Lionel Messi’s warning to Cristiano Ronaldo proved correct after the Portugal star terminated his contract at Manchester United.
On Tuesday, Man Utd announced that Ronaldo had left the club with immediate effect, following the 37-year-old’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
In a 90-minute TalkTV interview, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was scathing of Man Utd and said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag.
Both parties stated the departure was “mutually agreed”.
A Man Utd statement added: "The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford.”
The club wished "him and his family well for the future" and added, "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".
Messi was right?
Ronaldo’s acrimonious Man Utd departure marks an end to a seven-year relationship between the parties that spanned two spells.
The Portugal star, who scored 145 goals in 346 appearances for the Old Trafford club, left Juventus to rejoin the Red Devils in August 2021 - 11 years after he left to join Real Madrid. What followed was a short and topsy-turvy spell.
The 37-year-old’s long-time rival, Messi, who stunned the world by transferring from his beloved Barcelona to PSG the same summer, warned that Ronaldo’s Old Trafford return would not be plain sailing.
When asked about Ronaldo's move to Man Utd, Messi told Marca last November: "United are a very strong team with great players. Cristiano already knew the club, but that was at another stage and now he has adapted in an impressive way.
"From the beginning, he has scored goals as always and had no problems adapting. In the Premier League, it is not as good as we all thought, but it is a very difficult and even competition in which things take a lot of turns.
“After December it changes a lot and anything can happen."
Ronaldo netted three times in 16 outings for Man Utd this season. He was also dropped for the Premier League game at Chelsea last month by manager ten Hag after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham three days earlier.
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