Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with Manchester United is terminated with immediate effect following an explosive interview

There won’t be another Manchester United game for Cristiano Ronaldo. Just two days before the captain of Portugal kicks off his World Cup campaign, United canceled the contract of their star attacker in a decision they claimed was mutual.

Following an explosive interview with Talk TV earlier this month in which Ronaldo accused the club of “betraying” him and claimed to have “no regard” for his head coach Erik ten Hag, the club started a procedure that might have resulted in Ronaldo being fired. The 37-year-old has agreed to end his contract rather than have his bosses force him out of the club.

With immediate effect, Cristiano Ronaldo will depart Manchester United, the club announced in a statement. The team wishes him and his family well for the future and expresses gratitude for his enormous contribution over his two stints at Old Trafford, during which he scored 145 goals in 346 games.

Everyone at Manchester United is still committed to advancing the group’s achievements under Erik ten Hag and collaborating to produce results on the field.

Legal professionals think the club could have ultimately determined that Ronaldo had engaged in gross misconduct in accordance with the terms of his contract, enabling them to sever the relationship. However, by obtaining the player’s consent, United are able to quickly move past what has proven to be a trying saga for Ten Hag and the hierarchy and may have opened the door to a drawn-out appeal process.

Ronaldo stated in a statement: “We have decided to terminate our contract early after talking with Manchester United. I adore Manchester United and the supporters, and that won’t ever change. But now seems like the perfect time for me to look for a fresh challenge. I send my best wishes to the team for the rest of the year and the future.”

United has not said if it will pay any of the remaining amount due under the deal, which was worth more than £500,000 per week. Ronaldo’s contract was set to expire at the conclusion of the current campaign, but he is now looking for his fourth club in just over four years. The all-time leading scorer in men’s international football had turned down a sizable offer from a Saudi Arabian club, but a source claimed in the summer that if he left Old Trafford in January, a rival bidder in the nation would be interested in his services. It is believed that this is still true.

No top European clubs made a real attempt to sign Ronaldo when he informed Manchester United in the summer that he wanted to leave to join a club offering Champions League play, despite claims to the contrary made by people like his former teammate Roy Keane. It is difficult to imagine that the previous incidents—which also involved him leaving Old Trafford before the final whistle and refusing to be substituted on against Tottenham Hotspur—will have altered the opinions of many. Chelsea, whose owner Todd Boehly was considering a move for Ronaldo, stands out as a potential source of intrigue. At the time, Thomas Tuchel was the club’s head coach, and he vehemently opposed the transfer. Since then, the German has left the team.

That Ronaldo’s departure will result in a sigh of relief from Ten Hag and club supporters speaks much about the harm Ronaldo has done to his legacy at Old Trafford, where he first emerged as one of the biggest stars of the world game in the late 2000s before joining Real Madrid. Despite being United’s leading scorer the previous season, he was not the team’s final missing link as they finished second in the Premier League before his arrival. Instead, his teammates’ scoring stopped, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired, Ralf Rangnick was almost instantly discredited, and United struggled to make the Europa League.

That Ronaldo’s departure will result in a sigh of relief from Ten Hag and club supporters speaks much about the harm Ronaldo has done to his legacy at Old Trafford, where he first emerged as one of the biggest stars of the world game in the late 2000s before joining Real Madrid. Despite being United’s leading scorer the previous season, he was not the team’s final missing link as they finished second in the Premier League before his arrival. Instead, his teammates’ scoring stopped, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired, Ralf Rangnick was almost instantly discredited, and United struggled to make the Europa League.