Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United 'with immediate effect' after controversial interview

'Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,' said Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United 'with immediate effect' after controversial interview
Manchester United announced Cristiano Ronaldo has left the club by mutual consent (Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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OLD TRAFFORD, LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo will be leaving his beloved club Manchester United "with immediate effect," confirmed Old Trafford on Tuesday, November 22. The decision came after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, where he criticized his current manager Erik Ten Hag and the club’s bosses. There are no decisions yet on where the 37-year-old will be heading next. Earlier, the star failed to secure a move to a Champions League club in the summer.

“Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” said Ronaldo. “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,” the football star added. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is presently in Qatar representing his country with the aim to win a first World Cup title. Ronaldo was left frustrated after being treated as a fringe member of the United’s team this season, reports the Associated Press .

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On his manager Ten Hag, he said, “It’s hard when they cut your legs and they don’t like you to shine and they don’t listen to your advice.” Ronaldo further commented, “I think he don’t respect (me) the way I should deserve. But it is what it is. That is probably why the game against Tottenham, I left. .... This is why I say I don’t have respect for him, because he don’t show respect for me. This is why we are in that situation. I have to be honest that things are not going well because of that. Because the empathy don’t exist.”

During his 90-minute interview with English journalist Piers Morgan, he shared that he felt "betrayed" on November 17. “It’s not allowed for me, (for) a coach to put me three minutes in a game,” said Ronaldo, who is touted by many as the world’s best player. “I’m sorry. I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the team,” he added.

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United had hinted at the move in response to his attack on the club's functioning, saying "it had initiated appropriate steps," as many fans predicted his fate. “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” it said 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.”

After Ronaldo’s exit, the club will now accelerate its plans of signing a new center forward. Manager Ten Hag had planned to replace him post-season but now will have to find a replacement during the January window.

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