Erik ten Hag has again insisted Cristiano Ronaldo is “happy” at Manchester United — but has acknowledged the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is “pissed off when he is not playing”.
Ronaldo has dropped out of Ten Hag’s starting XI at Old Trafford and on Sunday, the Dutchman elected to leave the 37-year-old on the bench for the club’s 6-3 defeat by rivals Manchester City “out of respect” for “his big career”.
Ten Hag also insisted Ronaldo was “happy” with his role at the club.
His post-match comments made a number of headlines and ahead of the club’s Europa League match against Omonia Nicosia, Ten Hag sought to clarify what he had meant.
“He is not happy he didn’t play on Sunday. The question was what happens on the training pitch. There he is happy,” Ten Hag said.
“But he is pissed off when he is not playing. That is clear.”
He later added: “I don’t see he’s unhappy, he’s happy, he’s training well, he’s enjoying it. Everyone is training well, there’s a good spirit, that’s not the point, it’s important as it’s a base to work well.”
Ten Hag has something of a defensive headache for the European match on Thursday night, with both Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire ruled out of the clash.
Varane was forced off in the first half against City, while Maguire picked up an injury during England’s entertaining 3-3 draw with Germany last month.
“They’re not available for tomorrow,” Ten Hag said.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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