Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has termed Cristiano Ronaldo’s early Old Trafford exit during a friendly as ‘unacceptable’ behaviour.
Speaking to Dutch outlets AD and Viaplay (h/t Sky Sports), Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has claimed that he has been left unimpressed by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Old Trafford midway through the club’s friendly encounter against Rayo Vallecano.
Ronaldo has been at the centre of a lot of speculations this summer as he is keen on leaving Manchester United. The 37-year-old is believed to have handed in a transfer request already and was not part of the club’s pre-season tour to Asia and Australia.
Ronaldo returned to pre-season training only recently and played his first game when he started in the friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford. The Portugal captain looked scratchy and well below his best during his first pre-season appearance, with manager Ten Hag even admitting before the clash that he still needed a lot of work to get to the same level as the rest of his teammates.
“He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he missed a lot of weeks,” Ten Hag had said. “But he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”
Erik ten Hag on Cristiano Ronaldo and other Man Utd players leaving Old Trafford early vs Rayo: “I don’t certainly accept this. I think this is unacceptable. For everyone”, tells @viaplaysportnl. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“We are a team and you have to stay until the end”, ten Hag says. pic.twitter.com/Ysm2G4e7Rp
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 3, 2022
Ronaldo was taken off at half-time by the Dutchman and the 37-year-old talisman was spotted leaving Old Trafford soon after rather than staying at the stadium and supporting his teammates for the rest of the game. It has created another controversy surrounding the Portuguese maverick and his manager has now had his say on the episode.
Ten Hag admitted that Ronaldo was not the only player to have left Old Trafford midway through the clash and insisted that he finds that behaviour ‘unacceptable’. “He was not the only one who left after half-time, I tell them [the players] that it’s unacceptable. That we are a team, and that you need to stay right until the very end,” the Dutch tactician said.
Manchester United play their first Premier League game of the new season on Sunday when they take on Brighton & Hove Albion. And it remains to be seen if Ronaldo will be part of the team when the Red Devils host the Seagulls at Old Trafford.