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Cristiano Ronaldo Leaving Manchester United

    Cristiano Ronaldo Leaving Manchester United
    Last updated: 1 week ago
    Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United "by mutual agreement, with immediate effect," the British Premier League club said Tuesday. [1]
    • The announcement follows a controversial interview in which Ronaldo accused the team of trying to force him out, the owners of not caring about the club, and the manager, Erik ten Hag, of a lack of respect. [2]
    • In a statement, Manchester United thanked Ronaldo — who is set to start the World Cup as Portugal's captain against Ghana on Thursday — for his "immense" contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, which saw him score 145 goals in 346 appearances. [2]
    • Meanwhile, Ronaldo said: "I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge." [3]
    • It's unclear where the forward will end up next. Meanwhile, hours after the announcement, the Glazer family – the Americans who've owned the club for 17 years – said they’re "exploring strategic alternatives" for the team, including the possibility of a full or partial sale. [4]
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    Spin

    Narrative A

    Ronaldo's critical interview, preceded by a pattern of unacceptable behavior, left no room for any outcome other than the one at present. His popularity might be as high as ever, but it's overshadowed by his poor attitude and tendency to do and say whatever he wants off the pitch — a likely obstacle for his prospects.

    Narrative B

    Ronaldo has always been outspoken, and any team that seeks his talent has to be willing to take all that comes with him. As a free agent heading into the World Cup, his performance will likely pave the way to numerous opportunities.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 8% chance that Portugal will win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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