Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has slammed Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portugal international left Old Trafford during his team’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano before the full-time whistle.
Sunday, the king plays – Cristiano Ronaldo sent his faithful fans into a frenzy when he posted a simple message below an image on social media, confirming his return to the pitch in the Manchester United kit for their final pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano. His return lasted 45 minutes; manager Erik ten Hag decided to hook the five-time Ballon d’Or winner off at the interval, replacing him with Amad Diallo, who would score shortly after.
Later that evening, Ronaldo was pictured leaving the stadium early by fans. It was unclear whether or not the 37-year-old was permitted to do so, but, following Ten Hag’s recent outburst in the media, it became apparent that that wasn’t the case. While not taking any names, the Dutchman condemned his star player’s behavior.
“I certainly don’t condone this. This is unacceptable. For everyone. We are a team and you have to stay until the end,” he said.
Days earlier, Ten Hag had floated the possibility that Ronaldo won’t be in the Manchester United squad for their Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion. The Portugal international had missed his team’s entire pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, and, as per the Red Devils’ manager, wasn’t near the levels of his peers in terms of match fitness.
“It’s like before. We plan with him, he’s in the squad,” he said.
“I cannot tell [how match-fit Ronaldo is]. He is definitely not on the level of our squad players at this moment because he missed a lot of weeks.
“He needs games and he needs a lot of training.”
Ronaldo finished as Manchester United’s top scorer last term with 24 goals in 38 games. However, his desire to leave the club has overshadowed an already transitional summer for the club.