Manchester United have revealed Cristiano Ronaldo will not play any part in their Premier League clash with Liverpool tonight after the death of his newborn baby boy.
Ralf Rangnick’s side faces their rivals at Anfield on Tuesday evening, but United has confirmed that the Portugal international is not available following his heartbreaking news.
In a statement on their official website, the club wrote: ‘Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time.
‘As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening and we underline the family’s request for privacy.
‘Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.’
There was no sign of Ronaldo at Carrington this morning as his team-mates arrived at the training base to prepare for this evening’s game.
The Manchester United star, 37, announced in October 2021 that he was expecting twins with his partner Georgina Rodriguez, 28.
A statement from the couple confirmed the death of their baby boy as ‘the greatest pain’, but said their baby girl survived.
‘It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel,’ the announcement read.
‘Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.
‘We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support.
‘We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.
‘Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you.’
Swathes of messages of condolence have been placed on social media platforms, with United leading the way.
Their Instagram account posted the message: ‘Your pain is our pain. Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.’
The Portugal captain’s sister Katia Aveiro also posted an emotional message. She wrote: ”I love you and my heart is with you over there.
‘May God take care of you and strengthen your path more and more.
‘Our angel is already on daddy’s lap. And our little girl is there firm and strong and full of health and is going to show us with every day that only love matters.’
‘Daddy’ is a reference to Cristiano and Katia’s father Denis, who passed away at the age of 52, when the Unite striker was just 20.
United team-mate Marcus Rashford also commented on social media at the news, saying: ‘Thoughts are with you and Georgina brother. I’m so sorry.’
Other team-mates, including David de Gea, Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles all responded to the news with love heart emojis. First team coach Mike Phelan wrote: ‘Thoughts are with you and your family.’
Others from the world of football also offered their support. The Premier League responded to the statement with their own message, as did clubs Newcastle, Tottenham, Leeds and Liverpool.
Liverpool legend Sir Kenny Dalglish wrote: ‘Sending our heartfelt condolences to you and your family for your unimaginable loss.’
Two of his former clubs, Real Madrid and Juventus, also posted statements on the news.
Ronaldo already has four children. Georgina shares daughter Alana, three, with the 37-year-old, who also has son Cristiano Jr., 11, and twins Eva and Mateo, four.
United go into their clash with Liverpool this evening three points behind Tottenham, who occupy fourth – the final Champions League spot in the top-flight table.