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Manchester United: Why Ronaldo Returning Would Be A Risk

by Erick Jonsson
4 September 2012 24 Comments

CR7 said he's unhappy at Real Madrid, which led to rumours circulating about him wanting to coming back to Manchester. But would Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford be smart for United?


With the recent news of Cristiano Ronaldo being unhappy at Real Madrid, there have been unavoidable rumours of him wanting to leave. And, of course, Manchester United fans all over the globe start hoping for him to come back to United. Wishful thinking, it seems to be at first, but who can blame them? Now, I don’t think Ronaldo will leave Madrid for at least a couple of years yet, but let’s just for a second (or however long it may take for you to read this article) suppose the outcome from this whole saga will indeed be that he leaves and returns to Man United.

I would be incredibly thrilled if that were to happen, just like approximately 100% of every other United fan, and the pros are easily found. The cons, however, are not as obvious, but they are out there. But just to make clear before I start giving you my thoughts on this, this is not a: “Why United shouldn’t sign Ronaldo” piece. The idea of this is simply to give some perspective to the unstoppable excitement of it happening. Right, with that done, let’s take a look at the cons.

First of all, a return to Man United for Ronaldo would mean he would not be able to succeed. Sounds strange? Let me explain. You see, it would either “go as expected”, or it’d turn out a failure. Everyone will expect him to bang in at least 20-30 goals a season, probably more. There is no chance for Ronaldo to perform over expectation, as the expectations will be the highest possible. Now, granted, if that happens everyone connected with Manchester United will be delighted, but the point is that there is very little chance for him to go up at United. And this not to mention if he wouldn’t meet up to expectations his status at United would undeniably, and perhaps a bit unfairly, go down.

There are also of course plenty of good, potentially great, players in the world right now who are a lot younger and a lot cheaper.

Secondly, and this is maybe the most obvious con of all, he’d cost a whole lot of money. Even if Ronaldo somehow manages to force his way out of Madrid, he’d still cost at least £40-50 million. And if that wasn’t enough, his wages would also be enormous. Wayne Rooney is currently on about £160k a week, being the highest paid at United, and Ronaldo would without doubt want more. Sure, there is a chance of Ronaldo being willing to accept to not have a salary above £200k a week, but I find that possibility rather low. And even if his salary is “only” at, say, £150k a week, that’s still a lot of money needed to be paid. So in best case scenario United could get him for £40 million and, with bonuses excluded, a salary of £7.8 million a year. Which poses another question: are United (Glazers) ready and willing to pay that kind of money?

Thirdly, there is definitely a case to be made that it would be better for United to just, you know, move on; to try and make new big players, bring new players in, rather than to bring back an “old” one. That it would be better to stop reminiscing about the past and rather look to make “new” history with players already at the club, or with (signing) players who haven’t been at the club before. “Doesn’t this mean it was the wrong choice by Sir Alex to bring Paul Scholes back?”, some might say. The answer to this is no, as that’s not the same; Scholes was only gone for six months and during this time he was still helping out coaching the reserves, and he is of course a lot more of a club legend than Ronaldo is. There are also of course plenty of good, potentially great, players in the world right now who are a lot younger and a lot cheaper. Ronaldo is after all 28 next summer (probably at the soonest United would be able to get him, January transfer very unlikely).

Now, if you have managed to get this far, I’d like to point out again that even though there are cons in bringing Ronaldo back, I still think it would be a fantastic signing, would it happen, for United. And there are a couple of holes in each point I made above, some of you have probably already noticed them. It wasn’t easy to first of all find cons, and secondly make a good point of them. Which also underlines that it would mostly just be a very, very good signing. But, please, just don’t get my hopes up…

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David Law 1:56 pm, 5-Sep-2012

If he comes back to Manchester then I think it is more likely City would take him.

Nick 6:35 pm, 5-Sep-2012

I don't want him back. Overpaid, diving, cheating, sulking, petulant girl. I was at Old Trafford for many of his games and grew sick of him checking himself out on the big screen every time he touched the ball. You can take him - and his cheap impersonator, Nani - and stick them right up it.

blake 6:38 pm, 5-Sep-2012

I think cr willnt choose city, coz he put respect on united.. If glazer can't afford him, maybe he'll never come back again to epl..

Steve 6:54 pm, 5-Sep-2012

Nick, if you were at old trafford for many of Ronaldos games then you would know that there are no big screens at old trafford for him to check himself out on. Obviously just an ABU posing as a united fan.

Mikie 7:20 pm, 5-Sep-2012

He is in extremely good form right now, this season. After that, where will his head be

Shaun 7:54 pm, 5-Sep-2012

Big screen at Old Trafford? I think someone has never been to OT!!!

really? 9:49 pm, 5-Sep-2012

Jesus Christ Nick. Probably the most hilarious comment I've ever read! Big screen? are you for real? There isn't a big screen within half a mile of OT! All of your other points aren't even worth considering because they are plainly ridiculous but my god did the big screen thing make me laugh.

Sam 9:50 pm, 5-Sep-2012

I've got a mate who works at Old Trafford and word is that with his substantial wage packet a straight swap for Rooney would be an option (with a few mill here adn there) I'd take him, him linking with kagawa, nani, and rvp is too good...

Nick 10:34 pm, 5-Sep-2012

Yeah fair enough I realised as i posted I'd screwed that up!! I have seen a lot of his games at OT though and stand by all the other comments. Plainly ridiculous? He's a cock.

shaun 1:01 am, 6-Sep-2012

rooneys on 250k a week..

John 4:13 am, 6-Sep-2012

To Nick: There is no "big screen" at Old Trafford. Oh I've just realised how many others have just commented on this... Ahh well I'll make the same point. There :)

Devious Soul 11:16 am, 6-Sep-2012

We can't afford him. Next!

asnder 1:18 pm, 6-Sep-2012

well, ronaldo is still a fantastic player to have as a team mate rather than an enemy. i don't know how it;s gonig to work as united have nani, young, and valencia. RVP as well. probably they will sell nani then. anyway, i went to OT once, mmm, did i miss the BIG SCREEN?

Iky 11:50 pm, 6-Sep-2012

Cristiano is overall the best player in the world. Manchester united and sir Alex made him into such a great player. I feel the media always make him out to be someone he isn't. He has come from a poor background and is a humble lad. Coming back to play for Manchester united may not be the greatest move for the club, Manchester united have moved on without him, however there is no question that if he did come back, the squad will be much stronger and utd would score Alot more goals. Oh yh and clearly some people "cough" nick... Don't know what they are on about. Yh lads nobody seen ronaldo checking himself out at OT on the big screen?? Only one of us then huh?! Loool

James 9:57 am, 7-Sep-2012

*Nick* if you have actually as you say been to Old Trafford you would know there is no big screen!! stop pretending (Genuine United Fan & ST Holder)we would take him back in an instant. Matt Busbys prodigal son

Devious Soul 11:56 am, 7-Sep-2012

Ronaldo has stipulated in his contract negotiations that he will not play at Old Trafford again until a big screen has been added. Playing hard ball.

alexander mensah 4:08 pm, 8-Sep-2012

ronaldo is the best n until he comes to man u there will be no champions league bcos after he left thats was the end.he broke the unbreakable record in porto leading man u to the final

CARON 1:21 pm, 28-Sep-2012

I think that he is very humble guy...but the press always have a go at him just because they want to make monye out of him ...You forget that he supports a lot of charities....HE IS VERY HUMBLE GUY AND DECENT PEOPLE JUST LIKE TO BELIEVE WHAT EVER THEY READ...DONT THINK FURTHER THAN THEIR NOSES

huree avishek 5:32 pm, 28-Sep-2012

ronaldo kutta kaka dans pot

Danny 8:18 pm, 14-Oct-2012

plz come home :'(

tj 7:49 pm, 20-Nov-2012

He will never go to City. He said that he couldnt betray United like that

Chris 10:39 am, 29-Dec-2012

Fuck all that, we still want him back. am sure he'll accept a price cut

Chris 10:40 am, 29-Dec-2012

If he that badly wants back at Old Trafford, i know he'll accept a price cut

eddie 6:14 pm, 31-Dec-2012

hes a god bring back Erick the king

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