It was the summer of 2009, after Manchester united had claimed their historic treble by bettering Chelsea on penalties in the final of the UEFA Champions League, when the club’s arguably most popular kid decided to move on to Real Madrid. Eight seasons and many trophies later, Cristiano Ronaldo is at the heart of the current transfer window’s biggest saga (yet again) that speculates a sensational return to Old Trafford. But it’s high time the Portuguese captain clarifies the situation once and for all, and stops toying with the emotions of the fans who have adorned him with so much adulation over the years.
The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has not been shy to express his surprise at the way fans at the Spanish capital have treated him at times, especially when it comes to the embarrassing whistles during a goal drought. “I spent a lot of years at Manchester United and it never happened to me. Not even once. Maybe England is a case apart – the mentality is different,” he had admitted last month.
“I’m very happy being in Spain but obviously I also miss England because you can’t just turn off the memories,” he went on to say in the same interview. But within a few days after this interview, Portuguese media outlet A Bola reported that the forward had made an ‘irreversible’ decision to leave Madrid and Spain altogether. He was ‘unhappy’ with the lack of support from the Bernabeau club in the face of tax avoidance allegations from the country’s authorities.
On the other hand, the Red Devil faithful has always rallied behind him in support despite him not being a part of the club for close to a decade. And obviously, the Theatre of Dreams was inevitably believed to be his favoured destination in the event of a transfer.
It would definitely script the most dramatic homecoming story in the history of modern-day sport, but after all these years of baseless rumours and speculation United fans have also resigned to the fact that this media leak by his PR machinery is yet another gimmick from the former Sporting Lisboa player to earn a fatter contract at his current club. And it was only a matter of time that fresh reports claimed within a few days that Ronaldo has decided to stay back at Madrid.
Ronaldo has been linked with a return to Manchester during almost every transfer window. And he has himself, on many a occasion, caused these stirs by making controversial statements. For instance, take his comments in the Wayne Rooney BBC documentary last year. “I miss playing with Rooney,” he said, as quoted in The Sun. “Maybe we will play together again one day.”
Once bitten, twice shy, United fans have also held back their horses this time though, claiming they’ve heard it all before. We agree that he’s also a professional who has to think about himself above everything else. But that does not mean that you keep creating smoke without fire.
So Cristiano, we’re sure you’re not reading this, neither does it look like you care, but please stop this drama and come out clean on what place Manchester United holds in your future plans. Give some love back, man.