Ten Hag on Cristiano: “He’s back, it’s done”


The Manchester United boss confirmed the Portuguese will be in the squad to face Sheriff.


Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag addressed the media on Wednesday and unsurprisingly found himself answering questions about Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ten Hag confirmed Ronaldo will be in the Europa League squad to face Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Erik ten Hag performs U-turn to give Manchester United striker exactly what he wants

The Portuguese superstar was forced to sit out the Premier League match against Chelsea after he reportedly refused to come on as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur.

“He’s back. I focus on the game, and that’s important,” said ten Hag.

United need only a point against the Moldovan side to guarantee qualification ahead of next week’s showdown against Sociedad in San Sebastian.

The 37-year-old has been the talk of the town in recent weeks following a high-profile fallout with the Dutch head coach.
He refused to come on during the 2-0 win over Tottenham, then stormed down the tunnel at Old Trafford and leaving before his teammates came back into the changing room.

As a result, Ronaldo, who apologised for his actions, was left out of the matchday squad to face Chelsea in the following game, leading to speculation that the Portuguese star could be allowed to leave the club.

While it remains to be seen whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has a long-term future in Manchester remains to be seen, but with a hefty fixture list to work through, Ten Hag says Ronaldo is now back in contention for their Europa League fixture on Thursday night.

Asked about the player in his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag said: “Yes, Cristiano will be in the squad tomorrow.”

More questions about the 37-year-old soon arose and Ten Hag gave an agitated response, saying: “It’s not difficult but we said everything and answered all of the questions.

“He was out for one game and now he’s back in the squad as usual.

Ten Hag said Ronaldo was back after his exile, but was not keen to talk about the player too much ahead of the Europa League game

Responding to a journalist who said he would ask one more question, Ten Hag laughed: “You don’t have to because I won’t answer any more.

“All of the questions, everything we covered last week, everything we explained.

“We have to focus on the game. We have an important game because we want to be number one in the group, so let’s focus on that.”

Ronaldo was cheery earlier this week as he trained with the first team squad earlier in the week after being welcomed back into the fold and told fans he was ready to give his all again.

“Back on track, with the same commitment and dedication as always!” he wrote on Twitter.

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