Manchester United icon and five-time Balon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the first-team squad to face Chelsea on Saturday, as per the club’s latest statement. This comes after reports surfaced of him refusing to come on against Tottenham Hotspur during the club’s recent match.
United emerged victorious against Antonio Conte’s team on Wednesday. Despite the Red Devils winning 2-0, Ronaldo started on the bench and did not come on at any point in the match. He was then seen leaving through the tunnel with four minutes of the contest still left. Following the incident, it was also reported that the Portuguese star left Old Trafford and was not with the team to celebrate the win.
Cristiano Ronaldo Has Been Left Out of the First Team Squad to Face Chelsea
Official Man United statement on Cristiano Ronaldo 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“Cristiano will not be part of the Man United team for this Saturday’s game against Chelsea. Rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture”. pic.twitter.com/NdztshOuSf
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 20, 2022
Ronaldo Will Not Feature Against Chelsea
Following Ronaldo’s premature exit from Old Trafford, reports have claimed that the Portuguese legend is unhappy with not getting regular game time. It was also stated that despite being asked to warm up twice, he still did not come on as a substitute.
The incident had understandably created a lot of buzz in the media and among fans on how United manager Erik ten Hag will deal with the situation. However, the latest club statement has made it clear that the Portuguese attacker has been exiled from the first team. The 800-goal icon’s absence against arch-rivals Chelsea on Saturday was confirmed by the Old Trafford boss in his pre-match press conference.
Cristiano Ronaldo Reportedly Refused to Come On Against Tottenham
While many fans thought that it was Ten Hag’s decision not to bring on the five-time Balon d’Or winner against Spurs, it turns out that this may not have been the case. A recent report from The Daily Mail has stated that Ronaldo did not want to come on as a substitute. The report also states that the Dutch manager wanted the attacker to come on, but he refused.
Ten Hag to Amazon on Ronaldo walking down tunnel just before FT: “I have seen him but I didn't speak. I will deal with that tomorrow not today. We're celebrating this victory.”
Clearly Ronaldo’s frustrated. But after a brilliant win it’s poor to walk off & not join celebrations. pic.twitter.com/haWSlzimrT
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) October 19, 2022
Ronaldo’s removal from the first-team squad could come as a blow as his team prepare to face the might of Chelsea. The Stamford Bridge club are going strong at the moment, and United, who are also without striker Anthony Martial, could have done with the 37-year-olds experience.
However, it seems that the relationship between Ten Hag and the Portuguese star has reached boiling point and could lead to him leaving the club sooner or later. The legendary striker has released a statement on his personal Instagram where he states his aim is to rectify the situation, but he stops short of offering an apology to his manager or teammates.