Cristiano Ronaldo is on the bench for Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Brighton

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the bench for Manchester United's Premier League opener against Brighton

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the bench for Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Brighton as Erik ten Hag drops the striker in his first competitive game in charge.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench by Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
  • Marcus Rashford will play up front in his first league game of the season
  • The Portuguese star has openly said this summer that he wants to leave the club
  • The saga of whether he will stay or leave has undermined Ten Hag’s first summer
  • Before the game, 37-year-old forward Ronaldo declared himself “ready” to play

Cristiano Ronaldo has been left on the bench for Manchester United in Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge.

The Red Devils host Brighton in their first Premier League game of the season at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

But offside star Ronaldo will have to sit among the substitutes, with Marcus Rashford playing up front.

Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured) has been left on the bench for Manchester United

United take on Brighton on Sunday, kick-off 14:00 BST, in their first Premier League game of the season and first competitive game under new manager Erik ten Hag (pictured above)

United take on Brighton on Sunday, kick-off 14:00 BST, in their first Premier League game of the season and first competitive game under new manager Erik ten Hag (pictured above)

The Portuguese forward has openly stated his desire to leave the club this summer for the Champions League after United’s poor season left them in the Europa League.

The ongoing saga of whether he will stay or leave has undermined new coach Erik ten Hag in his first summer.

Dutchman Ten Hag labeled Ronaldo’s decision to leave Old Trafford before the end of United’s last friendly after being substituted as “unacceptable”.

The breakout star had insisted he was ready to play ahead of the game on Instagram (pictured)

The breakout star had insisted he was ready to play ahead of the game on Instagram (pictured)

Pundit and club icon Gary Neville said he was “disappointed” with Ronaldo for creating a “messy” start to the Ten Hag’s new era, while Wayne Rooney has urged United to sell his former team-mate team

Following an injury to Anthony Martial, the likely starter up front if fit, Ronaldo had declared himself “ready” to play against Brighton on Instagram.

Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes will play behind lone striker Rashford, with a midfield three of Fred, Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen. In defence, Lisandro Martínez makes his competitive debut, with new signing Tyrell Malacia on the bench.

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