Former England footballer and Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney has termed the manner in which Cristiano Ronaldo’s association with the Premier League club came to an end as ‘sad’ but feels that in light of recent events, this was inevitable.
On Tuesday, Manchester United announced Ronaldo, one of the greatest ever to have played the game, will be leaving the club days after the Portuguese stunning interview during which he he alleged of being betrayed by the club and having no respect for current manager Erik ten Hag.
“I have said many times that Ronaldo is one of the best players of all time. It’s sad to see it end this way, but I think once everyone saw the interview he did with Piers Morgan and how he attacked the club, I think there was no option (but) for this to happen,” Viacom18 Sports expert Rooney said on Tuesday.
Rooney though considers Ronaldo, a former teammate of his at Old Trafford, a very good player but not at the same level as he was when in his early 20s.
“He is now 37. I still felt there was a part for him to play at Manchester United maybe not from the start but coming on (as a substitute). He obviously doesn’t feel to accept that role and wants to continue his career elsewhere, so for the club, it’s probably the best thing,” Rooney said.
He added, “It allows them to focus on the players who are there and want to be there, and for Cristiano, his focus will solely be on the World Cup and Portugal.”
Manchester United wished Ronaldo well for the future in a brief statement.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” read a club statement. “The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.
“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,” it added.
Later, Ronaldo said his love for the club and its fans will never change.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future,” Ronaldo said in a statement.
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