Cristiano Ronaldo has broken his silence after storming out of Old Trafford on Thursday evening having refused to be brought on against Tottenham.
The Portuguese was named on the bench for Manchester United’s clash against Tottenham and watched on as his team-mates produced arguably their performance under Erik ten Hag to date as they beat Antonio Conte’s side 2-0.
With minutes remaining in the game, Ronaldo was seen to march down the touchline and into the tunnel, clearly reeling from having not been more involved in the game.
It had been believed that Ronaldo’s anger had been owing to not having been brought on, but Sportsmail revealed on Thursday afternoon that the forward, who returned to United after more than a decade away last year, that he had in fact declined to come on.
United released a statement on Thursday revealing Ronaldo had been banished from their squad for the trip to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon while it is believed he will be training away from the senior squad for the time being.
Writing on Instagram, Ronaldo sought to offer something resembling his side of the story, noting that ‘respect’ played a big role in his decision making.
The former Real Madrid forward wrote: ‘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.’
It is unclear whether or not Ronaldo is referencing having felt a distinct lack of respect from the club and Ten Hag in his direction.
He added: ‘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.
Right now, I just feel that I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my teammates and be ready for everything in any given game. Giving in to the pressure is not an option. It never was. This is Manchester United, and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.’