Erik ten Hag has branded a number of Manchester United players’ behaviour, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s, as “unacceptable” after they left early during the team’s friendly game against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, July 31.
The Portuguese international is reportedly “furious” about his manager’s comments, with the pair’s relationship now more strained than ever.
Erik ten Hag Slams Cristiano Ronaldo After Leaving Match Early
Ronaldo Back in the Side Without Much Success
United’s 1-1 draw to the Spanish side saw Ronaldo included in the squad for the first time since reports broke of his desire to leave. The forward had not taken part in the club’s pre-season tour due to personal matters.
Ronaldo displayed a lacklustre performance during the match and was consequently substituted for young forward Amad Diallo at half-time, who then went on to score United’s first and only goal of the game. The manager was also likely taking Ronaldo’s fitness into account, as the club will play their first Premier League fixture on August 7.
Ten Hag Fumes at Lack of Team Spirit
Images spread across social media following the game of the seven-time Ballon D’Or winner heading home from Old Trafford before the match had even finished, along with fellow Portuguese international Diogo Dalot.
When broached on the matter, manager Erik ten Hag said: “I certainly don’t accept this. This is unacceptable, for everyone.
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
“We are a team and you have to stay until the end.”
Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes were not involved in the match-day squad and instead watched on from the stands after having a busy and successful pre-season. Jadon Sancho missed the game through illness.
Ronaldo Still Seeking New Club
Ronaldo’s future in Manchester remains undetermined. The club have communicated their wishes for the 37-year-old to stay, however, he is reportedly adamant to play Champions League football next season. He was their top goal scorer across all competitions in 2021/2022, netting 24 times.
His agent, Jorge Mendes, is actively seeking a suitable team before the end of the transfer window. Chelsea and Bayern Munich were rumoured to be interested before both managers confirmed they would not be pursuing a deal any further.
Serie A side Napoli have been named as a potential suitor.