Cristiano Ronaldo – The Unexpected Turnout

Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the greatest transfer stories in football history was definitely Cristiano Ronaldo’s switch from Juventus to Man Utd in the summer of 2021. The Portuguese legend had returned to the Old Trafford after 12 years. His return to United, made this Red Devil’s greedy of silverware. However, his transfer did not turn out as one would hope. Ronaldo enjoyed yet another fantastic individual season. Nonetheless, from the team’s perspective; United had endured the most disappointing season since 1992. Will he stay or leave United after a short stint with the Red Devils?

Ronaldo – Return of the Prodigy

Ronaldo made his debut for the 2nd time for the Red Devils against Newcastle on September 11, 2021. It was a dream return for Ronaldo and United fans. He scored twice in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford. Indeed, the veteran made an incredible start to the season with United as he scored four goals in his first week. This included his first Champions League goal in his first Champions League appearance of 2021-22 against Young Boys.

Ronaldo suffered his first Premier League defeat back at United in a home loss to Aston Villa. He continued to be a clutch player in key moments. But United were struggling under the previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Solskjaer’s continuance was hanging by a thread. But humiliating defeats to Manchester City and Watford was the final nail in the coffin for the manager. Ronaldo then surpassed 800 career goals with a double in a 3-2 victory over Arsenal.

Ralf Rangnick was hired in December as interim manager until the end of the season. He scored 2 and assisted 1 in United’s final three games of the year. Ronaldo scored an impressive 14 goals in 20 appearances for United in 2021.

With 2022 starting, he failed to score or assist in any of the club’s first three Premier League matches of the new year. The uncharacteristically poor form continued in the FA Cup. Ronaldo finally scored his first goal of 2022 in the 2-0 win over Brighton on February 15. He would not score again in February. Ronaldo’s inconsistency would be seen throughout the remainder of the season. He sat out the final game of the season. But finished the campaign with very impressive individual numbers. With 18 Premier League goals, only Mohamed Salah and Heung-Min Son scored more.

Cristiano Ronaldo 2021-22 stats

Appearances: 38

Starts: 34

Goals: 24

Assists: 3

What Next?

Cristiano Ronaldo has not turned out for pre-season training for 4 days in a row. He has cited due to family reasons and the board has accepted it. But his absence is engulfed amidst his statement to part ways with the club in the event they receive a suitable offer. Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has spent the past few weeks selling the ‘Cristiano effect’ to several clubs. He has compiled a dossier of his client’s immense sponsorship and social media influence. The likes of Bayern Munich, Napoli and FC Barcelona have been rumored to be in contact with Mendes. Chelsea seemed to have high interest, but would currently focus more towards their hunt for Raphinha.

Author: Aditya Desai

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