International soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo recently made controversial statements about his current football club. As a result, the organization has decided to cut ties with him.
The announcement would mean the end of Ronaldo’s second tenure with Manchester United F.C., scoring only once out of the 10 times he appeared for the club. He first started playing for the club in 2003 and became a fan favorite in the English Premier League (EPL). The team won multiple EPL titles, a champions league and FA cup title, and two other league cups. Ronaldo also won his first Ballon d’Or crown, one of five, and went on to be the most nominated player for the award. He returned to the club last year after playing for the Spanish team Real Madrid CF and the Italian team Juventus F.C.
The Lead up to Ronaldo’s Departure
The news came a week after Ronaldo gave an interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan for TalkTV. He expressed his frustration with the Manchester United organization, feeling betrayed by the club. He also claimed senior members of the organization were trying to get rid of him. Some of the comments were aimed at younger players and his lack of respect for the team’s head coach, Erik ten Hag.
Response from Teammates and Others
The club announced in a statement released on November 21, that the soccer forward would be leaving with “immediate effect.” It was not made clear whether this decision was made as a direct result of the soccer star’s comments.
The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future. Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.
Ronaldo confirmed in a statement that he and the team came to a mutual agreement to end his contract. He gave his love to the fans who celebrated his return and wished his fellow teammate’s good luck with the rest of the season. While he will be missed by many, he stated that right now “feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.”
World Cup Hopes
The Portuguese forward spoke about the controversial interview in a press conference held at a Qatari training base. He does not think the drama in England will make its way and affect his team’s performance in Qatar.
The timing for me is my timing. I don’t have to worry about what others think. I am totally convinced this won’t have any influence on the national team. Every player, manager, president and kit man, they all know who I am, what I think. They know me since I was 11 years old. They won’t be influenced by what people say or write.
The 38-year-old striker is confident about Portugal’s chances and is laser-focused on bringing a World Cup title back to his home country. This may be the last time Ronaldo will be able to do so. Even so, he feels no added pressure to perform this time around.
The pressure is more or less the same as always. I have been dealing with it since a very young age. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I don’t. It depends on the situation, moment and heat. I am not perfect, but I feel ready to take on the pressure when I have to.
Ronaldo is currently playing for his home country of Portugal in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Portugal started off their World Cup journey with a 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday.
Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
CNN: Cristiano Ronaldo to leave Manchester United with immediate effect; by George Ramsay
Fox News: Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United part ways after soccer star’s critical remarks; by Ryan Gaydos
CNN: Will Cristiano Ronaldo ever play for Manchester United again?; by Issy Ronald