Manchester United confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be not be part of the first team squad to face Chelsea after he refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
Despite the Red Devils winning 2-0 against Spurs on Wednesday night, Ronaldo became the headline story.
The 37-year-old was seen walking down the tunnel before the final whistle sounded after not being brought on by manager Erik ten Hag.
It was then reported that he headed straight home and did not stay in the dressing room to celebrate with his teammates after a good win against Spurs.
It had been assumed that Ronaldo’s reaction was as a result of not being introduced.
Multiple reports say that he in fact refused to come on as a substitute. Ten Hag is said to have told him to go on, but that was refused by Ronaldo.
A statement from United said: “Cristiano will not be part of the Manchester United squad for this Saturday’s game against Chelsea. The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture.”
The Athletic added that it is expected that Ronaldo will be forced to train alone.
Ronaldo later broke his silence on Thursday, speaking out about the incident.
He said: “As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed.
“I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision making process.
“I started very young, the older and most experienced players examples were always very important to me.
“Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented. Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment get’s the best of us.
“Right now, I just feel that I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my teammates and be ready for everything in any given game.
“Giving in to the pressure is not an option. It never was. This is Manchester United, and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again
It is not the first time Ronaldo has left Old Trafford since Ten Hag has been manager.
After a fractious summer where he pushed to leave the club, missing their entire pre-season tour before eventually staying, he played 45 minutes in a friendly against Rayo Vallecano.
He was taken off at half-time and then did not stay for the second half, instead going home.