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Manchester United write 81-word programme farewell after Ronaldo’s exit

BY SKYSPORTS
12.21.2022
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Erik ten Hag silent on Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit in matchday programme as Man Utd dedicate 81-words to forward after his Old Trafford exit.

Manchester United dedicated 81 words to Cristiano Ronaldo in their Burnley programme following his acrimonious Old Trafford exit last month.

United announced they had mutually agreed to terminate Ronaldo’s contract on November 22 in the wake of the forward’s explosive interview with TalkTV’s Piers Morgan, in which the club and manager Erik ten Hag were heavily criticised.

United take on Burnley in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday in what is their first competitive match since the conclusion of the Ronaldo saga, but there was no reference to the 37-year-old in Ten Hag’s programme notes.

Instead, the Dutchman chose to talk about United’s warm-weather training camp in Spain, their friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis, keeping in touch with members of his squad who appeared at the World Cup, and United’s last Premier League outing at Fulham on November 13.

There was, however, a brief reference – an 81-word paragraph – within the ‘Worth Knowing’ feature of pages six and seven of the United Review programme which marked Ronaldo’s departure.

File photo dated 07-08-2022 of Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham. Issue date: Friday October 21, 2022.

It read: “Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual agreement last month.

“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.”

While in Spain, Ten Hag insisted he had put the Ronaldo situation behind him and his refusal to mention the Portuguese in his programme notes only emphasises the Dutchman has moved on.

“He’s gone and it’s the past,” Ten Hag said on December 7. “We are not lowing forward and we’re looking to the future.”

Neville: Time to move on from Ronaldo

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said the manner of Ronaldo’s exit was sad yet inevitable, and that the time has come for both parties to move on.

“The only thing Manchester United could do was draw a line under the Ronaldo affair,” Neville told Sky Sports. “They couldn’t allow the situation to come to this side of the World Cup, it needed to be put to bed. They’ve handled it really quickly and the way it has ended is the best for both parties.

“It’s sad it’s ended this way but it was inevitable, it had to finish. He will go on and play football elsewhere and hopefully do really well, and Manchester United can move on under Erik ten Hag.”


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