Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo answered the question why he refused to come on as a substitute on October 19 at the end of the Premier League match against Tottenham (2: 0):
“I regret leaving the stadium during the game against Tottenham. It’s hard to say 100 percent, let’s just say I regret it. But I felt that the coach provoked me. The coach is not allowed to let me out for three minutes in a game. Sorry, I’m not that kind of player. I know what I can give to the team.
An incident in the Rayo Vallecano game? Me and 8 players left early, but the press only mentioned my name. Even though they all did. Last year, many players did the same. In that game, 8 players did the same, but they only talk about me as the black sheep. I completely understand. Okay, it’s already over, I apologize to the coach, and for me the chapter was closed.
Relationship with Eric ten Hag? I don’t think he respects me the way I deserve. The way it is. That’s why I apparently left early in the game against Tottenham.
I have seen many things for which I do not want to criticize him. He may have a different opinion towards me. He chooses the players he thinks are the best fit for the team. But, you know, excuses have short legs and you can’t make excuses all the time, it doesn’t make sense.
Okay, he doesn’t put me in against Manchester City out of respect for my career. But then he wants to put me in three minutes against Tottenham. It does not make sense. I think he did it on purpose. For example, in the national team and in other clubs, if the coach wants to put me on for 5 minutes, if someone is injured or they really need me, I will help. But here I felt provoked, not only in that game, but before.”