Former England captain Wayne Rooney is sad but not surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract termination.

Ronaldo’s contract with Manchester United was on Tuesday (November 22) terminated by mutual consent a week after the Portuguese star forward launched a scathing attack at the club, senior figures and the head coach Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who returned to United for a second spell in 2021, said he felt “betrayed” by the Red Devils, claiming they have made “zero progress” since legendary boss Alex Ferguson departed Old Trafford in 2013.

United issued a statement following the explosive interview that said they had “initiated appropriate steps” and on Tuesday (November 22) revealed the 37-year-old has left the club for a second time.

Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo exit

On Viacom18’s VISA Match Centre, Rooney, one of Ronaldo’s teammate during the Portugal star’s first spell at United, said the contract termination was inevitable after what was said last week. “I have said many times that Ronaldo is one of the best players of all time. It’s sad to see it end this way, but I think once everyone saw the interview he did with Piers Morgan and how he attacked the club, I think there was no option (but) for this to happen,” said Rooney. The former England captain added that Ronaldo is still a very good player but not what he was when he was 23 and added that the outcome was best for all parties involved at the end of the day.

Cristiano Ronaldo feels ‘betrayed’ by Manchester United and says he has no respect for Ten Hag

“He is now 37. I still felt there was a part for him to play at Manchester United maybe not from the start but coming on (as a substitute). He obviously doesn’t feel to accept that role and wants to continue his career elsewhere, so for the club, it’s probably the best thing,” Rooney explained.

“It allows them to focus on the players who are there and want to be there, and for Cristiano, his focus will solely be on the World Cup and Portugal.” Rooney finally added that teams will look to sign Ronaldo if he has a good tournament in Qatar with a return to Real Madrid among the rumoured next destination for the Portuguese star.