Manchester United players support Erik ten Hag’s strong stance on Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star was banned from training following his recent outburst.
The 37-year-old stormed down the tunnel before the end of Wednesday’s 2-0 win against Tottenham and it was later confirmed by Ten Hag that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had refused to come into the game as a substitute.
The United manager, who also left a pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano early, felt Ronaldo’s latest disciplinary offense needed punishment and he was left out of the squad that will face Chelsea on Saturday and had to go along train the reserves.
It was initially unclear whether the former Real Madrid and Juventus striker had also been fined, but widespread reports claim he was threatened with two weeks’ wages – around £720,000.
According to The Times, the majority of United’s squad have backed their manager’s decision despite being aware the club have no attacking options at the moment.
The Red Devils will visit Stamford Bridge without Ronaldo and Anthony Martial – who is struggling with back problems – leaving only Marcus Rashford to lead the line, but the general consensus among players is that Ten Hag had to be tough on Ronaldo.
The Sun goes even further, claiming Ronaldo’s recent actions have completely alienated him from his team-mates as the veteran attacker has now lost the support of his allies at Carrington.
A number of players were already angered by the Portugal international, who tried to plan a move over the summer and failed to report for training, with his recent outburst of anger seen as the final straw by some players.
Speaking about his decision to reprimand Ronaldo, Ten Hag said on Friday: “I’m the manager. I am responsible for the culture and have to set and control standards and values.
“We are in a team and in a team we have standards and values and we have to control that. So after Rayo Vallecano I said it wasn’t acceptable but he wasn’t the only one. That was for everyone.
“So if it’s the second time, there will be consequences and that’s what we did. So we miss him tomorrow and that’s a failure for us and the team.
“It’s a miss but I think it’s important for the attitude towards the mentality of the group and now we have to focus on Chelsea and that’s the most important thing [thing].’
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