Cristiano Ronaldo did NOT tell any of his Portugal team-mates he was being axed by Man Utd ahead of first World Cup game | The Sun

CRISTIANO RONALDO did NOT reveal that he was being axed by Manchester United to his Portugal team-mates, Bruno Fernandes has admitted.

The Red Devils midfielder was sent to Portugal's pre-match press conference today in Ronaldo's place.

Man United axed Ronaldo yesterday, releasing a blunt statement after ripping up his £500,000-a-week deal.

Quizzed about the potentially awkward situation, Fernandes said: "It was good for me while it lasted. Now Cristiano has taken a different decision for his career and his family and we have to respect that.

"I haven't discussed the topic with Cris. We’re all focused on the national team and the World Cup.

"I don’t feel uncomfortable. I don’t have to pick a side. It was a dream come true to play with Cristiano [at United] but nothing lasts forever.


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"We know what the World Cup means to Cristiano and his focus has always been there. He didn't tell me about his decision.

"It's a personal decision and it concerns him and his family. We haven't talked about it.

"Everyone here is focused on the goal, the national team and the World Cup."

Ahead of Portugal's World Cup opener against Ghana tomorrow, Fernandes added: "We know these issues can affect individual players. Cristiano could have been worried at a specific moment but we know what the World Cup means for Cristiano.

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“He mentioned the 2016 European Championships was a great achievement for him, and I'm sure his focus has always been there for this tournament.

“With Cristiano being so famous there is always a huge noise about what is going on."

While Fernandes said the decision was Ronaldo’s to part ways with the club, it was actually United’s to terminate his contract in it’s final season without compensation.

The interview with Morgan was the final straw for the club hierarchy who along with the playing staff and manager had already grown tired of the player’s behaviour.

It looked like 68-year-old Portugal coach Fernando Santos had grown tired of it all as well yesterday.

The controversy attracted over 200 journalists to a press conference ahead of Portugal’s game against Ghana tomorrow with 20 cameras trained on the top stage.

The throng had hoped for Ronaldo himself, as captain, to turn up with the coach as is normal on the eve of games.

It is something we have not even talked about on the pitch or when we are resting

While he ducked it the questions about him flowed, first Fernandes way as Santos rubbed his face in apparent frustration.

Then it was his turn.

Santos said: “It is something we have not even talked about on the pitch or when we are resting.

“The important thing is that the players are absolutely focussed on what we want to do here.

“We have a target, we are preparing to provide joy and fun for the Portuguese people, to make them happy.”

Free agent Ronaldo, 37, yesterday released a statement, assuring Red Devils fans that they will always hold a special place in his heart.

He wrote: "Following talks with Manchester United, we’ve mutually agreed to end our contract.

"I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change.

"It feels like the right time to seek a new challenge. I wish Man Utd all the best."

Ronaldo missed out on a huge £11.5million pay-off after agreeing to have his contract terminated with immediate effect.

Despite this, he has received a dig from former team-mate Paul Scholes.

In an Instagram Story post, which now appears to be deleted, Scholes wrote: “Mission accomplished… a***d!"

Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, offered a classy response – despite having been slammed by Ronaldo.

He's been a fantastic servant to the club

He said: "Am I surprised? No.

"There was no other choice but that's a shame because he's been a fantastic servant to the club.

"I wish him the best wherever he goes."

Speaking to the BBC, Rio Ferdinand added: "I think both parties will be delighted now. He has obviously done that interview with the mindset that he wanted to get out of the club.

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“He wasn’t happy and made it very clear. Erik ten Hag has got what he wanted as well in this situation.

“So both parties are happy, so move on and the next chapter for Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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