Cristiano Ronaldo absent from Man Utd squad following death of new-born son

Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday following the death of his newborn son.

The striker announced the tragic news on social media on Monday in a joint message with teammate Georgina Rodríguez, prompting an outpouring of messages of support from across the football world and beyond.

Manchester United confirmed Ronaldo’s absence, saying on “Family is more important than anything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones through this immensely difficult time.

“As such, we can confirm that he will not take part in the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night and underline the family’s request for privacy.

“Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.”

Ronaldo, who has four grown children, announced last October that he and Rodríguez were expecting twins. His baby survived.

The couple said on Monday: “It is with our deepest sadness that we have to announce that our baby has passed away.

“It is the greatest pain that any parent can feel.

“Only the birth of our girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and joy.

“We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support.

“We are all devastated by this loss and kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.

“Our baby, you are our angel. We will always love you.”

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A message on United’s Twitter account on Monday night read: “Your pain is our pain, Cristiano.

Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.”

Marcus Rashford, the 37-year-old’s United team-mate, tweeted: “Thoughts are with you and Georgina’s brother. I am so sorry.”

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Ronaldo’s former club, Real Madrid, said in a statement: “Real Madrid, its president and board of directors are deeply saddened by the passing of one of the children expected by our beloved Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodríguez.

Real Madrid shares the pain of the family and wants to send them all our warmth.

Manchester City, Liverpool, Leeds and the Premier League were among many others who sent messages of condolence to the couple on Twitter.

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