On Tuesday (22 November), Manchester United stated that Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract had been terminated by mutual consent. Ronaldo, too, put up a post on his social media, thanking the fans for their support and revealing that it was time for him to seek a new challenge. The decision came days after the Portuguese’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan. During the interview, Ronaldo slammed the club for their lack of growth and claimed that Erik ten Hag did not respect him.
Speaking to the press ahead of Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup opener against Costa Rica, Enrique commented on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United exit.
The Spaniard admitted to being surprised by the decision and urged both Ronaldo and United to explain themselves. The former Barcelona manager said (via Mundo Deportivo):
“Surprised by Cristiano leaving United, I've seen him now at dinner and I'm surprised. But I can't assess because I don't have all the information. It would be nice if both United and Cristiano said something.”
In his second spell at Old Trafford, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner featured in 54 games for the Red Devils across competitions, scoring 27 times and providing five assists.
Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney not surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit
Former United legend Wayne Rooney has admitted that he is sad to see Ronaldo leave Old Trafford, but is not surprised. The former England international claimed that Ronaldo was never going to find a way back at United after the Piers Morgan interview, adding that it was all for the better.
Speaking on Sports 18, Rooney said (via Hindustan Times):
“It’s sad. Once he had done the interview and how he had attacked the club, there was no option. I think there was no option. It’s a shame because he has been a servant to Manchester United. He’s obviously still a very good player. I think he is not the player now that he was at 23. It’s probably the best thing… for Cristiano now, the sole purpose will be to focus on the World Cup.”
Cristiano Ronaldo also criticized Rooney during his interview. The former Real Madrid man claimed that his former United teammate was jealous of his career and how good he looked despite being in his late 30s. Ronaldo also labeled him a rat and declared that he was not a friend.