Soccer News: Ronaldo out of Manchester United to face Chelsea after Spurs’ elimination

    Cristiano Ronaldo will not be included in Manchester United’s squad to face Chelsea on Saturday following his early retirement during Wednesday’s victory over Tottenham.

    The veteran striker, an unused substitute, walked down the tunnel ahead of the final whistle at Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag’s team beat Spurs 2-0.

    Ten Hag said after the game that he would “deal” with Ronaldo’s behavior on Thursday, and the Dutchman did so by sanctioning the 37-year-old.

    The Portugal captain will play no part in his team’s next match against the Graham Potter Blues.

    “Cristiano Ronaldo will not be with Manchester United for this Premier League game against Chelsea on Saturday,” the club said in a statement.

    “The rest of the team is fully focused on preparing for this match.”

    It is the latest indication of Ronaldo’s dissatisfaction at Old Trafford, with last season’s highly publicized homecoming soured after a disappointing 2021-22 club campaign.

    Ronaldo was United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions, but the Red Devils could only finish sixth in the Premier League.

    This led to speculation that Ronaldo wanted to leave the club, a tale that eventually turned into a distracting sideshow during Ten Hag’s first pre-season.

    Ronaldo did not join United on their pre-season tour of Australia and Thailand.

    When he eventually played in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, Ronaldo was at the center of controversy as he left the stadium early after being pulled off at half-time.

    Ten Hag defended Ronaldo on this occasion, saying it was “wrong” for the striker to draw all the criticism on himself when several players left early.

    However, Thursday’s action shows Ten Hag is poised to crack down hard on the Portuguese superstar, and the situation will further cast a shadow over Ronaldo’s future at the club.

    The arrival of Ten Hag has seen Ronaldo slide down the pecking order, with just two Premier League appearances and one goal this season in eight top-flight matches.

    United head to Stamford Bridge just one point behind the hosts in fourth place.

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