Cristiano Ronaldo to decide his future – I think we all know how that will turn out for him…

Cristiano Ronaldo avoided questions about his future after seeing Portugal knocked out of the FIFA World Cup on Saturday evening with Uruguay advancing to the quarter-finals of the tournament. The Portuguese international has been linked with a return to Manchester United this summer after suggesting that his career at Real Madrid would come to an end this summer. The 33-year-old started in good form in the World Cup for his country, scoring a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain, scoring his fourth goal in the 1-0 victory over Morocco, also missing a penalty against Iran.

Last week, it was reported in Spain that Ronaldo’s release clause in his contract had been reduced from €1 billion to just €120 million, which fanned the flames which carried the suggestion that the Portuguese player will leave the Spanish club this summer. Late on Sunday, there were reports, albeit from Tuttosport in Italy suggesting that Ronaldo had turned down a new contract offer from Real Madrid which would see him earn €26.4 million a year. We have all been here before.

Ronaldo was described by the Manchester Evening News as heading to the World Cup ‘sad and determined to leave’ the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, which is also something we have heard before, especially in the last five years when Ronaldo was linked with a return to the Theatre of Dreams. The 33-year-old ended his season in much better fashion than he started and it is suggested that he is serious about finally leaving the UEFA Champions League holders this summer.

United are said to be unconvinced as they have seemingly shown more interest in Gareth Bale after he spoke to the media after beating Liverpool in Kiev in May about his time in the Spanish capital. However, with Zinedine Zidane leaving the club and new manager Julen Lopetegui taking over, Bale’s career at the Santiago Bernabeu may well continue. Ronaldo though has been linked to Juventus this summer. I’m not sure they have the money to fund such a move for Ronaldo, who would obviously cost €120 million if those reports were true, plus a hefty contract on top.

Part of me would love to see Ronaldo finish his career at United but it would seem that the last nine years playing for Madrid would have taken his best years which could see him quickly fall down the pecking order and decline massively. However, which his 7% body fat and the fact it has been stated that his fitness age would be the same as a 23-year-old, it could suggest there is plenty of life in Ronaldo for the immediate future anyway.

Do I think he will return to Manchester United this summer. The easy answer would be no. We have all been here before. Ronaldo is not paid as much as Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr and I think this is just a way to get better contractual terms and of course, a pay rise. This has happened so many times before so why would this time be any different. Ronaldo still has the ability, drive, mentality, and the will to succeed. He did this at the start of the World Cup but as it got more difficult for Portugal, it resulted in the country being knocked out of the tournament.

Would I welcome Ronaldo back to the Theatre of Dreams? Of course. Who wouldn’t? The fallout from having Ronaldo back at the club would annoy journalists, rival supporters and every ABU out there. That would be very welcome as at the end of the day, Manchester United are hated, adored, and never ignored. However, common sense prevails here. I just don’t see there being much interest in bringing Ronaldo home.

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copyright: JW

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