As Manchester United gets set to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo to the Old Trafford, expectations rise across the board in the betting for the storied club’s performance in this season’s Premier League and Champions League campaigns.
Cristiano Ronaldo is poised to return to his old stomping grounds at the Old Trafford, the scene of his maturation into a global football superstar over the course of six years under the masterful guidance of former Man. United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
The breathtakingly fast-moving deal that brought about Ronaldo’s move from Juventus to Manchester United this week took the Premier League by storm, if not the soccer world by surprise. Taking no time between Ronaldo making it publicly known that he no longer wanted to play for Juventus to the announcement that Manchester United had scooped him up in the market. For a brief moment this week, speculation pointed to Manchester City making a bold bid for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner – a move that didn’t go down well with ardent United fans that got wind of these rumours. Most resorted to standard social media rants, but some went to extreme measures to show their displeasure and outrage at the prospect of Ronaldo joining their local rivals by burning Ronaldo’s No.7 shirt reportedly.
Ronaldo spent the last three seasons with Serie A stalwarts Juventus. He helped the Italian giants win three straight domestic titles all the while scoring 101 goals in 134 matches. He made history by becoming the fastest player to reach 100 goals in club history and he led the Turin side with 29 goals last season. In spite of Ronaldo’s high level of play, Juventus failed to strike an audible chord in European competition. Three different coaches were brought in during this time to help guide the ‘Old Lady’ to its first Champions League title since 1996, but to no avail. Juventus failed to get to the semis, never mind the final. And arguably, last season’s loss to Porto in the R16 was the most disappointing.
But as 2021 campaigns were getting off the ground around Europe’s top-flight leagues and the transfer window was heating up this month, Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri revealed the shocking news that Ronaldo wanted out of Juventus, despite still having a year left on his contract. Hours later, Manchester United announced Ronaldo’s return, seemingly beating out Manchester City, who according to a number of bookmakers, including by Youwager review of the market for Ronaldo, tipped to be in pole position to snap up the Portuguese star.
“Welcome back, Cristiano,” read a tweet posted by United. Minutes later, the club’s official website crashed.
Ronaldo is conscious of his legacy and his place in the history of the game. He is motivated to be the best, he is inspired by his rivalry with Lionel Messi in the records book and he is absolutely determined to finish his career as the greatest player of all time – a sentiment recently echoed by his former Man. United teammate Wayne Rooney, who according to an article in The Sun called him “one of the best players” and a player that is motivated to “be the best.”
“Cristiano is still one of the best players in the world and has won titles everywhere he’s been so he’s going to be huge,” said Wayne Rooney as he commented on the 36-year-old starlet’s transfer . “He still wants to be the best and I’m sure he will have a big impact on them this season. [Source: The Sun].
Ronaldo made his debut for Manchester United in 2003 when he was 17 years of age. Over the course of six seasons with the club, he developed from a skinny, talented and electrifying teenager into one of the club’s most prolific scorers and revered players. He scored 118 goals in 292 appearances and won his first Ballon d’Or at the tail-end of his run with Manchester United. The accolades snowballed from there onwards and by the time he was 23 years of age he’d achieved Champions League glory with Manchester United and earned FIFA World Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, UEFA Club Player of the Year, European Golden Boot and Premier League and Champions League top-goalscorer.
The world of football has seen many great players come and go, but Ronaldo is one the game’s greatest players. He is simply at another level entirely. In a class of his own, and second to none. And at 36 years of age, he’s showing little signs of slowing down. Of course, he can’t play forever and there will come a time when football must bid him adieu. But until then, he’s set to dazzle football fans some more, and none more so than Premier League fans. It’s almost fitting that it’s come full circle for Ronaldo almost two decades later, with a return to the luscious lawns of the Old Trafford and to Manchester United where his star was born. Where he became a household name.