(Reuters) – Rio Ferdinand said the departure of his former team mate Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United could have been handled better by both club and player but that the decision was “best for both parties”.
The Portugal international was on shaky ground at the club due to an explosive interview with TalkTV this month in which he said he did not respect manager Erik ten Hag.
United said last Friday that they had initiated “appropriate steps” in response to the interview.
On Tuesday, United announced that the forward, who rejoined the club in August 2021 after winning eight major trophies with them from 2003-2009, will leave with immediate effect.
“Just seen the Cristiano news … best for both parties,” former United and England defender Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.
He told the BBC that Ronaldo had put the club in an “untenable situation”.
“Was it handled perfectly? I think, from both parties, no. But if you look at the end game, they’ve got to where he and the club, through the manager’s eyes, wanted to get to,” Ferdinand added.
Former United forward Wayne Rooney, who was also criticised by Ronaldo in the interview, said his exit had been inevitable.
“Once he had done the interview and how he had attacked the club, there was no option. It’s a shame because he’s been a fantastic servant for United,” Rooney, who played with Ronaldo at United between 2004-2009, told broadcaster Sports 18.
“I wish him the best wherever he goes.”
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)