August 31, 2021, a date that will live long in the memory of Manchester United supporters around the world. On that fateful day, the club announced they had agreed to bring their prodigal son back home.
It was a fairytale couple of days as pictures and videos of Cristiano Ronaldo wearing the colours of the club that had made him the world’s best adorned every social media post and was the topic of discussion among everyone in the world.
And it culminated in a special game against Newcastle United where the Portuguese lit up Old Trafford once again by scoring twice on his second debut.
Not many would have envisaged that such a romantic story would come to such a bitter end next season. The Portugal international struggled to make an impact under new manager Erik ten Hag and thus decided to give a no-holds barred interview.
CR7 fairytale over
During that highly-publicised interview, the 37-year-old lambasted the club for betraying him and the manager for disrespecting him.
The 20-time English league champions were left with no choice but to mutually agree a termination that has left the former United No 7 without a club.
Gary Neville on Ronaldo.pic.twitter.com/PdGiWUExGb
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) November 24, 2022
“I think Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be looking for a top club on a four-month or five-month contract where he can go in and do a brilliant cameo role at the very elite of European football,” Neville said.
“I think he’s got four or five great months in him somewhere where he’ll go in and score 15 or 20 goals in that period.”
So far, his agent Jorge Mendes’ best efforts at finding an elite club have not worked out with the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Newcastle United all saying no to the prospect of signing the superstar.
Where next for CR7?
But knowing Ronaldo’s drive for success, he will be desperate to prove all his critics wrong in England and around the world and that the Red Devils were wrong to let him go.
“That’s what I think his priority would be – to stay in the Champions League, to stay at the very top and prove that what happened at Manchester United wasn’t right.
“Everybody in Manchester will say ‘why didn’t we keep him?’ and people in the Premier League will as well.”
“I think he’ll get to the end of the season and then think about the next two years and what his last football project might look like. Is it in the US or in the Middle East? Is it somewhere else in Europe where he’s not played before?
“I hope he does really well wherever he goes. I didn’t work out in Manchester in the end, but it was the right thing for the club to do in breaking ties and it was the right thing for Cristiano to do.”