Cristiano Ronaldo had to go. We can all agree on that – just like Roy Keane in 2005. No player is bigger than the club.

Many years later Roy Keane is still revered as a club legend, and the same is true of Cristiano Ronaldo even now.

Ronaldo has given too much to Manchester United in his two spells at the club for it to be washed away by the past couple of months, and an errant decision to give a controversial interview.

In the big picture of his career, the drama called by Ronaldo is small-fry, a minor blot. Now the decision has been made to remove him from the squad, there is no longer any need to dwell on the angst he caused – we can all move on.

Two decisions Cristiano Ronaldo took over the past week were actually very good. And they have secured his legacy at the club beyond doubt – that even his departure will be remembered on a high note and not a sour one.

Photo by James Gill/Getty Images

Sacrificed £16 million salary

Ronaldo’s exit was handled maturely from both sides. This could have developed into a stand-off which went on for months.

Instead there has been a clean break from both sides, and this is in large part due to Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to waive the remainder of his £16 million.

Perhaps United could have sued him for breach of contract if he refused, but this would have been an ugly affair.

Even though Ronaldo does not need the money and can earn it back with a lucrative contract elsewhere, £16 million is a lot of money, which can be used wisely and slashes the wage bill.

Ronaldo stated in his interview that he ‘loves’ United and wants the best for the club. It was easy to look at this through a sceptical lens, but his actions have backed up his talk.

Giving up the remainder of his salary, leaving with no pay-off, was a gesture which heals the rift created by his interview and the uncomfortable past few months.

Taking shots at the Glazers on his way out

It’s obvious the Glazers’ decision to open the door to a sale had been in the pipeline, but for this to emerge just an hour after Ronaldo’s departure, did not feel coincidental.

Ronaldo’s exit being tied in on the same night as the Glazers announced a willingness to sell the club, does matter. Even from an optics point of view, it means his exit will be remembered as a positive occasion, and not a sad one.

Ronaldo’s criticism of the owners left them with nowhere to go. He lambasted them in his interview, accusing them of not caring about the club.

This is the player who wiped the Coca-Cola stock price at Euro 2020 by refusing a drink. Ronaldo’s opinion matters.

And even if you disagree with Ronaldo having an impact on their decision, his move to go after the Glazers in his interview is appreciated regardless.

The Glazers hoped Ronaldo would be a quick fix for United’s problems, a sticking plaster solution to become a shortcut to success. This was their last throw of the dice, and it failed.

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