Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Manchester United, where he began his career as a 17-year old left-winger with the box of tricks and nothing more to the five-time winner of Ballon d’Or at Old Trafford.
What prompted this transfer of the Year from Juventus to Manchester United, and just after Messi joined Paris Saint Germain, how is the game expected to be?
Ronaldo’s History with United
Manchester United is the club with Cristiano Ronaldo transformed from an amateur in 2003 to the best footballer on the planet in 2009. He made a total of 118 goals being a part of this club.
He used to be the best midfielder of the red devils, and his relationship was pretty thick with Sir Alex Ferguson, whom he referred to as a “father figure and mentor” in numerous interviews. His debut immediately brought him to the limelight; it was as a substitute against the Wanderers.
Many purists call him the only genuinely two-footed footballer in the contemporary game. For instance, some people doubted Daniel Taylor’s abilities, who wrote that Ronaldo had “No chance” in his book, “The uncut story of a football genius”.
This could not be proved more wrong as Ronaldo’s bore the club’s weight on his shoulders with his straight upward career graph. He scored six goals in the very first season, nine in the second and twelve in the third; the rest, as they say, is history.
Later he was in for a messy leave when he agreed to the then FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s suggestion of moving to Real Madrid. Blatter’s comment of “too much modern slavery” existing in football stung hard to the United.
He stayed for one more season and settled for the human score of 26 goals, after which he moved to Real Madrid.
Departure from Juventus and Entry into United
There was just a year remaining in the contract with Juventus. He was suspended for a game against Azerbaijan for taking off his shirt in an event; he returned to England and trained with his new team at the time.
At 36, Ronaldo is not in his prime age; he is not potentially the best investment for the long term; then again, he is still a monster on the pitch. This is Juventus seeing a superstar off whom they were never geared to accommodate in the first place. Ronaldo met with coach Allegri and explained that he intended to leave the club.
The world knows he never won the Champions League with Juventus as he did with United. The working of English football has changed in the last decades with better chances of winning.
Even a layperson could guess that the Manchester United team has more chances of winning than before. City fans were optimistic about Ronaldo’s joining their club when the news of Harry Kane staying at Tottenham hit the headlines, but that soon faded.
Solskjaer was already dropping hints that United would try getting their former star. It took several calls from Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruno Fernandes and ex-Manchester United players to convince CR7.
Cristiano signed for a comparatively modest fee of 15 million euros, with 8 million euros in add ons. He described this move as “the best decision I made”.
Impact on the Game and New Course
Ronaldo will most likely replace Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial as first-choice strikers. The team’s usual strategy is to zip at opposition players with the ball, but with the entry of CR7, this will significantly change.
Bruno Fernandes should handle fewer goals this time, with Ronaldo taking care of penalties and free ki cks. If Real Madrid cannot lure Kylian Mbappe this year, he will become a free player in 2022.
The commercial purpose of Ronaldo’s name is undeniable, with his half a billion followers on social media platforms. In the short period, United shirt sales have increased to a record-breaking number. Adidas will be reaping benefits, too, as it pays a license fee to reproduce the famous red shirts.
Manchester United reached the Champion League finals in 2020, and CR7 is an instant supernova forward. He could change everything for the club, giving the United time to be back on every wall poster and bring the next great player on the field.