Christiano Ronaldo will forever hold a place in Manchester United supporter’s hearts. One of the greatest ever players to wear a red shirt. Who started out as a young, raw talent and developed into arguably the world`s greatest footballer.
Ronaldo`s attitude to training, to stay behind at every session to practice time and time again in an attempt to improve is testament to him especially in today`s world of spoilt and overpaid professional footballers. He grasped the history of the club recognising the iconic number 7 shirt worn so illustriously by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona. He looked up to Sir Alex Ferguson and treated him like a father figure, treating greats like Sir Bobby Charlton and Paddy Crerand like gods. When he finally wanted to move on to his boyhood heroes in Real Madrid, he did not sulk, go on strike until he got his move, instead he promised United he would give his all for an extra season desperate to win United another Champions League, adding to the three they already had. He left for Madrid with his reputation intact.
Fast forwarding to the present day and we have a more calculated and savvy Ronaldo. He is older and wiser, knowing what his current worth is to Madrid and on the world stage. Having won most accolades there is to win, Ronaldo is aware he is in control of his own destiny.
Ronaldo has consistently spoke of his time at United as one he will be forever grateful for, the club, the fans all playing a part in making him become the man he is today. When he faced his old employers in the Champions League a couple of seasons ago, he embraced Sir Alex Ferguson on the touchline, in the Bernabeu, after the final whistle like a son does to a father. He embraced Roy Keane pitch side who was working for television and did not celebrate his goals in both legs of the match. All this affection and respect all appears very genuine, however, the constant quotes that seem to leak out of the Ronaldo camp, do appear to be less so.
Throughout last summer, there were stories that still today will not go away, talking up the chance of a Ronaldo return to United. Whilst United and Madrid said nothing, more coals appeared to be put on the fire rather than cold water to dampen the story. Then close to the end of the English transfer window, Ronaldo signs a new contract extension with Madrid, keeping him in a white shirt for a few more years.
The rumours persist even now, a few months into the new contract. Ronaldo continues to wax lyrical of his time at United. Ronaldo is playing a very good game. If Madrid were to cash in on their prize asset, then they have to do that in the next eighteen months before he gets to the wrong side of thirty. Madrid and Ronaldo know, United would be prepared to get involved in the bidding and if he returned Ronaldo`s iconic status would rocket even more with United supporters who would see it as a fairytale return. If he was to stay and possibly end his career in Madrid, then Ronaldo knows his reputation at Old Trafford is still guaranteed. So it is win-win for him.
He is like the ex partner who is stringing along his ex. United supporters are the impressionable ex who fell in love with him and were heart broken when he decided to leave for another. They will not believe the relationship is over for good and hang on to the faint hope he will leave his current partner, see sense and come back into their arms. When his current partner is not showing him enough affection, he flirts with his ex getting their hopes up and making his current partner jealous who not wanting him to leave them, they shower him in affection in the form of a new contract. Win-win for Ronaldo.
So do not be drawn in by the emotion of the sight of Ronaldo in a red shirt again, flying down the wing, it may never happen. Rejoice in what he did for the club, but move on, he has.