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“He didn’t get much reaction” – The reason why Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United



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Former Manchester United coach Mike Phelan has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo left the club last season under Erik ten Hag.

Erik ten Hag‘s first big moment after being appointed Manchester United manager was the situation surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo.

After re-joining the club in August 2021, Ronaldo was looking for a way out of United by the time Ten Hag signed in 2022, however, no club took him.

Read More: ‘Real fans back Erik ten Hag’ – Manchester United’s ‘useless’ pre-season labelled as start of problems

Eventually, the situation resulted in Ronaldo doing an explosive and unapproved interview blasting the club, with United terminating his contract.

Speaking on Ronaldo’s return to the club in 2021, ex-United coach Mike Phelan detailed why he feels the Portuguese attacker eventually decided he wanted to leave.

“The second time around, he came in a lot older and a lot more opinionated, strong-willed,” Phelan told Sky Sports.

“He still had massively high standards and was terrific to work with. But I’d probably say a tougher mindset. He had been at Man United, he had been Portugal’s ever-present, he had been at Madrid.

“I liked it because he didn’t want his standards to drop, he wanted other people’s standards to come up. And sometimes you lose a few people along the way when that happens. I remember certain times when he pushed and pushed hard, and he didn’t get much reaction or much response. And there was frustration.

“When you deal with top, top people, it’s about them and where they can finish and where they can get to. They want to look back and go ‘Wow, that was successful’. And he probably realised, and I don’t know as I never had that conversation with him, that he couldn’t do it at Manchester United. So his challenges were elsewhere.

“He’s still playing international football, yes he’s in Saudi Arabia, but he’s still playing and scoring goals. He is doing all the things we knew he could do at Manchester United.

“But a really good personality, hard-working and challenging. He challenged me as a coach, Carlos Queiroz as a coach and Sir Alex as a manager. But that’s good because it takes you to another level.”