Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his full focus on Portugal’s World Cup campaign after his contract was terminated by Manchester United.
Ronaldo and United agreed on Tuesday to end his second spell at Old Trafford after he made comments in his controversial interview with Piers Morgan earlier this month.
But in a week that has been all about the Portuguese captain’s club career, the 37-year-old took to Instagram to post a picture of himself alongside a message to Portugal fans.
The post read: “We’re about to launch our campaign at the world’s biggest competition. An adventure that we wish for a long time and full of successes, to raise the name and the flag of our country very high. We want to fill all Portuguese with pride and joy. There are no impossibilities.’
Portugal begin their tournament on Thursday afternoon when they play Ghana before taking on Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
Ronaldo is playing in his fifth World Cup, having scored seven times for his country in 17 World Cup appearances since his first appearance at the finals in Germany in 2006.
He split from United this week after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and declared he had no respect for current Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag.
The comments meant there was no going back for the former United number seven and the club released a statement confirming his departure from the club.
It read: “Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect. The club thank him for his immense contribution in two games at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wish him and his family all the best for the future.
“Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the progress of the team under Erik ten Hag and working together to succeed on the pitch.”
Ronaldo quickly responded with his own statement: “After talks with Manchester United, we mutually agreed to end our contract early.
“I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never change. For me, however, it seems the right time to seek a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the rest of the season and for the future.”
As a free agent, Ronaldo can now sign for any club of his choice and has been linked with a number of different moves following the World Cup.
According to some reports, he is considering an offer from Newcastle while there are suitors willing to offer big money from the Middle East and MLS.
Much will depend on what ambitions Ronaldo left behind, but any club will need to match the £500,000-a-week wages he was at Old Trafford.