Manchester United manager slams 'unacceptable' Cristiano Ronaldo act

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says it was 'unacceptable' of Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave the Ray Vallecano friendly before full-time. Pic: Twitter/Getty
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says it was 'unacceptable' of Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave the Ray Vallecano friendly before full-time. Pic: Twitter/Getty

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has risked further upsetting Cristiano Ronaldo after describing the Portuguese superstar's decision to leave before full-time in the pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano as "unacceptable".

United drew 1-1 with Rayo at Old Trafford as Ronaldo made his first appearance of pre-season, playing the first 45 minutes.

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The 37-year-old missed the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to a family issue, having previously informed Manchester United of his desire to leave the club.

The wantaway forward was pictured with Diogo Dalot leaving the friendly against Rayo before full-time, in a move that has come under fire from the new manager.

"There were many more (as well as Ronaldo) who went home," the United boss said.

"This is unacceptable for everyone.

"I tell them that it's unacceptable, that we are a team, a squad and that you should stay until the end."

Former Ajax coach ten Hag will take charge of his first competitive match as United manager on Sunday, when they face Brighton at home in the Premier League.

Whether Ronaldo will feature remains to be seen. Ten Hag insists the Portugal international can fit into his style of play, but only when he is fit enough.

In an interview with Sky Sports News, Ten Hag said: “I think he can, but to start with he has to get fit. He’s just started.

“He’s a fantastic football player, he proved it so many times. But you can always be judged by what you are now, what you are presenting now, performing now. The team, and Cristiano by himself, has to prove it.”

Cristiano Ronaldo saga overshadows Man United pre-season

United's pre-season has been dominated by headlines surrounding Ronaldo's future, as well as the club's drawn-out and so far fruitless pursuit of Barcelona midfielder, Frenkie de Jong.

Ronaldo has made it clear he wants to move to a club playing in the Champions League this season, with Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Napoli and Atletico Madrid among those linked with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

However, all have effectively ruled out a move for Ronaldo, leaving the 37-year-old's playing future in limbo.

United legend Gary Neville has suggested that it might be in the best interests of both parties if Ronaldo and the club parted ways.

Seen here, Cristiano Ronaldo scratches his head during Manchester United's friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
Cristiano Ronaldo has made it clear that he wants to leave Manchester United for a club playing in the Champions League. Pic: Getty

The former captain claims the star striker is currently “running the shop” at Manchester United, with fears the situation could destabilise the team.

“Ronaldo’s achievements in football have gone beyond anything that anybody could have wished for and imagined,” Neville said on the latest episode of Sky Bet’s The Overlap.

“He will go down as one of the top players of all time and always will be. What happens this summer at Manchester United will be forgotten about in 20 years.

“But it’s unpalatable for me to watch as an ex-Manchester United captain, thinking that at this moment in time the star player in the dressing room is playing up.

“It has happened at times over the last few years, where you had [Paul] Pogba’s agent – not necessarily Pogba – but his agent always playing up.

“You can’t have your star player in a club running the shop. You cannot have it. So when Sir Alex Ferguson in the past moved players on, it’s because that player needed to be moved on.

“I know Manchester United fans want Ronaldo to stay. But if Ronaldo wants to leave, Manchester United – in my mind – should facilitate that.”

with agencies

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