When it was announced Cristiano Ronaldo would be returning to Manchester United last summer, you couldn’t help but feel excited. After 12 years away from Old Trafford it was a dream come true seeing Ronaldo back in a United shirt. For many fans, including myself, Ronaldo is the best player I have seen ever play for the club and even though he was getting on in age he remained one of the best players in the world.
His return may have only lasted 15 months and, yes, his exit from the club wasn’t pretty, but bringing Ronaldo back to the club last summer in my opinion was still the right decision for last season alone.
Hand on heart we knew Ronaldo was never going to be the long-term solution to our problems. At 36 years of age, he was always going to be a short-term fix and in that regards it worked. He may not have been running up and down the wings anymore but Ronaldo’s eye for goal remained second to none and it didn’t take long for the Portuguese to open up his Reds account scoring two against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on his second debut for the club.
The goals continued to flow as the months went by most noticeably in Europe where Ronaldo netted vital match winners against Villarreal and Atalanta helping United secure qualification to the knockout stages. He was always the man for the big occasion and he continued to be so again second time around.
After a somewhat subdued opening to the new year Ronaldo got back in the swing of things as the Spring came around with Ronaldo saving arguably his best performance since his return against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford scoring a sensational hat trick in a 3-2 victory. Old Trafford hasn’t had much to shout about over the past decade or so but that game I’m sure will live long in the memory for many. More goals continued to come for Ronaldo as he ended the season brilliantly scoring another hat trick this time against Norwich City finishing the campaign with a mighty impressive 24 goals.
Over the course of the summer there had been plenty of rumours linking Ronaldo with a move away from United and truth be told that’s when this should have all been sorted out. It was clear Ronaldo was never going to be first choice under Ten Hag and in the interest of both parties a deal should have been agreed for Ronaldo to leave the club. To stay and become second choice was never going to be an option and in the end, it just brought unnecessary negativity and drama that neither of them needed or would have wanted.
Now the dust and has settled somewhat I’m sure many look back on Ronaldo’s return in a positive light. It may have ended sour, but it wont take anything away from Ronaldo’s legacy at Old Trafford and for last season alone it was more than worth it.
Things have changed now under Ten Hag and the club are heading in a different direction and for everybody’s sake I’m sure there will be a great sigh of relief that this saga is now over and that both United and Ronaldo can move on.