Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United team-mates were surprised by his decision to fly to Portugal before the side were trounced 4-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.
The 37-year-old was absent from the side that were battered by Pep Guardiola’s side yesterday, with a hip flexor problem preventing him from forming part of the squad.
Ronaldo suffered from the same problem in January and he was unable to drive himself home after training on Friday, needing a friend to do so for him.
United needed a win against City to keep Arsenal out of fourth spot but they were battered 4-1, having put up a decent fight in the first half.
But Ronaldo was not at the Etihad to witness the defeat, choosing instead to fly to Portugal once it became clear that he would be unable to play.
While the trip was signed off by the club, the Athletic say the decision surprised Ronaldo’s team-mates.
It was hoped that Ronaldo would at least attend the derby, with his team-mates feeling his experience and wisdom could have proved important in such a big fixture.
It’s unclear if Ronaldo would have started if fit but Ralf Rangnick opted for a rather bizarre 4-2-2-2 system that placed Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba up front.
Ronaldo will hope the warm weather will aid his recovery in time for the clash against Tottenham next Saturday, which United must win to keep their top four hopes alive.
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