Monday, May 20News That Matters

Erik ten Hag hits out at ‘unacceptable’ Ronaldo for leaving Man Utd friendly early

Erik ten Hag has branded Cristiano Ronaldo’s conduct ‘unacceptable’ after he left early during Manchester United’s friendly game with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Ronaldo has missed most of United’s pre-season preparations due to family reasons and was absent for their tour of Thailand and Australia in order to remain in Portugal.

The 37-year-old returned to Manchester last week and began training with the team, although he did not join them for their friendly match against Atletico Madrid in Oslo on Saturday.

Instead, Ronaldo was given a 45-minute cameo against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford the next day and was eventually replaced at half time.

But instead of staying for the rest of the game, Ronaldo was seen leaving Old Trafford before the final whistle as he signed autographs for a number of fans outside the ground.

When asked about Ronaldo’s decision to go home before the team’s post-match debrief, Ten Hag told Viaplay: ‘There were many more who went home.

‘I certainly don’t condone this. This is not acceptable. ‘For everyone, I told them that it’s unacceptable. That we are a team, a squad, and that you should stay until the end.’

Diogo Dalot was also spotted with Ronaldo outside the Stadium around 10 minutes before the final whistle, although he was not part of the squad against Rayo Vallecano as he had played a full game against Atletico Madrid the previous day.

It’s believed that Ten Hag had instructed all members of United’s squad to attend the game against Rayo Vallecano, regardless of whether they had played in Oslo, with some players watching the game from the private boxes.

Ronaldo has been looking to leave Old Trafford this summer as he is keen to continue playing in the UEFA Champions League.

But despite his agent, Jorge Mendes, holding talks with Chelsea, Bayern, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sporting CP, there have been no takers so far.

The Red devils have been adamant throughout the summer that they are unwilling to sell Ronaldo, who has just one year left on his contract.

Ten Hag has already suggested that Ronaldo will not be fully fit to start United’s Premier League season, which begins at home to Brighton this Sunday.

‘He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he missed a lot of weeks, but he needs games and he needs training, a lot,’ Ten Hag said at the weekend.

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