Cristiano Ronaldo touched down in Qatar with his game-face on ahead of the 2022 World Cup, as he looks to ignore the fact he is on the verge of being sacked by Manchester United.
Ronaldo touched down in Doha late Friday night with his Portuguese team-mates as he gears up to appear in his fifth World Cup.
Many nations had already arrived in Qatar ahead of the tournament, which starts on Sunday, but Portugal have now joined the party, albeit slightly later than most of the other nations.
Much of the conversation surrounds Ronaldo following his bombshell tell-all interview with Piers Morgan, which aired this week.
But the 37-year-old was captured smiling as he boarded the airport transfer shuttle after disembarking their private team jet.
Cristiano Ronaldo was able to crack a smile as he and his Portugal team-mates got to Qatar
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner does not seem to be carrying any worry about club situation
Manchester United are furious with Ronaldo after his tell-all interview with Piers Morgan
Ronaldo showed no signs events back in Manchester, in which they have started the process of sacking him following the interview, are bothering him.
Pictured meeting fans as part of a send-off back in Lisbon, Ronaldo happily posed for pictures with eager fans.
He was also more than willing to sign autographs for fans as they waved the Portugal squad off from Lisbon airport.
Ronaldo did not feature on Thursday night in Portugal’s last friendly before the tournament but his first media appearance in Qatar will prove fascinating amid a flurry of questions expected to come his way.
Ronaldo (left) was all smiles as he posed for photos with fans ahead of the 2022 World Cup
The 37-year-old stopped to sign autographs as they boarded a plane for Qatar at Lisbon airport
Ronaldo cut a relaxed figure, despite Manchester United looking into sacking the forward
The former Real Madrid star cut a relaxed figure that is purely focused on helping his nation at the winter tournament, rather than worry about his future at Old Trafford.
It comes after it was revealed earlier on Friday that Manchester United have taken the first steps towards kicking Ronaldo out of the club over his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
Sportsmail understands United have begun the legal process of effectively sacking Ronaldo by tearing up his £500,000-a-week contract without paying the Portugal star a penny of the £16million he would have earned until it expired in June.
Manchester United say they have taken ‘appropriate steps’ in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s bombshell interview – beginning the process of sacking the Portuguese star
United’s lawyers are satisfied Ronaldo has breached the terms of his contract with his explosive allegations against the club, the Glazers, manager Erik ten Hag and his teammates.
The interview aired in two parts on Wednesday and Thursday following a slew of teaser clips since the weekend.
United said earlier in the week that they would consider their response once the full facts were established, and issued a statement on Friday.
It read: ‘Manchester United has this morning initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview. We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion.’
This is the first public statement released by United since the interview was broadcast
However, it’s understood that it relates to initiating legal action to cancel the contract. United are loath to pay Ronaldo any compensation because it would be seen as rewarding disloyalty.
The Glazers, chief executive Richard Arnold, football director John Murtough and Ten Hag decided that Ronaldo has burnt his bridges at Old Trafford and there was no way back for him at the club.
They rejected the idea of more disciplinary action after Ronaldo was dropped and made to train on his own last month for walking out on the win over Tottenham having refusing to come on as a substitute.
Ronaldo was dropped and made to train on his own for walking out on the win over Tottenham
Ronaldo’s team-mates also expect him to leave with the mood towards him described on Friday morning as ‘ambivalent’.
Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that United are consulting lawyers on whether his comments constitute a breach of his £500,000-a-week contract.
United’s hierarchy wanted to wait until the full TalkTV interview had been aired – which it was in two parts on Wednesday and Thursday evenings – before deciding whether to take action.
Ronaldo is now heading to the World Cup in Qatar with Portugal and will be away from United
Ronaldo instigated the interview with Morgan, timed to coincide with the World Cup break when he will be away from United with Portugal for at least three weeks.
Ronaldo will now be on international duty with Portugal until they are eliminated from the World Cup.
Their opening game in Group H is against Ghana next Thursday.
Ronaldo played no part in Portugal’s warm-up friendly against Nigeria on Thursday after picking up a stomach bug.