Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he would love to have Cristiano Ronaldo back at the Old Trafford club. Solskjaer and Ronaldo played together at United from 2003 until 2009, when the Portuguese forward left the club for Real Madrid, a year later than he wanted to. Ronaldo is a superstar now and always will be.
Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus in the summer of 2018 after playing a total of 438 times for the Madrid club, scoring 450 goals. In his time in the Spanish capital, he won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, two Supercopa de España, four UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and three FIFA Club World Cups.
It might have been an end of an era for the Spanish club when Ronaldo left but his career is still going strong in Italy. In two seasons, despite the 2019/20 season has not yet been completed, Ronaldo has played 75 times, scoring 53 goals, winning the Serie A and the Supercoppa Italiana so far in his career at the club.
Solskjaer was recently asked which of his 1999 treble winning teammates he would like in his current United squad and the Norwegian opted for both Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, who in my opinion do not get enough praise for what they both did in the centre of the midfield, surrounded by magnificent players. Solskjaer added:
“Don’t forget I played with Cristiano [Ronaldo] and he’s the best player in the world — so I wouldn’t mind having him in my team too.”
The United managed confirmed that he had huge respect for Ronaldo, who is now 35 and still playing football at the top level, which is an achievement in itself. He is also Portugal’s all time top scorer with 99 goals in 164 appearances, playing in every year from 2003 to 2019, not yet playing an international match in 2020, which might not happen.
Solskjaer stated that he took interest in Ronaldo when he arrived at United at the age of 18, replacing David Beckham at the club, also taking on the famous number seven shirt, which post-Ronaldo has not been worn by a player who has had a similar impact, seemingly all failing at the club despite big names such as Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.
It is highly unlikely that Ronaldo would make the return to United. It was once suggested that everything had been agreed with the player to return to the club in the summer of 2013 but Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement may have changed that. However, that did not stop the player being linked with a return every summer since, which seems to have cooled down now. Solskjaer added:
“Cristiano always wanted to be the best but he was shaped by the environment he came to at United.
“We — the more experienced players — just had to guide him once in a while.
“We could see a world-class talent with the best attributes you could see.
“But there were little things we could help with.
“You could see he was not going to let anything get in the way of being the best in the world.
“You have to make sacrifices — and he did.”
Ronaldo was one of, if not the best player to play for United in the Premier League era, achieving a lot at the club in six years, including three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, one FA Community Shield, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup – winning five Champions League titles in his career, which is some achievement. Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or at United winning four more at Real Madrid.