Manchester united exit ‘a bad phase of career’: Christiano Ronaldo

On Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo said that his departure from Manchester United after a second tenure at Old Trafford marked the beginning of a “bad phase of his career.” The Portuguese international, who is currently participating in two Euro 2024 qualifying matches for his nation, left United in January after being shunned for his criticism of the team and manager Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan.

“I think that everything in life happens for a reason. I’m often grateful to go through some difficult things so I can see who is really on my side. At the tough times, you see who is on your side. It wasn’t a very good phase in my life, in my career, first on a personal level and then professionally.”

For the first time since they fell to Morocco in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals, Ronaldo is once again participating in international football. Portugal replaced longtime coach Fernando Santos, who left the team following the tournament in Qatar, with Roberto Martinez in the interim.

Santos left the team after the controversy surrounding Ronaldo’s benching during the tournament’s knockout stage in Qatar, but the former Real Madrid star believed it was time to put the past behind them as they attempted to reach the European Championship in Germany the following summer.

Ronaldo is set to break the all-time record of appearances with a national team after tying Bader Al-Mutawa’s mark of 196 outings for Kuwait while playing in Qatar. Portugal are unbeaten against Liechtenstein, with six wins and a draw in seven matches.

Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa was dropped Wednesday because of a muscle injury and replaced by Celton Biai, who plays for Vitoria Guimaraes. Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifying group also includes Iceland, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The top two nations from each of the 10 groups qualify for the final.

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