The Cristiano Ronaldo Walk-off Saga and Events That Ensued

The Manchester United star forward was on Thursday dropped from the United squad set to face Chelsea this weekend.

4 min read
Hindi Female

Cristiano Ronaldo grabbing the headlines is not something new in sport. The Portuguese footballer has been doing so for the past decade, week in week out, with his exemplary displays on the field. 

However, the last couple of months have been tough for the 37-year-old who has hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons.  

The Manchester United star recently courted controversy after he stormed off the pitch into the locker room as an unused substitute before the end of his side's 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.  

Ronaldo’s Antics Disappoint Pundits and Fans Alike 

The incident received much flak from fans and pundits alike, who termed the forward’s actions as ‘disappointing’ amidst a significant victory for the Erik ten Hag-coached side.    

"(Cristiano Ronaldo) leaving like that creates everything we don't want at the moment," said Peter Schmeichel, former United legend and goalkeeper to BBC Radio 5 Live. 

In fact, it was an impressive show by the home side against the London outfit with both Bruno Fernandes and Fred finding the back of the net for the Red Devils. However, Ronaldo’s actions stole all the headlines.  

"He would have known that would be headlines. It's the first time I can say that I am disappointed with him. Normally I back him, I understand his situation. The issue here is he is such a big player, he is such a big presence. Is it a case of playing him or letting him leave? I don't know," Schmeichel added.


"There was a game, a magnificent game for Manchester United," former French international Thierry Henry told Amazon Prime Video on Wednesday. "The story shouldn't be of Ronaldo walking off." 

Former United star and Ronaldo’s former teammate Patrice Evra said, "I don't want to find any excuse. I want to be focused more on the performance of Manchester United. I want to stop talking every day about Cristiano." 

Meanwhile, Manchester United fans were shocked by their star player’s gesture, calling it unprofessional and disrespectful.  

“It marvels me when people say the coach disrespects him. When in essence he his the one disrespecting the team and coach. 
If you act above the coach then you aren't worth being a player under that coach. CR7 attitude and reaction is unprofessional and disrespectful, ”a fan tweeted.  


Ronaldo Axed For Chelsea Away Game 

The very next day, manager Ten Hag announced via a club statement that Ronaldo has been dropped from the United squad set to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.  

According to Ten Hag, the veteran footballer’s indiscipline cost him his spot and he will now train on his own while the rest of the squad is fully focused on the weekend's fixture.  

The United manager had earlier displayed his reluctance to discuss Ronaldo’s walking off before the full-time whistle, stating that he would deal with the matter the next day.   


Ronaldo Breaks Silence 

The Portuguese star, meanwhile, has broken his silence following his ouster from the United team with a post on his official Instagram handle. 

In his post, the United star revealed that he has always tried to live and play the game respectfully but at times the heat of the moment gets the better of him.  

"As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed. I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision making process," Ronaldo wrote. 

"I started very young, the older and most experienced players examples were always very important to me. Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented. Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment get’s the best of us," Ronaldo’s statement read.  


Ronaldo’s United Future Looks Bleak 

Ronaldo, who made a sensational return to Old Trafford last season, scoring 24 goals across all competitions, has faced one of the most torrid phases of his celebrated career after Ten Hag was appointed manager.  

The experienced forward has made 12 appearances this season, scoring just twice since Ten Hag took over the reins this season.

Ronaldo has often been criticised this season by Ten Hag for his lack of fitness and inability to press up front, but there seemed to be a change in scenery in recent times.  

The manager spoke in Ronaldo’s favour, expressing his interest in letting the Portuguese continue with the squad beyond the January transfer window. Wednesday’s incident and Ronaldo’s expulsion, however, throws a different light on the events that are yet to unfold at Old Trafford.    

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from sports and football

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More