Cristiano Ronaldo all smiles at Lisbon airport despite Man Utd moving to sack him

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Cristiano Ronaldo is all smiles and cuts relaxed figure at Lisbon airport despite Man United moving to sack him for breach of contract, as Portugal star jets off to Qatar World Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo is all smiles as he jets off from Lisbon to Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup, despite being on the verge of being sacked by Manchester United.

The superstar forward is set to appear in his fifth World Cup for Portugal as they finally headed off to the major tournament albeit slightly later than most of the other nations.

The 37-year-old was captured smiling, posing for pictures, and signing autographs for fans as they waved the Portugal squad off from Lisbon airport. 

Cristiano Ronaldo is all smiles as he poses 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

The 37-year-old stopped to sign autographs as they boarded a plane for Qatar at Lisbon airport

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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 today 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

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. 

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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

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 was dropped and made to train on his own for walking out on the win over Tottenham

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Ronaldo’s teammates 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 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. 

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