Sports FOOTBALL 'Many players left' Unfair to single out Ronaldo, says...

‘Many players left’ Unfair to single out Ronaldo, says Ten Hag


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Erik ten Hag chided Cristiano Ronaldo and other Manchester United players for leaving Old Trafford during Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano and said it was unfair to single out the Portuguese.

Ronaldo, the only one in the team known to have left early, was photographed outside the stadium with Diogo Dalot, who did not participate. The manager said this week that it was “unacceptable” to walk out of the game before the final whistle. Ten Hag was asked how he handled it. “You mention it, fix it, and then move on,” he said.

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Ten Hag was outraged when asked specifically about Ronaldo. “What do you mean? Now I must point out [out] that those who left, there were many players who left, but the focus is on Cristiano. It’s wrong so do your research and figure it out [clear] many players left, so it was said [by him].

“I don’t understand what attitude [singling him out] – he was part of it. There were a lot of players.”

Ten Hag has been pressured into why Ronaldo and others think it’s okay to leave early. I think we’ve said enough about that. I said it was wrong,” he said.

Ronaldo wants to leave United and Ten Hag was asked how happy he is with the 37-year-old. “I’m really happy, I’ve told you before,” he said. “We have the best striker, we are very happy to have him here in the team and we are sticking to the plan.”

In the pre-season, Ronaldo played only 45 minutes against Rayo and trained for the last two weeks. Ten Hag has confirmed that Anthony Martial will miss Sunday’s Brighton visit with a hamstring injury, but he’s not interested in whether Ronaldo shows up.

“We’ll see Sunday,” he said. “I am happy with the whole team, we are doing a good job [with a] good culture and Cristiano works very hard.”

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Ten Hag’s No. 1 target is Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, but with less than four weeks left in the game, his pursuit is still deadlocked.

Do we need Frankie? Ten Hag said. “His [recruitment] about the right players and I can’t comment on a player under contract at another club. When you work with the current squad and develop the players in it, [I see] at this point we have players in this position who are performing very well.”

Ten Hag stated that Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez were available for selection after a shortened pre-season.

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