Love United, love the fans
Ronaldo released his statement, saying: “Following discussions with Manchester United we have agreed to end our contract early.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change. However, I think the time is right to look for a new challenge.
“I wish the team every success for the end of the season and for the future.”
As well as criticizing the Old Trafford hierarchy and Ten Hag in the interview, 37-year-old Ronaldo, currently with Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, was scathing about the club’s US owners.
Ronaldo said the Glazer family cared much more about United’s money-making potential than results on the pitch.
The Glazers have long been unpopular with the United faithful, their 17-year reign marred by declining performances on the pitch and repeated fan protests.
Sky News reported on Tuesday that the Glazers were poised to formally announce their intention to explore potential sources of outside investment, which could include an auction, a full or partial sale of United or a strategic partnership with third parties.
United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and have sacked a number of managers since the retirement of Alex Ferguson.
They have also failed to qualify for this season’s Champions League, prompting Ronaldo to push for a move in the pre-season transfer window.
But top clubs in England and Europe opted against signing a player who has just scored his 700th career goal, a one-time powerhouse who still commands a weekly wage package of around £500,000 ($593,000) at United. ).
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, however, has spoken to Bayern Munich and is said to have linked him with an emotional return to Sporting Lisbon, having come through the youth ranks.
Both parties happy
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said both Ronaldo and the club got what they wanted.
“Cristiano obviously had that conversation thinking he wasn’t happy and wanted out of the club,” Ferdinand, who played with Ronaldo at Old Trafford, told the BBC. “He made that very clear.
“I think Erik ten Hag got what he wanted even in this situation. Both parties are happy and we can move forward.”
Ronaldo has no doubt been angered by his diminished status at United, with the club no longer at the pinnacle of English football.
In 2009 he left United, one of Europe’s biggest clubs, but the team he rejoined limped into sixth place in the Premier League despite scoring 24 goals in all competitions.
Ronaldo made a name for himself in his first season at Old Trafford, developing from a brilliant teenager in 2003 to become one of the best strikers in world football.
He won his first Champions League trophy and Ballon d’Or under Ferguson.
After six years he left United for Real Madrid, where he was the club’s top scorer, winning the Champions League four more times.
Ronaldo spent three years at Juventus before returning to Manchester from 2018.
But he has been a peripheral figure in an improving team under Ten Hag this season and was recently disciplined for refusing to come on as a substitute.
Ronaldo, who has just three goals this season, returned to the team in recent weeks and even captained the Red Devils in their 3-1 loss at Aston Villa despite not being in the starting line-up for United’s final game before the World Cup. break up
With a record 117 international goals, he captains Portugal in his fifth World Cup.
The Euro 2016 winners open their campaign in Qatar against Ghana on Thursday.