Soccer

Ten Hag tells Ronaldo to improve fitness, says ‘unacceptable’ to leave early


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says it was “unacceptable” for Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave Old Trafford before the end of Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says it was “unacceptable” for Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave Old Trafford before the end of Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said it was “unacceptable” for Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave Old Trafford before the end of Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo made his first preseason appearance in the match, playing 45 minutes amid speculation about his future at the club. He was pictured with teammate Diogo Dalot leaving the game before full-time of the 1-1 draw.

Ten Hag did not speak to the media after the friendly but told Dutch broadcaster Viaplay on Wednesday that “there were many more (as well as Ronaldo) who went home.”


“He is a fantastic football player, he proved it so many times, but you can always be judged on what you are now, what you are presenting now, performing now.”Erik ten HagManchester United manager

The manager said he did not condone it: “Certainly not, this is unacceptable for everyone. I tell them that it’s unacceptable, that we are a team, a squad and that you should stay until the end.”

The 37-year-old Ronaldo missed United’s preseason tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons.

Brighton visits Old Trafford on Sunday in the season opener, which will be Ten Hag’s first competitive match as United’s manager.

Ten Hag tells Ronaldo to improve match fitness

Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag said Cristiano Ronaldo could fit into his style of play but that the forward would need to build up his fitness before getting the chance to prove he deserves a place in the team.

Ronaldo did not join United’s squad for their pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia and was left out of a friendly defeat to Atletico Madrid, but played 45 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

Asked if the Portugal international can fit into his vision of how he wants United to play, Ten Hag told Sky Sports: “I think he can.

“But to start with he has to get fit, he’s just started.

“He is a fantastic football player, he proved it so many times, but you can always be judged on what you are now, what you are presenting now, performing now.”

Ronaldo’s future at United has been the subject of intense speculation after British media reported that the 37-year-old told the club that he wanted to leave so he can play in the Champions League.

United, who will play in the second-tier Europa League this term, open their Premier League campaign on Sunday against Brighton & Hove Albion.

With input from agencies.



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