It was a brief inauguration at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo was on the pitch for 45 minutes in the friendly against Rayo Vallencano, then he was gone quickly. According to English media reports, the Portuguese is said to have left the stadium on Sunday before the final whistle. Pictures taken by fans are said to show Ronaldo leaving the stadium during the game.
Erik ten Hag, the new coach at Manchester United, had been able to summon his superstar from the start for the first time. Ronaldo had missed a large part of the preparation, including the five previous friendlies – officially for “family reasons”. However, the 37-year-old definitely wants to leave the “Red Devils” and is aiming for a move to a club that will play in the Champions League next season. United has only qualified for the Europa League. With his premature departure from the stadium, he is now fueling speculation.
In the meantime, Ronaldo had even been linked to the German record champions FC Bayern Munich, but Oliver Kahn rejected a transfer. Rumors of a return to youth club Sporting Lisbon have also surfaced. Whether he’s on Sunday (3 p.m.) in Manchester’s Premier League season opener against Brighton
Coach Ten Hag is determined to keep his striker, although he criticized Ronaldo’s physical condition ahead of the friendly on Sky Sports. “I can’t say that at this moment. He’s definitely not at the level of our current squad because he’s missed a lot of weeks. So he needs games and he needs a lot of training,” he said, when asked how long Ronaldo has been in the league.
Basically, ten Hag was satisfied with the preparation of his new club. “We’ve made good progress and are ready for the season, but I know there’s still a lot of room for improvement and we need to step up,” he told club media. United have three wins in a friendlies and a 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallencano was their second draw.
Amad Diallo, who came on for Ronaldo, scored the lead shortly after the break (48′), Alvaro Garcia equalized for the Spanish first division club. Ronaldo remained pale during his performance. He acknowledged an instruction from ten Hag with a shrug – the Portuguese’s most conspicuous action.
Despite the thoughts of changing, Ronaldo was positive on the outside. “Happy to be back,” the Portuguese wrote after his appearance on social networks for a photo showing him in the United jersey. He added a laughing smiley and a smiley expressing gratitude. So far, neither he nor the club has commented on leaving the stadium prematurely. No press conference was scheduled after the game.