Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United after the World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo during a match with Manchester United – Barrington Coombs/PA Wire/dpa

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo will not remain at Manchester United after the World Cup break in Qatar after the two sides reached a «mutual agreement» on Tuesday to end their contractual relationship.

«Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United by mutual agreement with immediate effect. The club thanks him for his immense contribution during his two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family all the best for the future,» United said in a statement.

The three-time European champions stressed that «everyone» at the club «remains focused on continuing the team’s progress» under Dutch manager Erik ten Hag and «working together to achieve success on the pitch».

This brings to an end the Madeira player’s second spell with the ‘Red Devils’, a turbulent second season since Ten Hag’s arrival on the bench. The player, because of his desire to play in a Champions League for which his team had not qualified, wanted to leave in the summer transfer window, but it was not possible and he struggled to earn a place in the eleven, and even had to be sidelined for leaving the game against Tottenham early for refusing to come on for three minutes.

However, the trigger was the interview Cristiano Ronaldo gave to ‘TalkTV’ where he was very critical of the club and his manager, whom he said he does not respect. «When I signed for United I expected something to have changed, but I was surprised for the worse. Right now it’s not at the highest level, they haven’t moved, it’s like the clock has stopped,» he warned, among other things.

«It’s probably good for United and for me to have a new challenge. But if I come back, I hope people will let me shine as I have done at other clubs in the last few years,» confessed the Portuguese, who after leaving Juventus, performed well on his return to Old Trafford with 24 goals scored between the Premier League and Champions League.