August 5, (THEWILL) – At Erik ten Hag’s first pre-match conference, the Dutchman reacted angrily to inquiries regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s choice to leave Manchester United’s exhibition game against Rayo Vallecano early due to lingering uncertainties about his future.
As THEWILL reported, in the 1-1 draw with Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday, Ronaldo left the stadium before the final whistle. Ten Hag called this “unacceptable” in an interview he had in midweek.
Following United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League, it was revealed a month ago that Ronaldo wanted to leave the team, but Ten Hag was scathing about focusing on Ronaldo’s departure when other first-team squad members had already gone around the same time.
A question on Ronaldo’s future must have rubbed off the wrong way on Ten Hag, who replied: “What do you mean? Now I have to point, those who left, they were many players who left but the spotlight is on Cristiano, that is not right. So do your research and make out many players left, that was what was said. I don’t understand what is the relation, he was part of it. There were a lot of players.”
The manager continued, when pressed for an answer: “What do you mean? I’m really happy, I told you before, we have a top striker, really happy he’s here with the squad and we stick to the plan. I think we’ve said enough on it (players leaving early). I said it’s not correct. I’m satisfied with the whole team, we’re working good, good culture and Cristiano is working really tough and hard.”