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Erik Ten Hag Says Cristiano Ronaldo Leaving Early Is 'Unacceptable' In Damning Interview

Jack Kenmare

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Erik Ten Hag Says Cristiano Ronaldo Leaving Early Is 'Unacceptable' In Damning Interview

Just days after Manchester United confirmed they had 'no issue' with Cristiano Ronaldo leaving their pre-season game against Rayo Vallecano early, manager Erik ten Hag has labelled the decision as "unacceptable."

In an interview with Dutch outlet Viaplay Sport Nederland, Ten Hag was asked to give his thoughts on Sunday's incident at Old Trafford.

After being the only player to be brought off at half-time during their final pre-season game of the season, Ronaldo was spotted leaving Old Trafford before the full-time whistle.

It was a moment that sparked plenty of debate but after initially refusing to comment on the situation, Manchester United said they had 'no issue' with the 37-year-old leaving early.

They also confirmed to The Daily Mail that he was one of a number of players to leave Old Trafford while the game was still being played.

Cristiano Ronaldo warming up before the pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford. Image credit: Alamy
Cristiano Ronaldo warming up before the pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford. Image credit: Alamy

Two days later and Erik ten Hag has appeared to contradict that reponse from Manchester United by saying he "doesn't condone" leaving the stadium early.

Here's how the conversaton with Viaplay Sport Nederland played out:

Interviewer: "At the beginning of the conversation, we talked about how important it is for you to have players arrive on time and your attention to details. But Cristiano seems to arrive and leave whenever he wants, how do you manage that?"

Ten Hag: "He was allowed to leave because of private reasons with his family, so what you are saying is absolutely not true."

Interviewer: "But against Rayo, he left the game during the break."

Ten Hag: "There were many more players who left."

Interviewer: "So you think that's OK? Let is pass?"

Ten Hag: "Definitely not."

Interviewer: "So, how do you handle that?"

Ten Hag: "I certainly don't condone this. This is unacceptable. For everyone. We are a team and you have to stay until the end."

Fans and former players would have their say on the matter in the coming days, including talkSPORT guest Jamie O'Hara.

"He’s one of the greatest players ever but he’s still got to be a part of a squad and a part of a team," the former Spurs midfielder said. "If he’s been dragged at half-time and left, that’s not good. You can’t do that as a player."

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy also commented on the situation, saying: "You can’t have a player doing that, it sets a horrendous example."

Footage of Ronaldo and Ten Hag having a so-called 'tense' chat during the pre-season clash also emerged online in the aftermath of Sunday's 1-1 draw.

As both teams went for a drinks break in the 33rd minute, United boss Erik ten Hag appeared to try and give the forward some tactical advice.

But judging by the below footage, Ronaldo responded by defending himself with his arms outstretched. The Express even suggest he was seen 'rolling his eyes' during the 'tense' interaction.

Thoughts on the situation?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: @viaplaysportnl/Twitter

Topics: Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, Erik Ten Hag, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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