“Cristiano Ronaldo will not be part of the Manchester United squad for this Saturday’s Premier League game against Chelsea,” read a statement from the Premier League club Thursday. “The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture.”
The 37-year-old said in a statement that he had acted in the heat of the moment and that he’d remain committed to the club.
“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,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. “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.”
After Ronaldo controversially walked off the pitch early against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, manager Erik ten Hag revealed the Portuguese star refused to come on as a substitute during the 2-0 victory.
Ronaldo then had to train alone Thursday before Ten Hag reportedly decided to drop him ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.
Along with refusing to play, it’s understood that Ronaldo left Old Trafford before the full-time whistle confirmed an impressive win at home for United, ESPN’s Rob Dawson reports.
Ronaldo initially departed the bench in the 90th minute even though the Red Devils had two substitutions left and the game had four minutes of injury time remaining. He then allegedly stopped by the dressing room briefly to change before leaving the stadium while his teammates were still on the pitch, Dawson adds.
Last weekend, Ronaldo made headlines for his frustrated reaction to being substituted from Sunday’s game against Newcastle United. Ten Hag said afterward that the club would tolerate similar protests from Ronaldo as long as he conducted himself in a “quiet” and “normal” manner.