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Wayne Rooney says it is “sad” to see Cristiano Ronaldo leave Manchester United by mutual consent despite being labelled a “rat” by his former team-mate. The DC United boss has issued his immediate reaction to the news that the 37-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford has been torn up following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan on TALKTV.
Rooney was the victim of fierce criticism from Ronaldo after he detailed his disappointment in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s “unacceptable” decision to walk down the tunnel early during United’s 2-0 Premier League win over Tottenham in October.
But England’s record goalscorer was not prepared to get involved in a back and forth with his former friend, having now expressed his sadness at the way CR7’s time at United has come to an end.
“It’s sad to see a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, as I’ve said many times one of the best players of all time, to see it end this way with Manchester United is obviously, as a former teammate and a fan of Manchester United, it’s sad to see it end this way,” he told JioCinema.
“It’s a shame because he’s been a fantastic servant for United and I wish him all the best at which whichever club he goes to next.”
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The pair’s rollercoaster relationship has turned sour in recent weeks and it took another turn for the worse when Piers Morgan asked Ronaldo whether his bank balance and 497million Instagram followers would give Rooney a reason to hate him even more.
Ronaldo responded: “Well, not only him, imagine the rest of the rats that criticise me too!”
Rooney had no interest in retalitting when quizzed on the comment, saying last week: “Well, listen, Cristiano Ronaldo’s a fantastic player and, as I’ve said before, he and Messi are the two best players probably to play the game.
“Again, it’s not a criticism. What I’ve said is age comes to all of us, and Cristiano is obviously feeling now that he’s finally had to deal with that.
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“Obviously, he’s done an interview, and it’s gone global, and it’s strange, some of the comments are strange. But I’m sure Manchester United will deal with it once they’ve seen the full interview, and they will take whatever action they need to take.”
Ronaldo is now set to focus his efforts on firing Portugal to glory at the World Cup as they get their group campaign up and running against Ghana later this week.
Beyond that, CR7 and super-agent Jorge Mendes will be tasked with finding the seasoned veteran a new club and challenge.
Although Ronaldo is a free agent, he cannot officially sign for another until January when the transfer window reopens.
According to reports, Newcastle and Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr FC are among Ronaldo’s potential destinations.
Reporters close to the Magpies are insistent that Newcastle have no interest in a swoop for Ronaldo, however.
Earlier this summer, the former Real Madrid and Juventus star turned down a lucrative proposal worth an estimated £300million from an unnamed club in the Middle East.
Napoli, Bayern Munich and Chelsea were among a list of clubs that were offered Ronaldo’s services earlier this summer before he eventually stayed at United against his wish.
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