Cristiano Ronaldo has issued a message to his social media fans following the confirmation that he has been dropped from United’s matchday squad for Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.

Ronaldo chose to leave the bench early and stroll down the tunnel before the final whistle in United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

When asked about the incident after the game, manager Erik ten Hag stated that he wanted to focus on his team’s performance, but he indicated that he will “deal” with the 37-year-old on Thursday.

United confirmed in a statement the following day that Ronaldo would not be part of the squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend.

“Cristiano Ronaldo will not be part of the Manchester United squad for this Saturday’s Premier League game against Chelsea,” the statement read. “The rest of the squad is fully focused on preparing for that fixture.”

Now, Ronaldo has addressed the situation. The forward wrote on his Instagram account: “As I’ve always done throughout my career, I try to live and play respectfully towards my colleagues, my adversaries and my coaches. That hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed.

“I’m the same person and the same professional that I’ve been for the last 20 years playing elite football, and respect has always played a very important role in my decision-making process. I started very young, the older and most experienced players’ examples were always very important to me.

“Therefore, later on, I’ve always tried to set the example myself for the youngsters that grew in all the teams that I’ve represented. Unfortunately that’s not always possible and sometimes the heat of the moment gets the best of us.

“Right now, I just feel that I have to keep working hard in Carrington, support my teammates and be ready for everything in any given game. Giving in to the pressure is not an option.

“It never was. This is Manchester United, and united we must stand. Soon we’ll be together again.”