Saturday, August 28, 2021
Bizarre story of the transfer
Man United was Ronaldo’s last resort
By Tobias Nordmann
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the place where he rose to be a superstar. The 36-year-old Portuguese is back at Manchester United. After eight years, he should bring the “Red Devils” back the championship. He himself has something bigger in mind.
It had become really tight for Cristiano Ronaldo. The superstar didn’t have much time to find a new club. The transfer window closes on Monday evening. Now there will have been a very sufficient number of clubs around the world that would have been happy about a commitment from the Portuguese. However, the defined conditions for almost all clubs on this planet could not be met. And so only the currently bustling “Club of the Super Rich” came into question to take care of the 36-year-old.
The money was probably less the dominant leitmotif than the player’s wish to play in a superstar troupe again. One last pot of the handle – you get it for triumphing in the Champions League – that would actually be the beautiful and perfect crown on an extraordinary career. And by the way, it would also be a personal victory in the eternal world footballer duel with Lionel Messi, who has at least as powerful chances for the title with Paris St. Germain as Ronaldo, who has returned to Manchester United in a spectacular way. And as emotional as this comeback story is, it was just as little a planned affair of the heart.
At first it doesn’t matter. The hype has broken out in the working-class town in the north of England. At least in the red part of town. The “son” of the club, who rose to superstar and the most expensive footballer in the world between 2003 and 2009, is returning home after twelve years. The euphoria of the move temporarily paralyzes the club’s website and current players and former legends share their enthusiasm everywhere. “Wow wow wow, he’s at home,” tweeted England international Marcus Rashford. Former Dortmund-based Jadon Sancho, who moved to the Red Devils for 85 million euros in the summer, commented on the message with the words: “Weird hours”. Defense icon Rio Ferdinand treated himself to a champagne out of sheer ecstasy.
City was actually in pole position
The mood in the sky-blue part of the city was not quite as uninhibited. Because actually everything had looked like City, the team of start coach Josep Guardiola, would land the coup with the superstar. But then, on Friday lunchtime, everything headed massively towards the spectacular turning point, before finally at 5:53 p.m. it was certain. It is a certainty with very high hopes. Ronaldo is supposed to satisfy the great desire for the title. The last championship was eight years ago, and the triumph in the premier class was even 13 years ago. But is the superstar the crucial piece of the puzzle? In fact, there was less need in the storm. Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are a very good mixture of quality and talent. Well, no question about it, Ronaldo is clearly raising the level again. Not only athletically, but also as a mentality and leadership player.
He would have done the same with the Citizens. And there he would actually have filled the gap of the center forward. Guardiola is desperately looking for that. Harry Kane, the captain of the English national team, he would have liked, but the negotiations failed. Probably also because of the transfer in the area of 180 million euros. By the way, Ronaldo is said to have only cost somewhere between 15 and 25 million euros. Would he really have fit into City’s requirements profile? Rather questionable. Guardiola’s game is too intensive to run. For United’s rather wait-and-see counter-football, on the other hand, he seems to be a good fit. The Spanish “Marca” writes: “The last bomb. CR7, what a devil! He should sign with City .. and end up with United.”
But how much desire and how much desperation is there actually in this change to the Red Devils. The fact that the club is completely inspired seems absolutely beyond dispute. The dream of the return of the superstar, who scored 118 goals in 292 games for United during his early days, has been dreamed so many times at Old Trafford. But what about the player? In the past few days it has been reported again and again that CR7 absolutely wanted to switch to City. However, the reports from Spain, France and Italy never cited an official source. Why the superstar wanted to say goodbye to Juve is not clear. Atmospheric disturbances were rumored. In the end it doesn’t matter.
Wild offers odyssey through Europe
The Guardian now reports that the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, undertook a huge odyssey this summer in order to find a new top challenge for his client. Allegedly, the Portuguese players’ agent was present at almost all top clubs in Europe, including Paris St. Germain (they preferred to treat themselves to Messi) and Chelsea (signed Romelu Lukaku). The talks with City were probably the furthest advanced, even if the club is said to have had reservations about the obligation of a 36-year-old. It is unclear why the talks ultimately failed. At the transfer? At the salary? Or is it because of the Turinese wish to get striker Gabriel Jesus in return? The latter can probably be ruled out, because a swap deal was not agreed with United either.
The only thing that is clear, according to the Guardian, is that Mendes broke off negotiations with the Skyblues agents on Thursday after three days and then turned to United. The deal was then pulled through within a few hours. Possibly with the strong help of Sir Alex Ferguson. According to information from the “Manchester Evening News”, the “Daily Mirror” and the “Sun”, the legendary coach called Ronaldo on Friday morning to persuade him to return to Old Trafford. “Sir Alex”, who brought the player to the Red Devils at the age of 18 in the summer of 2003, is considered to be Ronaldo’s sporting foster father. So his word apparently still carries weight with the superstar. Other media reported that United had been working on the Portuguese’s return for a long time and had been in talks for months. The Glazers, the controversial billion dollar club owners from the United States, have signaled their willingness to pay. It is quite possible that not everything happened as spontaneously as it now looked.
The Turin, which Ronaldo is now leaving after three not quite as successful years (at least not as successfully as desired), were apparently only passengers in the whole Zinober. The bosses had repeatedly emphasized that Ronaldo would stay this summer. And even the player had clearly forbidden the wild rumors, including a return to Real Madrid, a few days ago. Ronaldo lamented the reports and rumors as “disrespectful” and “frivolous”.
And now? Is that so now with the big deals this summer, which are drawing new boundaries on the football map of the mighty? PSG, City, United and Chelsea, with their transfers they founded their own little Super League after all. Real Madrid may still move into this elite circle. The transfer of the Paris star striker Kylian Mbappé for around 180 million euros is apparently imminent. The Spanish newspaper “Sport” wrote: “CRAZY! The final spurt of the transfer market will not be for the faint of heart.” And what about FC Bayern? What does he do? He is supposed to deal with the national players Jonas Hofmann and Matthias Ginter from Borussia Mönchengladbach. What a contrasting (soccer) world.