Cristiano regrets going to the backroom.
“Manchester United played their best match under Ten Hague, but the next day everyone is talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not even enter the field. Shortly before the final whistle, the Portuguese went sadly to the underbenches.
“I saw him, but I didn’t talk to him. I’ll deal with it tomorrow, not today. Today we are celebrating a victory,” Ten Hague said after the match.
And the reaction followed, with MJ saying that Cristiano will not play against Chelsea, and The Athletic adding that Ronaldo will train individually.
What was he punished for?
The first interpretation of Cristiano’s departure to the backroom is that he was offended that he wasn’t released.
But, if new insiders are to be believed, it’s not that simple. The Daily Mail and The Athletic report that Ten Hague wanted to let the Portuguese out in the 87th minute after all, but Ronaldo refused. And even left the stadium immediately, rather than going to the locker room.
This was not the first time it happened: in August, Cristiano left before the final whistle in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano. At the time, Ten Hag said: “This is unacceptable. We are a team, everyone has to stay until the end.”
“Manchester United has not commented on whether Krisch was fined. And after all, even two weeks’ wages would be a serious punishment – 1 million pounds, after all.
Cristiano admitted he was wrong. He didn’t say so directly, but at least he gave a hint.
After the news of Ronaldo’s suspension, he spoke out on social media. He tried to smooth things over:
“All my career I have tried to live and play with respect for colleagues, opponents, coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed. I’m the same – as a person and as a professional – that I’ve been for the last 20 years while playing soccer. And respect has always been the deciding factor when making decisions.
I started out very young, so the examples of older and more experienced players were important to me. So I myself always tried to be an example for young players in all the teams I played on. Unfortunately, it is not always possible. Sometimes in the heat of the moment you can let your emotions get the better of you.
Right now I think I have to work hard at the base in Carrington, support my teammates and be ready for anything in any game. To give in to pressure is not an option. We are Manchester United and we must be united. Soon we will be together again!”
What do people in England think? Mostly Ronaldo is criticized, but there are also defenders
- Former England defender Danny Mills expressed the reaction of the majority: “If he did that, it’s an absolute disgrace. I think it’s disrespectful to the team, the coach and the fans. He’s putting himself above the club… It’s a total disgrace!”
- But there are also those who stood up for Cristiano. For example, former MJ partner Patrice Evra: “Everyone is different. I would like to focus on the MJ game, not on defending Cristiano. We don’t know if he told Ten Hague he was leaving or if we’re trying to make a story out of it. I don’t want to look for excuses, we need to stop talking about Cristiano every day.”
- And Alan Shearer supported Ten Hag: “I understand Ronaldo’s frustration at not being able to get on the pitch. But here’s the situation: the team played a good match and the coach made a serious statement by leaving him in reserve. It turned out to be the right decision, because on the field they did everything right.
The situation is difficult. The coach has a very difficult life. He’s going to be asked about it by reporters, and he actually has to talk about the team on the field because they played impressively today.”
- Television host Piers Morgan is among the Portuguese’s advocates: “The way ten Hague seems to admire the humiliated Cristiano looks pathetic. Putting the greatest player in the world on the bench, forcing him to warm up repeatedly, and then not even using him as a substitute, is just stunningly disrespectful, to treat United’s top scorer last season like that.”
- Thierry Henry has the most diplomatic opinion on the subject, but even he is rather on Ten Hague’s side: “It’s a difficult situation, but Ten Hague is at Manchester United for the team, not for Cristiano Ronaldo. Cristiano is part of the team, so you have to look for a solution. Sometimes Ten Hague needs to play without him. It’s difficult when people are always talking about Ronaldo.
Everyone talks about Ronaldo’s achievements – there are few who can match them. But the thing is what Ronaldo is capable of right now. He is not in the position he is used to.”
- And here’s the opinion of soccer author and MJ fan Nurudden Choudhry. It was retweeted by Jamie Carragher (whom, by the way, Cristiano didn’t shake hands with before a match a few weeks ago):
“The people blindly defending Ronaldo are a strange combination of underage internet fans (for whom adoration of certain players becomes part and parcel of character) and ex-footballers who are just happy for him to come over to say hello to them during their pre-match examination.”
- Peter Schmeichel is unhappy: “This is the first time I can say that I’m disappointed with Ronaldo. Normally I support him, I understand his situation. We are in a transition period. Now we have Erik ten Hag, who has a very clear idea of how he wants to play soccer. We need understanding and time. We don’t need these distractions, and I would say it’s frustrating.”
- Cristiano has the loudest support from his sister. Elma Aveiro posted a photo with the player in a post-race and captioned it this way: ‘My great hero and the love of my life, I will be with you until death do us part. There is the law of the boomerang. Do not do to others what you do not wish for yourself. God does not sleep.”
What’s next? Cristiano wants to sell as early as winter
According to The Guardian, Ten Hague may approve the sale of the player in the winter transfer window. The club’s executive director Richard Arnold is ready to support the coach.
Difficulties with the transfer of Ronaldo to another club may arise because of the high salary of the player – about 500 thousand pounds per week. “Manchester United can sell Cristiano, covering half of his salary until the end of the season, or give him on loan, coming up with a special scheme with another club.
It is also alleged that Ronaldo has a strained relationship with some of the people on Ten Hag’s staff – with some of them the Portuguese hardly communicates, and Ten Hag knows about it.
Not only Ronaldo’s opponents, but also his supporters are already in favor of the sale. Rio Ferdinand, for example, accused Ten Hag of not selling Cristiano in the summer, even though he did not intend to build a team around the Portuguese:
“Now I’m just sitting here thinking, why didn’t MU let Ronaldo go if Ten Hag knew even then that he wasn’t part of his plans? It baffles me. Ronaldo should have been let go. It will prevent ten Hague from moving forward until the day Ronaldo is gone, because he is an idol and a superstar.”