“I have to believe my medical department,” he added.

“Our doctor came to see me Friday morning before training and said Cristiano could not train because of some problems with his hip flexor and the same was true on Saturday and that is why he could not be part of the squad.”

Forward Edinson Cavani was also missing despite returning to training on Thursday, meaning Rangnick was forced to start with Bruno Fernandes as a false nine.

“If players tell the doctors they are not fit and cannot play I have to accept it,” Rangnick added.

“Edi trained in the last three days, he trained well but he still felt after those three training sessions that he is not fit to play. As a manager I cannot force a player if he does not feel fit to play.”