath of his employers and that of his star player.
With Ronaldo seemingly having no Champions League club willing to offer him a contract and having already fallen out with the new manager, it is hard to know what lies in store next for him.
It also remains to be seen whether he will be selected on the bench for Sunday’s Premier League opener against Brighton, with it seeming highly unlikely that he will start the game.
Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo and other Man Utd players leaving Old Trafford early vs Rayo: “I don’t certainly accept this. I think this is unacceptable. For everyone”, tells @viaplaysportnl. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“We are a team and you have to stay until the end”, ten Hag says. pic.twitter.com/Ysm2G4e7Rp
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 3, 2022
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