Cristiano Ronaldo’s history at Manchester is a long and complicated one. He joined the club in 2003 as a raw but immensely talented 18-year-old, and he instantly became a first-team regular and was a massive part of the club’s success in his six years there. He won the Premier League title three times, the Champions League once, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008.
However, in 2009, Ronaldo shocked the world by announcing he was leaving Manchester for Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee of £80 million. It was a hugely controversial move, and many Manchester fans never forgave him for it.
Ronaldo has gone on to even greater success at Real Madrid, winning the La Liga title four times and the Champions League three times. He has also broken numerous individual records and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
In 2021 Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United for a second time after joining Juventus. Ronaldo insisted that he hadn’t re-joined United to live off past glories; he was adamant that he could contribute to future success.
In that context, this week’s confirmation of his premature departure also means his return cannot be called but a failure.
He’s scored some goals, and he’s indeed achieved some performances. However, he didn’t earn any trophies, and the results could have been better. And that’s not all. He’s managed to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of his fans, which would have been unthinkable even a few months ago.
The World Cup is the perfect opportunity for Portugal’s captain to show club coaches that he can still compete with the best. It also gives him a chance to silence his critics and help him find a new team.
The rumours already started to circle about some possible destinations:
It is reported that last year Chelsea contacted Ronaldo about the possibility of signing him, and he was receptive to the idea. Now, If the opportunity presents itself again, the chance to see his Premier League journey end on a high note could be too tempting to pass up.
When Ronaldo last appeared to be on the way out of Old Trafford during the summer, many names were mentioned as possible transfer destinations. One of those names was from Saudi Arabia.
It is reported that Al Hilal was the club that approached Ronaldo about a potential two-year deal worth €275 million.
Major League Soccer
Several European football’s biggest names, including Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, have moved to the United States.
Ronaldo would be the type of international star that could attract traditional sponsors and other endorsements to MLS. A lifestyle across the Atlantic would hardly put off a player who has already had success crossing over into popular, commercial culture.
There are potential suitors like Los Angeles Galaxy, LAFC, and even Beckham’s Inter Miami.
It remains to be seen what the future holds for Ronaldo, but what is almost certain is that his World Cup performance is essential. It will make or break any potential contract negotiation, and it can end his career entirely. Ronaldo has the ball at his feet, literally!