Cristiano Ronaldo To Manchester United?

Posted: November 22, 2015 in European Football, Football, Managers, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , ,

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Cristiano Ronaldo decided, at the age of 24, that he wanted to go to Real Madrid. The reasons for this decision are reasonably well documented. It wasn’t for the money. Even at 24 United would have matched anything Madrid offered if they had been given any encouragement that he would stay at Old Trafford.

Being Portuguese and having already played in Portugal, the biggest clubs for those players are usually Real Madrid and Barcelona. It is a return to Iberia, the culture they are used to, the weather, the food, everything that is, to them, home.

Luis Figo was another world famous Portuguese who actually had the distinction of playing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. So it is certainly not an uncommon desire for these players to want to ply their trade in Spain at some stage.

So, for Ronaldo, it was the lure of returning to a place resembling home and playing for, arguably, the biggest club in the world.

After six amazingly successful years where, amongst other things, Ronaldo took Raul’s goalscoring record in less than half the amount of games, it now appears that the famous feet may be getting itchy.

Statements attributed to Ronaldo can often be taken with a pinch of salt. One minute he wants to go to MLS, the next he doesn’t. He is going to PSG, then he isn’t. Asia will be his final destination. No it won’t. A return to Manchester United would be his preferred option. No it wouldn’t. He wants to stay at Real Madrid for the rest of his career. This seems the most likely, but it probably won’t happen if Benitez is kept on as manager.

Benitez was a very strange choice when you consider that he had been less successful than Ancelotti and was now going to manage a team in the Champions League after failing to qualify with his previous one. He was also a strange choice if Madrid ever take into consideration their star player’s feelings.

Ronaldo does not like Benitez. Benitez is not a very successful manager, he is a reasonably successful manager. A reasonably successful manager usually doesn’t get to manage a very successful club. This is where Ronaldo thinks Madrid have made a mistake.

The fact that Ronaldo does not like Benitez actually goes back to his days at Manchester United, when Rafa was in charge at Liverpool. Ronaldo remembers the tiffs Benitez had with Sir Alex Ferguson and the childish responses he used to give. In Ronaldo’s eyes Ferguson is like a second father to him and he will not hear a bad word said against him, hence his dislike of Benitez.

With Ferguson no longer in charge at United, Ronaldo’s return looks a little less likely, but he does still have fond memories of the club and the city and Ferguson hasn’t disappeared completely from the picture, he has just faded into the background. However a return would be viewed more as a possibility than a probability.

Having just lost “El Clasico”, at home 0-4, Benitez’s days may very well be numbered.

If he is given the order of the boot then I would expect Cristiano Ronaldo to stay, although I do think Florentino Perez has done some damage by appointing Benitez in the first place. If Benitez stays, which is looking more and more unlikely, then I expect Ronaldo to leave.

There is another scenario which could see Ronaldo and Madrid part company and that is if Madrid decide that they have had the best years of Ronaldo and want to cash in on him. It could be that they decide to sell him.

Whatever happens there will be virtually no resale value for any club who buys Ronaldo. It will be somewhere in the region of £60 million which will have to be written off. So image rights and shirt sales would definitely be a big part of any contractual negotiations and these are a large slice of Ronaldo’s income.

So the future could be quite interesting for Real Madrid, Rafa Benitez and Cristiano Ronaldo. A parting of the ways is inevitable for one of the two human elements in this equation, but which one?

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(The stats that prove two things. Ronaldo is a great player and La Liga is not as tough as the Premier League)

(Update 24th November: This is an article in the Manchester Evening News whereby Patrice Evra, in Italy, tells anybody prepared to listen what Alex Ferguson, in Manchester, told him about Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/cristiano-ronaldo-99-per-cent-10491885

Make of it what you wish!)

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