Updated Nov 22, 2022 - Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts during the Portugal Press Conference on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts at a press conference. Photo: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Global soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United, the club announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The decision comes shortly after Ronaldo lashed out against the team in an interview with Piers Morgan and caused a new round of drama with the team's coach, Erik ten Hag.

Driving the news: Manchester United said Ronaldo will exit the Red Devils immediately in what was a mutual agreement.

  • "The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford," the team said in a statement.
  • Ronaldo is currently in Qatar suiting up for his country, Portugal, in the World Cup.

Flashback: Ronaldo said in an interview with Morgan on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 that the team tried to force him out last summer, Axios' Jeff Tracy writes. He also criticized the team's coach and its infrastructure. Critics saw Ronaldo's comments as a way to force his way off the team, Tracy writes.

  • Drama between United and Ronaldo has been going on for months. The soccer star did not report to training on time and didn't travel with the team on a trip to Thailand and Australia, according to ESPN.
  • What's next: Ronaldo is currently competing for Portugal's national team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Portugal's first match is on Thursday against Ghana.
  • Since Ronaldo is now without a club, a strong showing in the World Cup could up his value and spike interest by other teams in signing him.
  • It's unclear where Ronaldo will end up next. He has been linked to the MLS and English side Chelsea.

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