Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect, MUFC confirms two days before Portugal’s FIFA World Cup game vs Ghana

Ronaldo and Erik Ten Hag have had a public falling out during the latter’s reign as manager at Manchester United.

Published : Nov 22, 2022 23:05 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during a Manchester United game. | Photo Credit: DAVID KLEIN

Manchester United confirmed on Tuesday that Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the club by mutual agreement. The Portuguese player’s future with the club was headed towards an end following a public outburst against the side and manager Erik Ten Hag.

The confirmation comes two days ahead of Portugal’s FIFA World Cup opening game against Ghana in Qatar. [Portugal’s full World Cup schedule]

“The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.,” the club’s statement said.

“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch,” the statement said of the team’s plans beyond the star forward.

Ronaldo, 37, rejoined United last year on a two-year deal from Juventus. After a fruitful first season, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been out of favour with new boss Ten Hag. The pair have had a public falling out during the course of the season with Ronaldo suspended by the club after he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur.

“I think he did it on purpose,” said Ronaldo in an interview with TalkTV. “I felt provoked. I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me.”

“I think it was a strategy from the club for me to react that way,” he added. “I was very, very, very, very disappointed for the communication of Manchester United.

“To be honest, I never had a problem with any club, with any coach and they suspend me three days, which I felt was a lot.”

Ronaldo’s contract is worth £500,000 per week and was set to expire in July next year.

Multiple reports suggested Ronaldo had offered to spend six months under Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid on a free transfer but the club rejected the proposal.

What did Ronaldo say about Manchester United and its staff in the Piers Morgan interview?

Speaking on his former coach, Ralf Rangnick, Ronaldo said: “If you’re not even a coach, how are you going to be the boss of Manchester United? I’d never even heard of him” and of his current coach, the Portuguese star was hardly more favourable: “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never going to have respect for you.”

Returning to Manchester United was driven by an appeal from his former boss and mentor, Sir Alex Ferguson: “I followed by heart. He (Sir Alex) said to me, it’ impossible for you to come to Manchester City, and I said Ok, boss.” However the reality soon hit and Ronaldo says: “The progress was zero. Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed.

On what he thought of Wayne Rooney criticising him: “I don’t know why he criticises me so badly... probably because he finished his career and I’m still playing at high level”. “I’m not going to say that I’m looking better than him. Which is true”, he further added.

On the club stagnating: “I think the fans should know the truth. I want the best for the club. This is why I come to Manchester United. But you have some things that don’t help (us) reach the top level as City, Liverpool and now even Arsenal... a club with this dimension should be top of the tree in my opinion and they are not unfortunately. As Picasso said, you have to destroy it to rebuild it, and if they start with me, for me it’s not a problem.

“I love Manchester United, I love the fans, they’re always on my side. But if they want to do it different...they have to change many, many things. (Sir Alex) knows better than anybody that the club is not on the path they deserve to be. He knows. Everyone knows. The people who don’t see’s because they don’t want to see; they are blind.”

On Erik Ten Hag: “I don’t have respect for him [Ten Hag] because he doesn’t show respect for me,” Ronaldo said in a fragment of the interview that will air in full on Wednesday on “Piers Morgan Uncensored.”

“If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”