Soccer Update: Cristiano Ronaldo Returns to Manchester United
Manchester United further strengthened their bid to win their first English Premier League title in nine seasons by signing Juventus midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo to a two-year deal. This is a homecoming of sorts for the Portuguese star who played for United between 2003 and 2009. He also notched three Premier League titles during his stint. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will add firepower and veteran presence to the Red Devils. Reports said that United offered Juventus EUR28 million, or USD33 million, to snag him from rivals Manchester City, who were also in the hunt to sign Ronaldo. The return of the 36-year-old to Old Trafford is certainly great news for the title-hungry Manchester United. It also piles up pressure for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to win the title after missing it last year. The development has given soccer oddsmakers an obvious choice of who will take home the 2021-22 Premier League title with just two games into the season.
Back to where the legend began
Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Old Trafford after a 12-year-spell of playing in Spain with Real Madrid and Italy with Juventus. The swoop capped an eventful 24 hours during which Ronaldo was first reported to transfer to Manchester City.
Ronaldo now brings championship experience and another goal-scoring threat that Solskjaer can utilize. Before the veteran’s return to the Red Devils, the team has a ton of high-caliber players. These include Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, and Paul Pogba. Manchester United is 1-1-0 in their first two games. They were impressive in their first game against Leeds, scoring five goals. But they tapered down a bit in their second encounter against Southampton, settling for a 1-1 draw.
Solskjaer, who once played with Ronaldo from United, called him a “legend” and the “greatest player of all time.”
Ronaldo’s signing puts pressure on Solskjaer
The return of the veteran midfielder also puts pressure on his former teammate to produce championships after nine years of drought. In their goal to finally capture the EPL title this season, the club’s owners spent GBP150 million (USD206 million) to get Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho. Now it’s time for Solskjaer, who has yet to give Manchester United in his two-and-a-half-year reign as chief gaffer, to manage the team to win it all from the Premier League to the UEFA Champions League. He has proven himself to be capable of winning big-time matches. But he has been soft in games when they are favored to take three points.
Young guns might lose exposure
The signing will possibly bring back the good old days when Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Red Devils. However, this could affect young stars being developed by the team. One of them is Mason Greenwood, who has already scored in both games this season. With the addition of Ronaldo reduced playing time may result for him. Even Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp frowned at this move. He said that this might hurt the chances of Manchester United’s up and comers for a short period of time.
Only time will tell
Ronaldo’s signing will move United into title contenders moving forward. However, only time will tell if this can result in a title the Red Devils’ faithful are waiting for in the past nine seasons. The best online soccer betting site will cover Ronaldo’s games under the Red Devils uniform from this day forward and will see if this signing would bring glory to Manchester United and their loyal fans.