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Ronaldo to leave Manchester United after criticism of club

Cristiano Ronaldo's situation at Manchester United was "like a ticking timebomb", says former United and England captain Rio Ferdinand. Both parties said on Tuesday they had "mutually agreed" for Ronaldo to leave the club with immediate effect.

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Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect, the Premier League team said on Tuesday, marking a bitter end to the Portugal captain’s second spell at Old Trafford after he said he felt betrayed by the club.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect. The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future,” United said in a statement.

Read more: ‘Bulletproof’ Ronaldo addresses the press

“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.

“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”

How it ended

On Novemeber 14, the Club said they were “considering their response” to an interview given by Cristiano where he said he felt “betrayed” by the club.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been a peripheral figure on the field for United since Erik ten Hag took charge as a manager in May.

Read more: Ronaldo claims he is being forced out of Man Utd

Ronaldo was disciplined after refusing to come on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur last month, but had returned to the side in recent weeks and even captained the Red Devils in a 3-1 loss at Aston Villa.

Ronaldo confirmed on Monday that an awkward handshake between him and midfielder Bruno Fernandes that was caught on camera and went viral was the result of a joke between the Portugal and United teammates.

He said that he did not believe his actions would affect Portugal’s squad, adding that he felt great about the country’s chances of winning the World Cup.

Portugal kick off their campaign against Ghana on Thursday.