It was news that shocked the football world. Sports fans around the world were faced with a big question on Tuesday 22nd November 2022: Why did Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United?
Considered one of the greatest players of all time – and the most followed person on Instagram at over 500 million – Ronaldo started out as a teenager at Manchester United and played for them from 2003 to 2009. The skilled striker helped the Red Devils win three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Champions League. After stints at Real Madrid and Italian club Juventus, Ronaldo returned to Man. U. in 2021 and reclaimed his now legendary number 7 after Edinson Cavani agreed to a move. The club’s tweet announcing Ronaldo’s return garnered 1.9 million likes on Twitter, the most ever for the social media platform. However, it wasn’t long before things turned sour between Ronaldo and Manchester United, with growing unhappiness on and off the pitch. Read on to find out why Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United.
Why did Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United?
Why did Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United? Ronaldo and man. U. split “by mutual consent” in November 2022, a week after the legendary striker’s interview Piers Morgan uncensored. In the interview, Ronaldo targeted a number of the club’s personalities, including boss Erik ten Hag. “I have no respect for him. Because he shows me no respect. If you don’t respect me, I will never respect you,” he said. Ronaldo shared he felt “cheated” by the club and claimed he felt compelled to come out. “I feel like some people don’t want me here,” the striker admitted in an interview. “Not only this year, but also last year.”
He also criticized the club’s hugely unpopular owners, the US-based Glazer family, who also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They acquired Manchester United in 2005, buying just under 57 percent of the club’s shares. Her control eventually rose to 76.2 percent. Anti-Glazer chants can regularly be heard during matches due to their continued lack of investment in the club. Ronaldo’s criticism seems to reflect this fan mood. “The Glazers don’t care about the club. I mean, professional sport, as you know, Manchester is a marketing club. They’ll get their money from marketing – they don’t care about the sport in my opinion,” he said. “The fans are always right. I think the fans should know the truth, should know that the players want the best for the club. I want the best of the club.”
A statement from Manchester United on Tuesday 22 November 2022 read: “Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect. The club thank him for his immense contribution in two games at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wish him and his family all the best for the future. Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the progress of the team under Erik ten Hag and working together to succeed on the pitch.”
The prolific striker issued a statement of his own, which read: “Following discussions with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” Ronaldo said in a statement. I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change. For me, however, it seems the right time to seek a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the rest of the season and for the future.” He had just seven months left on his £500,000-a-week (over $594,000) contract with the Red Devils and his departure leaves it vacant to sign with another club when the January transfer window opens.
At Manchester United, Ronaldo has lost his teeth in the Premier League. When he signed with the club in 2003, he became the first Portuguese player to make the list and made his number 7 iconic. His transfer fee at the time made him the most expensive teenager in English football history at £12million. His agent Luis Correia said at the time: “Cristiano is one of the hottest young players out there and almost every major club in Europe wanted to sign him. He is an explosive player who can play on either wing or as a centre-forward. He has the ambition to be at the highest level and to be among the best.” He played for Man. U. from 2003 to 2009, during which he won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Champions League.
He joined Real Madrid for the 2009/2010 season and became the all-time top scorer from 2009 to 2018 with 450 goals. After a brief stint at Italian club Juventus, Ronaldo made a triumphant return to Manchester United in 2021. In Interview with Morgan, Ronaldo revealed that he was close to signing for Manchester City ahead of his contract with the Red Devils. He had also turned down a £305m (more than $362m) deal to join a Saudi Arabian club. Manchester United’s tweet that Ronaldo was “returning home” became the most popular tweet in Twitter history, receiving more than 1.9 million. He also broke the club’s daily shirt sales record in less than four hours after it was confirmed he would keep his iconic No 7 shirt and reclaim it from Edinson Cavani. “I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the number seven jersey again. So I want to say a huge thank you to Edi (Cavani) for this incredible gesture,” Ronaldo said at the time.
But it was not long into the season when things just didn’t go to Manchester. In November 2021, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked within two months of Ronaldo’s return. “When I signed for Manchester United [again]I thought everything changed because it’s been 13 years,” he told Morgan. “When I arrived I thought everything was different, the technology, the infrastructure, but I was surprised, let’s say in a bad way, because I saw that everything was the same.” He also mentioned “instability”. in the club.
Although the Piers Morgan interview seems to have serious consequences for Ronaldo, some ex-Manchester United players have spoken out in his defence. Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand told BBC Sport: “Cristiano obviously went into this interview with the attitude that he wasn’t happy and wanted to leave the club. He made that very clear. I think Erik ten Hag got what he wanted in this situation too. Both parties are happy and we can move on. He continued: “The next chapter for Cristiano? It depends on what his motivation is. Play in the Champions League? Money? Play somewhere with a nice climate? We’ll find out in due course, I’m sure.”
If you want to know more about Cristiano Ronaldo, you should not miss Benjamin Southerland’s biography. You’ll learn about his childhood, early life and meteoric rise to become one of the greatest footballers of all time – as well as one of the world’s richest sports stars. From the slums of Madeira’s neighborhoods to the bright lights and wealth of Madrid, this is the story of an incredible player who never ceases to amaze the world with his skills.
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