Cristiano Ronaldo was absent for most of Manchester United ‘s pre-season due to personal matters and added minutes again in the 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano, the last friendly for Erik ten Hag’s team ahead of the start of the official campaign.
The 37-year-old striker had expressed his desire to leave Old Trafford in this transfer window to play for a Champions League side, but finding suitors for his services proved more difficult than he expected and ultimately settled with the Red Devils.
CR7 started in the duel against the Spanish team and had the first chance of danger after an error in the visitors’ start. However, the Portuguese defined with a deflected shot and was replaced at halftime by Amad Diallo, who opened the scoring in his first intervention.
The experienced attacker lacked weight in United’s attack and his lack of rhythm compared to his teammates who completed the entire preseason was very noticeable, which casts doubt on his presence as a starter next Sunday when the Manchester team hosts Brighton for the first date of the Premier League.
“I cannot say at this moment how fit he is. He is not at the level of the rest of the team because he missed many weeks. But he needs games and training, a lot,” Ten Hag had said about Cristiano after the defeat against Atlético de Madrid in the previous friendly.