Manchester United has confirmed that striker Cristiano Ronaldo is set to leave the Premier League club with “immediate effect”. The decision comes after Ronaldo, 37, spoke of his unhappiness at the club during a highly-publicised television interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo, who has made 346 appearances for the Manchester club, is currently in Qatar with his Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes representing Portgual in the World Cup 2022. The decision to terminate his contract has been described as a mutual agreement.
The player spoke frankly about his experience of returning to the club in 2021 during the controversial television interview with Piers Morgan. In the interview, Ronaldo opened up about a rift with manager Erik ten Hag as well as criticising the growth of the club since he had left the first time in 2009.
Ronaldo has seen major success at both Manchester United and other clubs throughout his career. He has won 32 trophies thoughout the years, as well as five Ballon d’Or Awards.
However, his time at Manchester United has ended on a sour note. Here’s everything we know about the situation.
What did Manchester United say about the situation?
A statement from Manchester United read: “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect. The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.
“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik Ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.”
What did Ronaldo say about the situation?
The Portuguese player, often touted as one of the greatest of all time, also released a statement regarding the termination of his contract. He said: “Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”
What did Ronaldo say in his Piers Morgan interview?
Ronaldo gave a tell-all interview to Piers Morgan’s TalkTV flagship programme in which he detailed how unhappy he was at the Premier League club. The striker explained that he had felt “betrayed” by ten Hag and “two or three others” who had made clear that they wanted the 37-year-old to leave the club.
Rumours of tensions within the Manchester United camp after Ronaldo refused to be subbed on during a match at Old Trafford against Tottenham Hotspur. He then walked off the pitch and left the ground before the match finished, with ten Hag dishing out punishment for his behaviour.
The player told Piers Morgan that his manager had provoked him by benching him in the game before the Tottenham fixture, and only asking him to come on in the final moments of that game. However, he admitted that he regretted leaving the stadium before the end of the match.
Ronaldo also pointed out that he was unhappy with the treatment he received from ten Hag and the club after he was unable to attend training due to his infant daughter falling ill. His daughter had been hospitalised at the time with bronchitis.
The Portuguese striker also took aim at the club its owners, saying that there had been “no evolution” in technology or infrastructure since former manager Alex Ferguson left the club. He added that the controversial American owners, the Glazer family, “did not care about the club”