Cristiano Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances during his first spell at Manchester United. The 36-year-old looks like returning to his spiritual home where he will be watched by Sir Alex Ferguson, his footballing father who will love to see the Spiritual Son return to Old Trafford.
It was announced on August 27th that pending personal terms, Ronaldo would sign a two-year deal. The transfer fee was reported to be €25 million with no mention of this wages and possible image rights. Ronaldo in a 2021/22 Manchester United shirt would have huge commercial value.
Ronaldo’s Past in Manchester
Ronaldo played for United for six years during his first spell. Initially, his style of play frustrated seasoned pros like Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane. They recognized his huge ability and quickly drummed into him the need for an end product and he was a quick learner.
He had a wonderful relationship with Ferguson who famously gave the player unlimited time off to visit his unwell natural father at a crucial stage of the season. That bond must surely have been a factor in Ronaldo coming back to United, even towards the end of his career.
The return of Ronaldo to the Red Devils of Manchester has seen bookmakers issue a range of betting markets for the Portuguese attacker. He is 9/2 with William Hill to be the top scorer in the Premier League this season. United are 5/1 with Betfred to win the title for the first time in nine years.
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Player of the Year
There are currently no markets on the PFA Player of the Year but you would expect Ronaldo to be prominent in that market. He could even figure in the betting for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year when bookmakers issue their prices nearer the presentation in December.
Ronaldo left United at the end of the 2008-09 season. He scored 450 goals in 438 matches for Real Madrid over nine year spell. Four seasons at Juventus produced a further 101 goals in 124 matches. Ronaldo’s domestic career total is 674 goals in 897 outings.
He has also found the net on 109 occasions during his Portugal international career to date of 179 matches. Ronaldo was the leading scorer with 5 goals at Euro 2020. He could be still playing for Portugal at the next Euros but looks certain to represent his country at the 2022 World Cup.
The player born in Madeira has scored goals in seven successive major tournaments, four European Championships and three World Cups. His personal awards include the Ballon D’or five times which is a great achievement during the Lionel Messi era.
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Ronaldo has been voted the best player in the main domestic leagues in England, Spain and Italy. But for Messi’s brilliance, his tally of individual honours would probably make him the most decorated player in football history.
Pele, Maradona and Messi would have their say but Ronaldo could claim to be the Greatest of all Time (GOAT). He could play at the highest level for at least another four years in which case 1,000 career goals in all competitions in international and domestic football is within his scope.
The deal is not quite done and dusted but his arrival gives United a huge boost. The Premier League runners-up from last season are putting together a squad to challenge Manchester City who remain the title favorites at 6/5 with MansionBet.
However, their local rivals in the city have been shortening in the betting since news broke that Cristiano Ronaldo could again be playing and scoring goals for Manchester United.