From Hala Madrid to Glory all the way, where will Cristiano Ronaldo end up?
Manchester United fans have witnessed many outstanding players who have showcased their skills and abilities at the Theatre of Dreams over the club’s illustrious history. But there have been two players who have stood head and shoulders above others – George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both are arguably the best players of their eras, who would mesmerise the crowd and take over their opponent’s defences with ease and perfection. Unfortunately, Best’s off the field lifestyle led to his downfall but Ronaldo, on the other hand, went from strength to strength after joining Manchester United in 2003. The boy from Madeira worked incredibly hard and finally became the world’s best player in 2008 with the English club.
In 2009, his dream of playing for FC Real Madrid came true when he signed a then record-breaking deal of £80m and ended his six glorious years at United.
With United, he scored 84 goals in 196 matches. With Real Madrid, however, his five years have been more rewarding, as he successfully scored 167 goals in 179 matches. And his personal duel with Lionel Messi has taken his game to a whole new level.
However, things have been somewhat turbulent in the Spanish club over the past few months.
After winning the record 10th UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, the news of the current Ballon d’Or winner being fed up of the Bernabéu began circulating from the Spanish capital. All this started after Real Madrid stars like Mesut Özil, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso were taken up by other clubs in the last two summer transfer windows. Likewise, Ronaldo further ignited speculations after he spoke about his love for Manchester United and rejected to rule out the possibility of a return to the English club one day.
“I love Manchester. Everyone knows that — I have said it many times. Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day”.
Therefore, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the news of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford came about. It created a wave of happiness amongst many United fans who still adore and idolise him and similarly, as a United fan myself, I would love to see Ronaldo back in the club’s jersey.
However, leaving the magical reunion of Ronaldo with Manchester United aside, the idea of spending £50m to £60m on a player who’ll be turning 30 in February 2015 doesn’t seem very bright. Ronaldo’s game is all about pace and power, and with age against his side, I doubt if he will be as much of an asset for United as he was five years back. We have already seen him miss the last part of the season with Real Madrid because of his injuries and we also saw how he recovered just in time for the UEFA Champions league final. Even in the FIFA World Cup 2014, he wasn’t fully fit.
While watching the world’s best player again in United would be an immense pleasure, this would also mean that the likes of Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj would be sidelined in an already packed United’s star studded line up. This would probably mean that they’ll move on, like other talented United stars did, namely Gerard Piqué and Paul Pogba, who left Old Trafford due to lack of playing time at the Theatre of Dreams.
Lastly, as United’s new Manager, Luis van Gaal, has been promised funds in the January transfer window, it could be suggested that instead of investing £60m on Ronaldo, the same amount can be invested in other, weaker areas of the field. The club needs a strong defender and a good defensive midfielder, without which winning championships might not be possible for United. It is here that Van Gaal should look to invest.
Whatever happens, one thing is guaranteed – happy times are back for Old Trafford.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.