Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United forward returns for first game of pre-season amid transfer speculation | Football news

Cristiano Ronaldo made his pre-season debut for Manchester United in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano after a summer of speculation about his future.

Images of Ronaldo leaving Old Trafford before the final whistle blew on social media, but United have made it clear that he is among the players to do so, and that is not a problem for the club. the set.

Ronaldo, who has told United of his desire to leave the club several times, played in the first half before being fielded for eventual goalscorer Amad Diallo.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo played the first half of United’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano

It is not surprising that the 37-year-old player reduced the number of minutes played when coach Erik ten Hag admitted Ronaldo was far behind his teammates in terms of fitness before the match at Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo makes his first appearance for Man Utd before the season

“He’s not at the level of the rest of the team because he’s been absent for so many weeks,” the Dutchman told Viaplay. “But he needs games and he needs practice, a lot.”

Sunday, August 7 1:00 pm

Starts at 2:00pm

Ronaldo was absent from United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia while he dealt with family matters and only returned to training on Tuesday, when he and his agent, Jorge Mendes, talk more about his future.

United insisted that they would not punish the sale of the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, who was part of Ten Hag’s scheme.

Despite Ronaldo’s insistence on leaving, there was no sign of malice towards him from the Old Trafford faithful, with fans greeting him with warm cheers as he stepped out onto the street tunnel. He posted on his social media channels after the game: “Happy to be back”.

It remains unclear where Ronaldo’s potential exit routes lie, as Chelsea appear to no longer be an option while Bayern Munich and Atletico appear to have publicly ruled out a move.

The game against Rayo Vallecano is United’s last game of pre-season before the Premier League opener against Brighton next Sunday – live on Sky Sports.

Ten Hag: We’ve made good progress, but still need to improve

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has overseen six pre-season games – losing just one – and is pleased with the performance, but says he is expecting more development from his new squad. me.

“Overall, definitely (satisfied with pre-season), I think we’ve had a good pre-season and we’re making good progress,” said Ten Hag. MUTV. “We are ready for the season, but I know there is still a lot of room for improvement and we have to improve.

“It’s also a process that continues into the season, but next week it’s the result. what do you expect?

“You saw the attitude was great, they fought and worked for each other and it was positive. We created a lot of chances, it’s okay, we also conceded, but I think we did. must be satisfied with the performance.”

Positive for Ten Hag, even though Rayo draws

Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan analysis:

“Exactly a week until Man Utd kick off the Premier League season at home against Brighton – live on Sky Sports – new coach Erik ten Hag will learn a lot from the last friendly, the last one. them before actual action is taken.

“The Dutchman, after seeing his new side lose 0-1 to Atletico Madrid 24 hours earlier, came up with a squad that had many changes, even though he started with new contract Martinez alongside Varane at the heart of United’s defence, with the Argentinian impressing before getting swept up in the hour markers.

“Youth Laird also attracted attention in the back and interestingly Ten Hag chose to use both summer signings Eriksen and Van de Beek holds the midfield position in front of the back four.

“Experienced Dane ran the show from the center of the park before also getting a break with half an hour to go, but it was the young Tahith Chong and Garnacho Ferreyra both really impressed with their energetic performances in attack.

“As for the main man himself, Ronaldo had an excellent start, but after a stellar start, the 37-year-old’s influence then began to fade, before being swept into the break.”

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