Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag revealed that he has put the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo behind him. Two days before Portugal’s World Cup campaign got underway, United mutually agreed to end Ronaldo’s contract after the player gave a controversial interview to Piers Morgan on Talk TV in which he insulted the team and Ten Hag. Ronaldo has downplayed rumors that an agreement has been reached for him to join Saudi club Al Nassr, claiming the rumors are “not real” and that he is now free to join any team he chooses. The 37-year-old, who has so far struggled at the World Cup, was benched for Tuesday night’s last-16 match against Switzerland. His replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick to lead Spain to a 6-1 hammering.
“I believe that we are moving in the right way, but we also recognize that there is still much work to be done,” Erik ten Hag said about Cristiano Ronaldo. “Yes. The first thing we did was clearly examine the ability of football players. You can’t undervalue the importance of the human individual who is at the source. Not only if you want to win a game, but also if you want to win trophies, you need the ideal characters in your dressing room.”
The hiring under Ten Hag has been a major factor in United’s turnaround from last season, which saw the club’s worst result in the Premier League era. Since joining United in the summer, players like Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Ajax, Casemiro from Real Madrid, and Christian Eriksen on a free transfer have all contributed significantly to the team’s character development. This team had previously been criticized heavily for its attitude issues. According to reports, United may make another move in the January transfer window to replace Ronaldo because the departure of the 37-year-old has further reduced Ten Hag’s alternatives upfront.
For more football news, click here