Cristiano Ronaldo was livid to discover Ralf Rangnick had axed him from the Manchester United starting XI to face Manchester City, according to reports.
The legendary striker, 37, was notably missing from the squad for Sunday’s derby and was not present at the Etihad as United were thrashed 4-1 by their local rivals.
It was only the second Premier League game Ronaldo had missed all season since his transfer from Juventus last summer.
Rangnick explained Ronaldo’s absence by saying he had suffered a recurrence of the hip issue which prevented him from featuring against Aston Villa in January.
“Cristiano had some problems with his hip flexor on Friday and since then, he didn’t train,” the Red Devils interim manager said ahead of kick-off
Even though Rangnick claimed club physios ruled him out, Ronaldo was furious to learn he would not be lining up to face City, according to The Sun.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner then decided to fly to his native Portugal, leaving his teammates shocked when he did not emerge at The Lowry Hotel on the eve of the derby.
The rest of the squad also felt Ronaldo’s absence sorely on matchday as they believed they could have benefitted from his presence in the dressing room, even if he was not able to play against the league leaders.