Ten Hag: ‘Unacceptable’ that Ronaldo, others left game early

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks on, during a pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Rayo Vallecano, at Old Trafford, Manchester, Sunday July 31, 2022. (Dave Thompson/PA via AP)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said it was “unacceptable” for Cristiano Ronaldo and other players to leave Old Trafford before the end of Sunday’s friendly against Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo made his first preseason appearance in the match, playing 45 minutes amid speculation about his future at the club. He was pictured with teammate Diogo Dalot leaving the game before full-time of the 1-1 draw.

Ten Hag did not speak to the media after the friendly but told Dutch broadcaster Viaplay on Wednesday that “there were many more (as well as Ronaldo) who went home.”

The manager said he did not condone it: “Certainly not, this is unacceptable for everyone. I tell them that it’s unacceptable, that we are a team, a squad and that you should stay until the end.”

The 37-year-old Ronaldo missed United’s preseason tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons.

Brighton visits Old Trafford on Sunday in the season opener, which will be Ten Hag’s first competitive match as United’s manager.