Erik ten Hag says that he fired Cristiano Ronaldo for the benefit of his teammates – and that Man United’s highest-paid player had previously been warned about his behaviour before the season began.

Erik ten Hag says that he fired Cristiano Ronaldo for the benefit of his teammates – and that Man United’s highest-paid player had previously been warned about his behaviour before the season began.

Erik ten Hag claimed he punished Cristiano Ronaldo because he failed to live up to the standards he set at Manchester United, and he verified the player refused to come in as a replacement in the match against Tottenham.

Ten Hag has penalised Ronaldo after he refused to come off the bench on Wednesday, as Sportsmail exclusively reported on Thursday, and raged down the tunnel before departing Old Trafford before full-time.

The Dutchman moved fast and firmly, removing Ronaldo from the matchday squad for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea and barring the 37-year-old from first-team training.

Ten Hag also disclosed that he dropped Ronaldo for the match at Stamford Bridge for the benefit of the squad, saying he had little option after the player was cautioned for departing at half-time in a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
‘I am the manager, I am in charge of the top spot culture here, and I have to create standards and values and regulate them,’ he explained.

‘We have values and standards in the team, and I have to govern that.’ After Vallecano, I told him it was unacceptable, but not for everyone; this is the second time it has happened, and there will be consequences.

‘We’ll miss him tomorrow; it’s a loss for the team, but it’s vital for the group’s attitude and mindset, and now we have to focus on Chelsea, which is crucial.’ I believe it will have a (time for) reflection for him, but also for everyone else; I issued a warning at the start of the season, and there must be consequences the next time; otherwise, when you are living together and playing together, football is a team sport, and you must meet certain standards. And I have to keep it under control.’

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United would not comment on Thursday night on whether Ronaldo had been fined the maximum two weeks’ wages, which would cost him £1million.

Ronaldo came with the under-21s on Friday and went through individual training with a fitness coach as he acclimates to life in exile at United following the incredible scenes at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. Ten Hag also indicated that, despite the event, Ronaldo was still a part of his plans. ‘He remains an essential member of the group,’ stated the Dutchman.


Ten Hag had promised to ‘handle’ with Ronaldo, and the penalty, which was meted out at showdown meetings with Ronaldo, 37, at Carrington on Thursday, had the full backing of the Old Trafford leadership.

Ronaldo, who published a statement on Instagram but did not apologise, headed down the tunnel in the 89th minute, collected his luggage from the dressing room, and departed Old Trafford before the final whistle. Ten Hag and United were forced to act due to the public nature of his departure. It was first thought that his walkout was in retaliation to being demoted to the bench, but it has now been revealed that Ten Hag instructed Ronaldo to continue before snubbing his boss.

The incident was the latest chapter in the Portuguese star’s fraught relationship with Ten Hag, who has further cemented his influence over United by handling a tough issue.

The athlete is said to have demonstrated barely disguised contempt towards Ten Hag and his coaching staff, including deliberately disregarding one senior staff member.

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Erik ten Hag says that he fired Cristiano Ronaldo for the benefit of his teammates - and that Man United's highest-paid player had previously been warned about his behaviour before the season began.

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Ronaldo has publicly criticised training and feels United should play differently.

The players are supposed to be aware of Ronaldo and Ten Hag’s frequent clashes, but it is not hurting the mood in camp.

According to reports, the 37-year-old has lost his last dressing room pals as a result of his most public display of petulance.
‘As I’ve always done throughout my career, I strive to live and play respectfully towards my teammates, rivals, and coaches,’ Ronaldo stated in an Instagram message. That is still the case.

‘I’ve not changed. I’m the same guy and professional I’ve been for the previous 20 years of playing elite football, and respect has always been a major factor in my decision-making process.

‘I started really young, and the examples of the older and more experienced players were always extremely significant to me.’

Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented.

‘Unfortunately, it is not always feasible, and the passion of the moment occasionally gets the best of us.’

‘Right now, all I know is that I need to keep training hard at Carrington, support my teammates, and be prepared for everything in each given game.’ It is not an option to give in to the pressure. It was never the case. This is Manchester United, and we must stand together. We’ll be together again soon.’
Ronaldo informed the club that he intended to depart in the summer but was unable to do so due to his exorbitant pay demands.

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The lone bid for Ronaldo came from a team in Saudi Arabia, and he is considered to have preferred to play in the Champions League. Despite the current fall-out, Ten Hag still regards Ronaldo as a crucial component of the group, and sources claimed on Thursday night that there is no desire to cast the player go.
However, it is becoming clear that a split in the January transfer window would be beneficial for all sides if Ronaldo can find a new club and United can acquire a replacement striker.

This season, the former Real Madrid attacker has cut a disgruntled figure under Ten Hag.

Ronaldo has battled for league starts, with the Dutchman preferring speedier strikers who are more ready and able to push.

He was noticeably irritated when he was pulled with 20 minutes remaining in United’s encounter against Newcastle on Sunday. Marcus Rashford was sent on to replace him and blew a wonderful opportunity to win the game in stoppage time.

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