Cristiano Ronaldo 'flew to Portugal' after discovering injury ruled him out of City game

Cristiano Ronaldo was a notable absentee for Manchester United’s clash with Manchester City at The Etihad.

Ronaldo missed the game with a hip injury, and The Athletic report after learning of the news, he flew back to his homeland.

The reasons behind Ronaldo’s decision are unclear, although it is possible he believes the warmer weather will help with his recovery.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Ronaldo may also not have wanted to be a distraction on the sidelines for United at The Etihad.

It is not unusual that players not in matchday squads do not attend away games. However, if Ronaldo had asked to, it is hard to imagine United would have refused him.

The background to all this is it seems there is a disconnect at United behind the scenes, and the report heavily suggests at this. This could just be the media stirring it up, of course.

Ronaldo did train last week and has been out of form. The 37-year-old has scored just once in 2022 and has not looked as good as he did earlier in the campaign. The ongoing injury trouble would explain some of this.

The Athletic‘s report states: “Sources say the trip caused surprise among the United dressing room, given the significance of the fixture. Injured players are not obliged to attend matches but it is said Ronaldo’s team-mates feel his presence at the stadium, given his aura and contributions this campaign, could have been beneficial.”

Rangnick on Ronaldo

Ronaldo reportedly learned of his injury on Friday and on Saturday he was officially ruled out.

Manager Ralf Rangnick told the club website: “Well, I have to believe my medical department.

“Our doctor came to see me on Friday morning, before training, and told me Cristiano cannot train with the problems he has with his hip flexor. The same was true on Saturday and that’s why he couldn’t be part of the squad.”

United attacked well in the first half in Ronaldo’s absence but fell apart in the second half. With Edinson Cavani out too, and Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial also discarded or out on loan, the team’s attacking options are looking thin.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Anthony Elanga and Jadon Sancho played as wide forwards but United lacked a focal point. Marcus Rashford was still not judged to be worthy of a start.

Ronaldo could be back for United’s game next week against Tottenham, and has a week to recover.

He no doubt has one eye on Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers at the end of the month, although he will also be desperate to play against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on March 15 too.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...