During the third day of the 2022 World Cup, Manchester United Football Club officially announced that they’ve parted ways with former club legend Cristiano Ronaldo.
“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,” the team said in an official statement.
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.#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2022
Having originally played for the club from 2003 to 2009, Ronaldo returned to Man United for their ill-fated reunion back in 2021. According to reports at the time, United hastily swooped in for Ronaldo’s services simply to prevent him from signing with Manchester City. During his return to United, Ronaldo scored 19 Premier League goals across the 2021 and early portion of the 2022 season.
While the relationship between Ronaldo and the club had been strained all summer given the 37-year-old’s reported desire to play for a Champions League club, the situation became untenable after Ronaldo gave a tone-deaf tell-all interview to Piers Morgan earlier this month. In the interview with Morgan, Ronaldo said he felt “betrayed” by first-year manager Erik Ten Hag and that he does not respect him because “he doesn’t show respect for me.”
Despite being able to sign with any club, it’s unclear where Ronaldo will wind up as Manchester United was clearly unable to deal him to a Champions League club during the summer transfer window. Over the last few months, the likes of Chelsea Football Club, Bayern Munich, and his hometown team Sporting Lisbon have been named as possible landing spots.
The true difficulty that the legendary goalscorer faces, though, is realizing that he’s no longer the player he used to be, and as a result, clubs — such as United — will no longer treat him as if he is.