Cristiano Ronaldo left Man Utd team-mates ‘surprised’ by jetting out of country for derby


Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from Manchester United’s dreadful derby defeat to Manchester City on Sunday reportedly left his team-mates ‘surprised’.

The Portuguese superstar missed the Manchester derby with a hip flexor injury, with the Red Devils going on to be smashed by their fierce rivals.

It was an embarrassing performance from Ralf Rangnick’s side, with the German admitting after the game that he had no idea when Ronaldo would return from the sidelines.

The fact that Ronaldo was missing from the Etihad Stadium altogether was unusual despite his injury, while non-playing members of the squad usually seen in the stands.

Cristiano Ronaldo's absence from the Manchester derby surprised his team-mates
Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence from the Manchester derby surprised his team-mates

According to The Athletic, Ronaldo flew out to his native Portugal after it became clear he would not be able to feature in the derby.

It is stated that he reported a ‘recurrence’ of the hip problem that forced him to miss games earlier this season.

After treatment failed to ‘soothe’ the injury, Ronaldo opted to catch a flight home to Portugal in the days leading up to Sunday.

But Ronaldo’s decision to return to his homeland caught the United dressing room off guard, with his team-mates left ‘surprised’ by his absence.

Should Cristiano Ronaldo have attended the Manchester derby despite his injury? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…

United slipped to a dismal defeat to Manchester City
United slipped to a dismal defeat to Manchester City

Some of his team-mates are said to have felt that his presence at the stadium would have been welcome, given his ‘aura and contributions’ so far this season.

Ronaldo may well argue that the warm weather in his home country will be beneficial to his recovery.

But Rangnick admitted that he does not know if the Portuguese superstar will be fit in time for Saturday’s visit of Tottenham.

“I have to believe our medical department,” he said.

Ralf Rangnick admitted he was unsure when Ronaldo would return to fitness
Ralf Rangnick admitted he was unsure when Ronaldo would return to fitness

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“Our doctor came to me on Friday morning to say Cristiano couldn’t train because of some problems with his hip flexor and the same on Saturday.”

United legend Roy Keane though, believes there was more to Ronaldo’s absence than met the eye.

“There seems to be something more with the Ronaldo situation,” Keane said before the derby

“The manager coming out talking about his hip flexor but the man is a machine and is rarely injured. Every now and again he comes out with that about his hip flexor, doesn’t add up to me.”