Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United by ‘mutual agreement.’
Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United “with immediate effect,” the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old forward’s contract was terminated following an explosive interview in which he criticized manager Erik ten Hag and the club’s owners.
It was unclear where he would end up next after failing to secure a move to a Champions League club in the summer.
“Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early,” Ronaldo said. “I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge.
“I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”
Ronaldo is currently with the Portugal national team in Qatar for the World Cup, and he stated on Monday that the timing of his recent comments about United would not interfere with his Portuguese teammates’ concentration.
He got his wish on Tuesday when United confirmed his departure.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to leave Manchester United with immediate effect,” the club said in a statement. “The club thanks him for his enormous contribution over two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family the best of luck in the future.”
United’s displeasure with Ronaldo’s unauthorized interview with Piers Morgan was not conveyed in the statement.
During a 90-minute discussion, Portugal’s captain said he felt “betrayed,” and he was also critical of younger players.
United announced last week that it had taken appropriate action in response to his comments, with the termination of his contract widely anticipated.
Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United brings the 37-year-second old’s spell at the club to an end, having scored just once in 10 Premier League appearances this season.
Ten Hag has mostly used him as a substitute, and he refused to play against Tottenham Hotspur last month, instead walking down the tunnel with minutes remaining.
This is likely to be Ronaldo’s final World Cup appearance, and it is unclear which club will sign him for the second half of the season after that.
Ronaldo transformed himself from a tricky, skillful winger to one of the best players in the world when he first joined United in 2003.
Before joining Real Madrid in 2009, he won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League, and the first of his five Ballon d’Or awards.
Ronaldo’s return to United from Juventus last year was met with great enthusiasm by the club’s fans, but his second stint at Old Trafford failed to match the success of his first, with United finishing the season without a trophy.