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Why did Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United?

Cristiano Ronaldo
"Cristiano Ronaldo" by Nathan Congleton is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Cristiano Ronaldo recently transferred to the Al Nassr football club for the Saudi Professional League. So why did he leave Manchester United when he recently just transferred back to that team during the summer of 2021? Let’s find out!

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Ronaldo was losing respect for the manager and the club

In a recent interview, Ronaldo stated that he felt the club’s manager, Erik Ten Hag, along with the rest of the club, had betrayed him when he first returned to Manchester United in 2021. He knew the manager and many of the club’s members did not want Ronaldo on the team. They did not give him the respect that he deserved. Therefore, Ronaldo lost all respect for Erik Ten Hag as well.

During an interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo reported he had to miss some pre-season events to help take care of his ailing daughter. However, Manchester United did not believe his claim.  Back in November 2022 around Thanksgiving, Ronaldo and Manchester United mutually agreed to end his professional contract early with the club to move on to new challenges.

What beef happened between Ten Hag and Ronaldo leading up to his early contract end?

There was a huge rift between Erik Ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo throughout the last months leading to the mutual agreement of ending his contract with the club early. On July 31st, Ronaldo left in the middle of a pre-season friendly game against Rayo Vallecano where some players had joined him. Ten Hag was not pleased whatsoever.

Manchester United lost a match against Manchester City on October 2. Ten Hag did not bring out Ronaldo from the bench at all during halftime when it was 4-0. He felt he did not want to embarrass Ronaldo for having to play on the team.

In a match against Tottenham 17 days later, Ronaldo did not come onto the field as a substitute as instructed. On October 22, Ronaldo faced suspension for his behavior that took place three days earlier at the game against Tottenham.

Ronaldo could not participate in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa on November 10th as Ten Hag said he was sick and unable to play. The player was also not present at the November 13th match against Fulham where he finally made his misgivings about the club known to the public.

During his time with Manchester United for the 2022 to 2023 season, Ronaldo participated in 10 matches and scored one goal. He received two yellow cards, which could have been related to his rift with Erik Ten Hag.

Ronaldo’s career highlights

Ronaldo is the only player in FIFA history to score during five total FIFA World Cup tournaments. He has scored more than 800 goals total during his 1,100 appearances while playing for his current clubs and overall country affiliation at the time.

He has earned two rewards for being the Best FIFA Men’s Player and four wins as a FIFA World cup victor amongst many other trophies and awards for his performance.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future career in the Saudi Professional League

Ronaldo reports that he will earn about $200 million annually playing as a member of Al Nassr. Of all the clubs in Australia, Portugal, Brazil, and the United States that were trying to get him to join their professional leagues, Ronaldo chose to join Al Nassr.

He is elated about the new chapter in his life. Therefore, he believes he will have a unique and bountiful influence on the Al Nassr team to bring them to greatness.