Legends Never Die
Cristiano Ronaldo Departs Manchester United in a historic turn of events!
Cristiano Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United finally came to a bitter ending on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to a mutual termination of the club icon’s contract. When the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner returned to the club last season and made his (second) debut against Newcastle in a game that saw him score a brace, it felt like a fairy tale only an equally great William Shakespeare could write. Yet, 18 months on from that dream return, one of the club’s greatest players has departed in the most bizarre manner and even managed to throw in a no-so-subtle dig at the club by unveiling his brand-new line of watches in partnership with Jacob which includes him scoring a header for Real Madrid against Manchester United on the clock face shortly before the departure.
In a statement put out by the club, it read: “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect. The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future. Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.” The club and player also agreed to the non-payment of about £13.5m still owed to him – a small price for what Ronaldo would consider freedom.
The Portuguese had been unsettled at the club following their failure to make it back to the Champions League this season, despite an impressive return of 24 goals in 39 games last season. He had struggled for consistent playing time in the pre-season and the Premier League, and had made his displeasure publicly known by leaving the stadium before the final whistle on two separate occasions under the new manager, Erik ten Hag – the second of which attracted a one-game suspension and a 2-week wage fine.
Though the stats showed the club is doing better without the 37-year-old on the pitch this season, it was understandably a hard pill for him to swallow and off he went to his buddy, Piers Morgan, to grant one of the most explosive interviews by an athlete in recent times as he engineered his exit.
Manchester United With and Without Cristiano Ronaldo (When Starting In the Premier League In 2022/203)
|1.0||Points Per Game||2.2|
|0.5||Average Goals Scored Per Game||1.8|
|1.8||Average Goals Conceded Per Game||1.3|
|103.0||Average KM Covered Per Game||107.5|
While Ronaldo’s greatness will never ever be questioned, his decline (or at least his impact in Man Utd) is undeniable, and it is something he has struggled to come to terms with. Like someone aptly put it, “the journey down the other side of the mountain is one that is gradual. It happens day by day, without much visible or sudden change until suddenly you stand at the base, with an entire mountain behind you wondering how and when it all happened”
In the viral interview granted by the Portuguese, his allegations included that he was being forced out of the club by United, that senior executives lacked empathy when he opted to be absent from the pre-season tour to Asian citing the sickness of his daughter (just months after the death of his son), the nonchalance of team owners, the Glazer family, the swimming pool and the kitchen not being up to standard and the lack of respect showed to him by new manager Erik ten Hag.
In a statement by Cristiano Ronaldo after the exit, he stated: “Following conversations with Manchester United, we have mutually agreed to end our contract early. I love Manchester United. And I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time for me to seek a new challenge. I wish Man Utd all the best.”
- Bet on Cristiano Ronaldo to score 2-3 total goals in the FIFA World Cup @2.00
- Bet on Cristiano Ronaldo to be Portugal’s top scorer at the FIFA World Cup @2.00
- Bet on Portugal to win the FIFA World Cup @15.00
Cristiano Ronaldo For Manchester United (2003 – 2009 & 2021 -2022)
|Premier League Titles||3|
|UEFA Champions League||1|
|FIFA World Club Cup||1|
|Premier League Player of the Year Award||2|
|Premier League Golden Boot||1|
Looking back to Cristiano Ronaldo joining the Red Devils back in 2003 and all he has accomplished for the 20-time English Champions, it has been a match made in heaven but equally a sad divorce made in hell. However, the one bright light at the end of this dark tunnel for Man Utd fans is the announcement made by the Glazers later in the day indicating their willingness to finally sell the club: “Manchester United PLC announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club. The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially. As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.” After a 17-year reign filled with countless protests by fans against the Glazers, even the most heartbroken Man Utd fan went to bed with a smile on their face, knowing the end is close for the objectively incompetent owners.
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