Since leaving for Real Madrid in 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo has constantly been linked back to his former club Manchester United. This summer, the latest offering in the transfer rumour circuit is that Louis van Gaal will attempt to swoop in for both Ronaldo and unsettled Gareth Bale whilst David De Gea goes the reverse way. But, Cristiano Ronaldo will not be signing for Manchester United.
Cristiano still holds a regard for Manchester United and their ever-loyal fans. “The people treat me like a God there… and in the future, who knows?” Ronaldo always leaves an air of mystery around an impending return to the club who helped to make him a world class star. He doesn’t discuss the chance of leaving Real Madrid, and he does not openly say he will return to his former club. If anything, he is being respectful to fans, yet gives them somewhat false hope.
Things are a lot different now at Manchester United than they were when Ronaldo said goodbye. Sir Alex Ferguson, who Cristiano still has a good relationship with, is no longer there. Sir Alex played a major part in bringing in huge talent to Manchester United; who wouldn’t want to play under a manager of his calibre? Many of the teammates Cristiano had in 2009 are long gone. There are fresh faces in all across the board – a new ‘philosophy’ in place.
Can Cristiano Ronaldo really turn his back on Real Madrid, his ‘home’, at a time like this? They have just parted with their manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is rumoured to be replaced by Rafa Benitez. Aside from the managerial issues, Cristiano is on course to break big records at Real Madrid. He’s breaking records week in week out (along with Leo Messi), but if Cristiano stays put, he is within touching distance of breaking Raul’s records. Ronaldo is just three goals away from breaking Raul’s league goals records, and 10 away from his overall Real Madrid goals records. Cristiano could break both of them within the first few weeks of the next season. Why leave now?
The only downside to life at Madrid for Ronaldo must be the work he is putting in – he is at his peak – yet is getting very little return for what he does. And by that, I mean titles. Real Madrid may have won the dramatic Decima last summer, but could not reach the final of the Champions League to defend their title. Barcelona have pretty much dominated La Liga since 2009; Ronaldo has only lifted one La Liga title since then. He has been the league’s top goal scorer three times, but each time he has won this accolade, the league has gone to another team.
Just how much would Cristiano cost? That’s another issue at hand. He may be 30 years old, but he is in incredible form right now. How could Real Madrid even attempt to replace him? They signed him for the then world record of £80 million, which has since been surpassed by the signing of Gareth Bale. Real Madrid, even if they even considered selling their star striker, would be expecting big, big money for him. Rightfully so.
We can all hold the dream of Cristiano Ronaldo in a red shirt, in Old Trafford, scoring more inexplicably beautiful free kicks. Yet as time goes on, it just looks less and less likely. He clearly loves playing in Madrid. If Ronaldo is gone from La Liga, who will keep Messi on his toes?