Jose Mourinho has admitted that he would welcome the chance to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United if the chance was there.
The Portuguese arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 as a skinny, rough diamond and left for Real Madrid in 2009 as the best – and most expensive – player in the world.
What he has done since is truly breathtaking: 436 games for Real, 449 goals, three Champions Leagues, two league titles, one European Championship, and four further Ballon d’Or awards.
And Mourinho, although doubtful of the transfer ever happening, made it clear that the club would not shirk the opportunity to sign him if it was there.
“I don’t think so,” he said, “but all the people know his history in Manchester, the passion they have for him and that there are players in the world who, if the clubs have the possibility of signing, will not say no.”
It would be quite poetic, wouldn’t it, seeing Ronaldo – now a matured, demigod-like presence on the pitch after years of relentlessly being the best in the world – come back to where it all started, the perfect incubator for nurturing and emboldening young attacking talent.
Many forget that the man is actually 33 – an age when most players, regardless of how good they are, start to wind down and think about moving to the MLS. But if anything Ronaldo’s age has only forced him to become more calculated, more efficient, absent from most of the game but then delivering the killer blow which makes all the difference.
He would, in that sense, fit in quite nicely under Mourinho, who has always admired players who offer precision and ruthless dedication to the cause.