Cristiano Ronaldo left out of Manchester United XI to face Brighton by Erik ten Hag

Cristiano Ronaldo warming up for Manchester United ahead of their Premier League game at Brighton in May 2022.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of the Manchester United starting XI for the team's Premier League opener against Brighton at Old Trafford by manager Erik ten Hag.

Ronaldo missed United's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to personal reasons and played just 45 minutes of the friendly against Rayo Vallecano last weekend.

The Portuguese understandably looked short of full fitness in that fixture and was among a number of players dubbed 'unacceptable' by Ten Hag for leaving Old Trafford before the match - which finished 1-1 - had finished.

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The 37-year-old, who has been the subject of persistent speculation linking him with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, starts on the bench for the first official fixture under Ten Hag.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho both start in attack for United, with summer signing Christian Eriksen in a midfield which also includes Fred and Scott McTominay.

Ten Hag also hands a competitive debut to Lisandro Martinez at the back, with Raphael Varane among the substitutes.

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.