Ronaldo and Manchester United divorce, Glazers consider selling

Having become unbreathable, the relationship between Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo has come to an end “from a common agreement” Tuesday November 22 while the owners of the Red Devils, the Glazer family, say they are now ready to sell a club that they are unable to bring back to the top of English football.

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Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo during a match with Manchester United against Sheriff Tiraspol, in the Europa League, on October 27 at Old Trafford

This double announcement is the culmination of several weeks of turbulence, both on the ground where the links between the club and its 37-year-old Portuguese superstar had reached a point of no return, and behind the scenes, where the unpopularity of the Glazer, who have controlled Manchester United since 2005, is increasing sporting failure after sporting failure.

Even Ronaldo’s return in the summer of 2021 to the club where he emerged on the world stage in 2003-2009 could not break Manchester United’s inability to catch up with clubs like Manchester City. Liverpool or Chelsea.

The Red Devils’ last Premier League title dates back to 2013, when Alex Ferguson ended his last season. Since the departure of the legendary general manager of Old Trafford, five different coaches have succeeded in nine years.

“The board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment in the club, sale or other transactions involving the company,” the club announced in a statement.

A few hours earlier, when the World Cup was in full swing, the simmering divorce between Manchester United and Ronaldo had been finalized. “Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect”, soberly wrote the club in a press release, thanking it for “his immense contribution during his two spells at Old Trafford”.

The five-time Ballon d’Or, who will compete in the World Cup with Portugal on Thursday November 24 against Ghana, for his part noted that “the time has come for (him) to seek a new challenge”.

The outcome was almost certain since the player’s incendiary interview broadcast last week by the TalkTV television channel in which he settled his accounts with the club’s leaders – “The Glazers, they don’t care about the club…professional sport. As you know, Manchester is a marketing club,” he launched -, and said to feel “betrayed” by his trainer, Erik Ten Hag.

Stayed at dock this summer

Ronaldo, who notably left his teammates and the stadium even before the end of a Premier League match against Tottenham after refusing to come on, was far from blameless.

In any case, he was no longer at all in the plans of Ten Hag, appointed to the Manchester bench this summer and who was reinforced by the very good results obtained by doing without the services of “CR7”.

He remained confined to minutes at the end of the match and to meetings “secondary”like the Europa League, he who had accumulated 183 Champions League matches (and 140 goals) with Manchester, Real Madrid and Juventus in 19 seasons at the highest level.

Erik Ten Hag (left) gives instructions to Cristiano Ronaldo August 27 during a league match between Manchester United and Southampton.

Already this summer, the Portuguese had gone out of his way to leave the club where he had exploded during his first stint, between 2003 and 2009.

The death of one of his newborn twins in April had also deeply marked the player who had not resumed training with his club or participated in the pre-season tour this summer, citing his “family problems”.

At the same time, his agent, Jorge Mendes was touring Europe to offer his services and if names like Bayern, Chelsea, Naples or Sporting Portugal in Lisbon, his training club, were more or less seriously mentioned , the only concrete offer had come from Saudi Arabia.

The Mondial as a showcase

It also seems difficult to envisage it being otherwise between now and the opening of the winter transfer window on 1is January. Ronaldo, now free to commit wherever he wants, says he wants to play beyond his 40s but he displays a level of play that may still possibly interest some clubs, but most certainly not elite clubs and especially not if he doesn’t put his ego aside.

Sporting remains a destination that would have an attractive side, in “closing the loop”, and the name of Chelsea also returns sometimes timidly, the new American owners being able to be seduced by its aura “marketing”. The third track would send him to the American MLS where Inter Miami would dream of bringing him, as well as Lionel Messi.

The last unknown is whether this announcement will affect his performances in the World Cup. “I’m in fantastic shape”he assured Monday, November 21 before adding that the episode of his incendiary interview can “to shake a player but not to shake(a) not the team.