Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United have decided to end their acrimonious relationship that saw the Portuguese star make disparaging remarks against the club in an explosive TV interview just before he left to represent Portugal in the World Cup in Qatar. With Ronaldo preparing for Portugal’s opening match on Thursday, Manchester United on Tuesday announced their split with a terse statement on its various social media channels.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” the club said in its statement on Tuesday. “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,” it added in the statement.
Ronaldo had launched an explosive attack on Manchester United and coach Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan for the treatment meted out to him since he returned at the start of this season. In the interview, Ronaldo said he feels “betrayed” by the club for trying to force him out of the team. In his interview, the Portuguese star also said that he has “no respect” for United manager Erik ten Hag because he “doesn’t show respect for me”.
Ronaldo, who re-joined United in August 2021 and finished as their top scorer in all competitions last season with 24 goals, said, “I don’t have respect for him because he doesn’t show respect for me. If you don’t have respect for me, I’m never gonna have respect for you.”
Soon after the full interview was aired, Manchester United said it has “initiated appropriate steps” in response to the interview.
Now that the two parties have decided on an amicable divorce, the club said it would move on and concentrate on preparing for the restart of the season after the World Cup break.
“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,” Man United said.
Ronaldo has reportedly recovered from an injury and is hopeful of starting Portugal’s first match against Ghana on Thursday.