The Portuguese striker was substituted at half-time against Rayo Vallecano, and did not stay until the final whistle.
Erik ten Hag has slammed Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘unacceptable’ behavior after watching the striker leave Manchester United’s final pre-season game against Rayo Vallecano before the final whistle. Cristiano Ronaldo made his return to the Red Devils’ starting XI for the clash at Old Trafford after a long summer break, playing the first 45 minutes before being replaced by Amad Diallo.
“They didn’t have my permission”
The 37-year-old was pictured leaving the stadium before the end of the game, and it was later reported that he was joined by Diogo Dalot and a number of other players. Manchester United bosses have reportedly made it clear they have no problem with Ronaldo and his team-mates returning home early, but Erik Ten Hag insisted they did not have his permission.
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Asked about Cristiano Ronaldo’s behavior, the Dutchman told Viaplay Sport: “Did they have my permission to come in before the end of the match? Certainly not, it’s unacceptable. For everyone. I told them it was unacceptable. That we are a team, a group. you have to stay until the end.”
Ronaldo in the group against Brighton?
GOAL confirmed in early July that Cristiano Ronaldo had informed the Manchester United board of his desire to leave the club in order to continue playing in the Champions League. The likes of Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have since all been linked with the five-time Ballon d’Or, but his future remains highly uncertain ahead of the Red Devils’ Premier League start against Brighton on Sunday.
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Manchester United and Ten Hag have publicly insisted Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale, but transfer speculation continues and a potential return to Sporting Lisbon is now being mooted. In the meantime, the Portuguese has been reinstated in the group and should be among the selected for the first day of the Premier League against Brighton.
Ten Hag received advice on how to deal with Ronaldo from former United assistant manager Chris Armas – who served under caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick in the second half of the 2021-22 season. The veteran striker scored 12 goals in 19 Premier League games while Armas was part of the backroom staff, and the American believes one-on-one communication is the best way to bring out the best in him.
“It’s a practical approach, I talk to him, I bring him to the office, I ask him questions, so that he is part of the solutions and the success.”, Armas told Sky Sports. “It was up to me to find a way to get all that fire and experience and talent and challenge it as much as possible. I think the most important thing is to engage with Cristiano.”
“He has so much to give, his commitment to winning and scoring, every guy has his own kind of leadership. He can be a leader in his own way, and my goal, like everyone else on the team, was to tell how to get the most out of Cristiano. When you talk, at the highest level, about seeing a professional and what winning means to Ronaldo, what scoring goals means to him – he’s in the team, a big part of the team and he’s a guy who produced”concluded the American.
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