Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United parted ways on Tuesday as the Portuguese star gets set to try and bring a World Cup back to his home country.
The decision for both parties to split comes after Ronaldo criticized his English Premier League club in an explosive TV interview. Manchester United said last week it had “initiated appropriate steps” in response to Ronaldo’s remarks.
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“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” Manchester United said in a statement posted to Twitter. “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.”
On Monday, Ronaldo addressed the timing of the interview in a press conference at Portugal’s training base in the outskirts of Doha.
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“The timing for me is my timing,” Ronaldo said. “I don’t have to worry about what others think. I am totally convinced this won’t have any influence on the national team.
“Every player, manager, president and kit man, they all know who I am, what I think. They know me since I was 11 years old. They won’t be influenced by what people say or write.”
Ronaldo’s pursuit, possibly his final pursuit, of a World Cup title begins Thursday against Ghana.
He said he’s not feeling any extra pressure to perform in Qatar.
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“The pressure is more or less the same as always,” Ronaldo said. “I have been dealing with it since a very young age. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I don’t. It depends on the situation, moment and heat. I am not perfect, but I feel ready to take on the pressure when I have to.”
Ronaldo appeared on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” and said he felt “betrayed” by the club and claimed senior officials have tried to force him out. He was left off the squad for the team’s match against Fulham.
He said he thought Manchester United was trying to force him out and he had “no respect” for Erik ten Hag.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.