Manchester United write cold 81-word farewell to Cristiano Ronaldo in matchday programme

Manchester United print cold 81-word farewell to Cristiano Ronaldo in matchday program for Burnley clash with no mention in manager Erik ten Hag’s notes, as Gary Neville insists the club were right to resolve saga before World Cup

Manchester United included a short 81-word message addressing Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial exit from the club in the program for their Carabao Cup tie with Burnley, although there was no reference in manager Erik ten Hag’s pre-match notes.

The veteran forward, 37, was released from his United contract on November 22 in a bitter, acrimonious exit from Old Trafford following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

The fourth round Carabao Cup tie against Burnley marked United’s first competitive match since Ronaldo’s departure, with a short message included in the program for the tie.

Manchester United gave a short message on Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit in the programme

Ronaldo left Manchester United last month following his controversial interview

Ronaldo left Manchester United last month following his controversial interview

‘Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual agreement last month,’ the message read.

‘The Portuguese superstar scored 145 goals across two spells and 436 appearances, and helped us win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ronaldo was also crowned Ballon d’Or winner in 2008.

‘In a statement on November 22, the club put on record its gratitude for Cristiano’s immense contribution and wished him and his family well for the future.’

Ronaldo’s controversial interview had included the claim he felt betrayed by the club and had no respect for United boss Ten Hag.

Ten Hag's program notes made no reference to Ronaldo's departure from the club

Ten Hag’s program notes made no reference to Ronaldo’s departure from the club

The Dutchman responded to Ronaldo’s comments earlier this month, suggesting the forward had, in fact, stabbed him in the back by waiting for the bombshell interview’s release before revealing for the first time that he wanted to quit Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s pre-match notes made no reference to Ronaldo and his departure from the club.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Gary Neville insisted United were right to act quickly to resolve the situation prior to the World Cup, allowing the club to move on under Ten Hag.

‘They couldn’t allow the situation to come this side of the World Cup,’ Neville said. ‘They needed it to be put to bed and they had handled it really quickly.’

‘I think it was best for all parties.

It is sad that it ended in such a way, but it was inevitable. Hopefully he goes on to play football elsewhere and do really well, and Manchester United can move on under Ten Hag.’

Gary Neville claimed Manchester United were right to resolve Ronaldo's situation quickly

Gary Neville claimed Manchester United were right to resolve Ronaldo’s situation quickly

Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche praised Ten Hag’s handling of an ‘awkward situation’.

‘Whatever his (Ronaldo’s) reasons for doing it, it wasn’t going swimmingly for him,’ Dyche said. ‘I think that plays in the manager’s favour.

‘The manager was calm and did not make a big deal over it, even though it was a big deal. Rightly or wrongly it has drifted away, but the timing did help.

‘I think generally it was a very awkward one for the manager and he has dealt with it really well.’

Ronaldo made his desire to leave United this summer clear after their failure to qualify for the Champions League, but there were apparently no takers among the sides playing in that competition and he remained in Manchester.

The 37-year-old lost his place in the United team prior to the bombshell interview.

Ronaldo was also at the recent Qatar World Cup by manager Fernando Santos substitutes after his reaction to being dropped off and left in tears as Portugal were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco.



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