Close to about 4 years ago, football fans across the globe were going gaga over the record transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid. The transfer fee, which is said to be around an eye boggling €93.9 million, made him the most expensive player ever in football history. Ever since then, the star forward has been generating records, both as an individual and for the club. He has surpassed the elite and established himself as a modern day icon for young footballers. Cemented his place as the highest paid footballer, captain of his national team and also has a smoking hot girlfriend; definitely a life worth wondering about.
Besides the obvious glamour and success that accompanies the superstar, many critics are of the opinion that the Portuguese captain has reached his development peak at Madrid, rather than at United. Thousands have debated on this buzzing topic, only to be concluded on terms of his fan following. Setting aside his popularity from both teams, we’d like to show you where his place in football has been more recognized.
Old Trafford – Ronaldo’s Second Home
Cristiano Ronaldo was the signing of the season back in 2003 for Premier League Giants, Manchester United. The move to Old Trafford was for a fair price of €15 million, a good amount for a young and athletic player who impressed Sir Alex Ferguson and his team. His future was being written the moment he made his debut in the Red Devils jersey by scoring a brilliant free kick against Portsmouth that season, which proved to be the starting point in his illustrious career.
He kissed glory in almost all domestic and international cups with United winning 2 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, League Cup, Community Shield and UEFA Champions League, filling his trophy cabinet with countless individual awards and honors. Trophy accolades should be based on substantial stat evidence which is given below. Stats are of Ronaldo in the Premier League while playing under the red jersey.
Ronaldo had a wonderful chemistry with every single member of the team, especially, manger Sir Alex, who he looked up to as his father in football. ‘He’s a fantastic person. A human person. He (Sir Alex) taught me many things. Like I said before, he’s like a father in football, because he taught me many things. I really miss him because I have a great relationship with him,’ Ronaldo told CNN International.
Clearly, stardom and fame all came to him at United. Usually, many players distance themselves from the primary focus of football due to media attraction. Ronaldo has gone beyond that and has achieved legendary status. Taking United to greater heights season after season, instantly made him a fan favorite. Impressing football fans, managers, legends and the rest of the world had started to become a habit at United; A true delight to watch him play and mesmerize many on the pitch.
His longstanding time at United developed his simple yet talented footballing skills to a completely new definition of football. His remarkable skills with the ball sparked defensive fears in the hearts of opposition teams. Playing initially as an attacking left winger, Ronaldo was able to master the positions up front as a center forward, keeping his midfield tactics as a secondary weapon. His development finally brought him to be one of United’s best midfielders, or rather player ever produced, and still having been gone for 4 years, United fans had that emotional rush when they saw Ronaldo in action for the first time against his former club in the Champions League tie a few weeks ago. As a player and person, he matured at United and when it was time for him to move on; he was ready to take on anything.
Ronaldo is Ronaldo for only one reason and THAT is Manchester United.
Real Madrid, Where Superstars Meet Superstars
The capital city of Spain with it’s beauty, history, nightlife and football. That is Madrid; And when Ronaldo made his appearance in front of 85,000 happy fans at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, he broke the record of Diego Maradona, who witnessed 75,000 Napoli fans for his public appearance. Such is the emotion shared by Spanish football fans. A religion of sorts you can say. Ronaldo was the scene back in 2009 and Madrid was just getting started!
Ronaldo had everything. All the training at Old Trafford seems to have paid off in terms of experience, skills, talent, leadership and willpower. With such an incredible asset of abilities, he has taken his goal tally to 182 in all official competitions for Real Madrid, making him the club’s 6th highest scorer of all time. In almost 181 appearances, he has managed to score at least a goal per game, clearly beating his record 118 goals (292 appearances) for United by a mile. That surely is a feat of which no one even close has been able to achieve, even by close standards.
Most would say, more goals means a classier player. That is something to ponder on about. Had he stayed at United? Had someone like Messi played along with him at Madrid? Such questions arise which people debate on the issue of goal tallies. These are only assumptions and it is safe to say, United was the factory and Madrid were the favorable customers who bought him. He is performing at that world class level only because of his support he received Manchester United.
He is a player capable of taking a team to the highest level. Adaptability and chemistry are defining factors which makes him a success everywhere he goes. Be it Portugal, Real Madrid or Manchester United, he has never once failed to meet expectations. Such is the track record of CR7.
With Madrid, he has managed to win only 1 La Liga, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana. 3 and a half seasons it has been since he made his debut in the white jersey for Madrid and some wonder why they haven’t been able to win the UEFA Champions League. It’s been tough from many perspectives and manager Jose Mourinho believes this is the year for Madrid to take home all the glory. A game at Old Trafford will test Ronaldo’s spirit as he returns to his second home for the second leg with Manchester United a few weeks from now. Only a matter of time before everything falls in place.
I may be a United fan, but in my opinion, Ronaldo has shown his developing side at United. He is definitely the player he is today because of Sir Alex and his team of extraordinary players, and supportive fans. Madrid, this just beginning. The Portuguese forward still has a few tricks up his sleeve. At the end of the day, Real Madrid wins the product benefits while United wins the behind the scenes making of a superstar. He’s a Portugal legend, Real Madrid legend and Manchester United legend. That’s what matters the most.