Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo shared an uplifting caption alongside a photo of him training after Manchester United suffered a 2-1 loss against Brighton on Sunday at Old Trafford.

United's Premier League opener did not go as planned as Erik ten Hag's side was defeated. Despite Diogo Dalot netting one point, Red Devils failed to showcase the improvement fans are eagerly waiting to see. Unfortunately, the Portuguese forward did not execute any goals in their opening match as he was put on the substitutes' bench.

In a couple of pictures uploaded to his Instagram handle, Ronaldo can be seen sprinting and juggling the ball at Carrington ground. He is seemingly preparing ahead of the club's Saturday's game at Brentford. He left an encouraging caption, saying, "Hard work always pays off."

The former Ajax boss gathered his team to train for the upcoming Gtech Community Stadium match. After United's game against Brighton, Ten Hag shared, "It is a hell of a job [before us] – we have to work really hard, analyse and then move forward. Today was a good start and then after that we dropped down a level in belief and we made mistakes that the opponent punished. But it was a good opponent, we [tried to] work well together but when you make mistakes you get punished for that."

Due to family matters, Ronaldo missed United's pre-season tour in Thailand and Australia. The 37-year-old then returned to training and played in the first half of a 1-1 friendly draw with Rayo Vallecano, but was seen leaving Old Trafford before it ended. Several players chose not to stay to finish the game, which Ten Hag described as "unacceptable."

Ronaldo has been the talk of the town since confirming his desire to leave Old Trafford in order to play in the Champions League. He has been linked with several teams. However, United have no interest in selling the iconic goalscorer.

Meanwhile, United are reportedly trying to sign in a new midfielder after failing to pull in Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong. The Red Devils have had a £15 ($18) million offer accepted for their last addition, Adrien Rabiot, although the 27-year-old French professional is demanding more than £160,000 ($194,942) a week to seal the deal. If Rabiot successfully joins the team, he will also train with other new players, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during the UEFA Nations league match between Portugal v Czech Republic at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on June 9, 2022. Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

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