The Portuguese are now present ahead of the new season after being absent for the Red Devils’ preseason campaign.

In spite of persistent rumors linking him to a summer transfer, Cristiano Ronaldo was named to Manchester United’s starting lineup to play Rayo Vallecano, but he left before the final whistle. The 37-year-old was included in Erik ten Hag’s starting lineup despite missing the previous five preseason games for the Red Devils.

Ronaldo’s social media posts telling his admirers “the king plays” and “I’m playing against Rayo” raised expectations that he would enter the game off the bench, but Ten Hag used him right away at Old Trafford.

What was mentioned about Ronaldo by Ten Hag?

After United’s 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in Spain on Saturday, Ten Hag initially stated that Ronaldo will be in his team for the Rayo friendly match.

However, having only recently seen the experienced forward return from a lengthy hiatus, the Dutchman acknowledged that the veteran forward is still far behind the rest of his senior team-mates in terms of fitness.

Because of his numerous lost weeks, “He is not on the level of the rest of the squad,” ten Hag said to Viaplay. But he needs a lot of practice and games.

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