Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag says it is ‘unacceptable’ for Manchester United players to leave early

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Erik ten Hag has said it is “unacceptable” for Manchester United players to leave a game early after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from last weekend’s friendly with Rayo Vallecano.

Ronaldo and Diogo Dalot were among those to leave Old Trafford early before the end of the 1-1 draw in United’s final outing of pre-season.

Ronaldo was substituted at half time, while Dalot did not play against Rayo after starting the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid a day earlier.

In an interview with Dutch broadcaster Viaplay, Ten Hag has insisted that United players should stay until the end of games.

“I certainly don’t condone this,” he said, when asked about players leaving early. “This is unacceptable, for everyone. We are a team and you have to stay until the end.”

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The draw against Rayo was Ronaldo’s first appearance of pre-season since telling United that he wishes to leave the club and play Champions League football this season.

The 37-year-old was granted compassionate leave for a family issue at the start of last month and did not travel on the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and Thailand.

Despite his status as a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, no firm offers have been made for Ronaldo and he is likely to start the new Premier League season at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge of United comes against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, with Ronaldo not expected to start after his limited minutes in pre-season.

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