Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, claims that Cristiano Ronaldo is dissatisfied with his lack of playing time.
For United thus far this season, Ronaldo, 37, has started one Premier League game and two Europa League games.
Ten Hag stated that the decision to not play him as a replacement in Sunday’s 6-3 loss to Manchester City was made “out of respect for his big career.”
“He’s not happy that he wasn’t playing Sunday” said Ten Hag before Thursday’s Europa League game at Omonia Nicosia.
“Of course, he wants to play and he’s annoyed when he’s not playing. It’s clear.”
Ten Hag added: “But when I tell you all the players, when you’re here and you’re happy, or satisfied, when you’re on the bench, this is not a club where you have to be, and especially Cristiano.
“He’s really competitive, as we all know. He’s not happy of course when he’s not playing.
“But I already said and, I have to repeat, he’s training well, he has a good mood, he’s motivated and he gives his best. That is what we expect.”
“I think, when you’re honest, you know there is a difference.
Roy Keane, a former United captain, charged the team with “showing disrespect” to the player by accusing Ten Hag of leaving Ronaldo on the bench.
Anthony Martial was substituted in its place, and he took advantage by scoring two late consolation goals.
Ten Hag acknowledges that Ronaldo received particular therapy.
“Nobody is the same in the team, I will treat everyone with respect but they all have different backgrounds.
“I have to treat players differently to get the best out of them, but there are general standards and values that count for everyone.”
Ten Hag stated twice that the Manchester City loss served as “a reality check” for his group and served as a reminder of the criteria they must meet in order to meet his expectations.
He expresses gratitude to Pep Guardiola, who collaborated with the Dutchman at Bayern Munich, for that.
“Now we get a reality check with Manchester City, we know we have to step up,” he said.
“So thank you for the lesson, Pep and City, we will take that and we have to understand we have to do things much better.”