Erik ten Hag has condemned Cristiano Ronaldo for leaving Old Trafford before the end of Manchester United’s draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
The manager said it was ‘unacceptable’ to leave early and it is understood several players joined Ronaldo in doing so. Ronaldo was pictured outside the stadium before the final whistle, with Diogo Dalot also pictured. While the latter was not in the matchday squad, Ronaldo played in the first half of the final pre-season friendly.
Ten Hag told Dutch media AD and Viaplay: “I certainly don’t endorse this. This is unacceptable. For everyone. We are a team and we have to stay until the end.
The manager did not name Ronaldo or Dalot, who had been watching from the directors’ box with teammates, or any other players.
Ronaldo’s appearance against the Spanish club was his first under Ten Hag after missing all five previous friendlies and only started training last week due to a family issue.
Ten Hag said in an interview with Sky Sports News that the 37-year-old could adapt to his style of play but was not yet fit. “I think he can, but to start he needs to be fit. He’s just started. He’s a fantastic footballer, he’s proven that time and time again. But you can always be judged by what you are now, what you present now, perform now. The team, and Cristiano himself, have to prove it.
Ronaldo wants to leave United to play Champions League football. With four weeks to go until the transfer deadline, which club might be willing to accept his wages of around £490,000 a week remains unclear.
United left-back Alex Telles is set to join Sevilla on loan.