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The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was one of several players who left Old Trafford early on Sunday.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was one of several players who left Old Trafford early on Sunday.
Image: PA

Ten Hag: 'Unacceptable' that Ronaldo and team-mates left before full-time in friendly

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner played 45 minutes and left Old Trafford before the final whistle of Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano.
Aug 3rd 2022, 12:27 PM 48,096 39

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Erik ten Hag has criticised a group of his players, including the wantaway Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Old Trafford before full-time of Sunday’s pre-season friendly with Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo, who is angling for a move away from United to fulfil Champions League aspirations, made his first appearance of pre-season during the 1-1 draw and was withdrawn at half-time.

The 37-year-old was filmed leaving Old Trafford prior to full-time, while his fellow Portugal international Diogo Dalot was another who was pictured leaving before the end of the fixture.

Ten Hag was quizzed about Ronaldo’s situation in an interview with Viaplay in his native Netherlands and reiterated that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had missed United’s pre-season tour due to a family issue.

When the topic of the forward’s early exit on Sunday was broached, the Dutch manager was quick to clarify that “there were many more” who left early, and not only Ronaldo.

Asked if he condoned these players’ leaving the stadium before the final whistle, Ten Hag replied: “Certainly not. This is unacceptable. For everyone.”

When Viaplay interviewer Bart Nolles asked what Ten Hag had done about the situation, the United boss said:

I tell them — that is is unacceptable and that we are a team, a squad; that you have to stay until the end.

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As for whether or not Ronaldo stays until the end of United’s season remains to be seen, but it’s understood that the club has still received no firm offers for the striker.

Ten Hag’s side begin their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton on Sunday.

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Gavan Casey


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