Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t have pre-season and you cannot miss pre-season, asserts Erik ten Hag

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t started yet because the Portuguese forward missed out on pre-season and still needs to improve his fitness levels. The 37-year-old spent most of the pre-season being linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

Despite enjoying a decent 2021/22 season where Cristiano Ronaldo netted 24 goals across all competitions, Manchester United still struggled immensely. It saw the Red Devils eventually finish well off the pace in 6th place with the club barely earning the points required for the Europa League spot. However, with the appointment of Erik ten Hag, many expected the club and Ronaldo to improve instantly although that has slowly taken place.


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But despite United’s improvement and run of form over the last few games, Ronaldo has yet to feature consistently after a summer window where he was persistently linked with a move away. The forward was reportedly keen on leaving for Champions League football but ended up staying and it saw Ten Hag admit that the reason he hasn’t started a game so far is because he missed pre-season over various reasons. The United boss also added that the club are playing a different type of football for which Ronaldo needs to get his fitness up.

“I will be his friend and sometimes I will be his teacher. It depends on the situation. As we all know he didn’t have the pre-season and you cannot miss the pre-season. It is a base and especially in the game we play, the way of play. We play another type compared to last year. It depends on the demands, cooperation and certain positioning, in and out of position, and the other thing is fitness,” Ten Hag said, reported the Athletic.

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