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Ronaldo to leave Manchester United after criticism of club

The Premier League team of Manchester United announced that striker Cristiano Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect, bringing the harsh end to the Portugal captain’s second stint at Old Trafford after he claimed to feel betrayed by the organization.

Ronaldo’s relationship with the club he returned to in August 2021 after spending eight years and eight major trophies with them from 2003 to 2009 was in jeopardy following an explosive interview with TalkTV this month in which he also expressed his disdain for manager Erik ten Hag, according to Reuters.

United added last Friday that they had taken “appropriate steps” in response after stating last week that they would address Ronaldo’s remarks only after gathering all the information.

“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,” United said in a statement.

“Everyone at United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.”

When Ronaldo walked down the tunnel with a few minutes left in the game after being benched last month, according to Ten Hag, he had refused to replace an injured Tottenham Hotspur player.

The 37-year-old was then not part of the squad that faced Chelsea the following Saturday before returning to the fold.

Ronaldo later said in the interview he regretted leaving early against Spurs but added his decision to walk off came because he felt “provoked” by Ten Hag.

Ronaldo said in a statement on Tuesday that he loved the club and the fans.

“… That will never ever change,” he added. “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.”

Raphael Varane, Ronaldo’s French team mate at United, said last week that the Portuguese’s comments had affected the club’s players.

The awkward handshake between Ronaldo and midfielder Bruno Fernandes, which was captured on camera and went viral, was the result of a joke between the Portugal and United teammates, Ronaldo said on Monday.

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