There are not many individuals in the sporting world like Cristiano Ronaldo. And there won’t be any, most probably. He has stood high, staying true to his unbelievable standards for the better part of last 20 years. And that’s not ordinary stuff. Not only in football, but in all sports, Cristiano Ronaldo is an example, and he deserves every bit of it.
It’s sad that players like CR7 must hang their boots one day, and that day is seemingly closer than we think, as it feels like he is living the twilight of his career.
Recently, things haven’t been like they used to be on field for Cristiano, his return to Old Trafford after 12 years haven’t gone as many would have expected. And today, we will dive deeper into this discussion!
Ronaldo & Man Utd: The Expectations
In 2021, it was announced that Cristiano Ronaldo would be returning to Old Trafford after conquering the world football. It was nothing short of massive hopes for Manchester United as the team was struggling for 9 years now, since Sir Alex Ferguson departed. Ronaldo’s return was surely the sight of relief, given his decisive stature and capabilities.
It seemed like the glory days will return to the reds of Manchester as they had their prodigal son back. In his first season, Ronaldo scored an impressive 24 goals at 37 years of age, but the collective sight of the team deteriorated even more. Ronaldo’s individual brilliance wasn’t enough to qualify Manchester United to Champions League.
It was in the summer transfer window of 2022 when things started tearing down for CR7 at Old Trafford as he seemed to be wanting a way out of Manchester United to play Champions League football. It was even reported that he also submitted the transfer request, but no agreement could reach out eventually.
Arrival Of Ten Hag
Amid all this chaos, Manchester United already had Erik Ten Hag appointed as the man in charge for the dressing room from the start of 2022/23 season. During his first press conference, Ten Hag had nothing but praise & admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo. But things took a sharp turn shortly after the season started officially. Here’s how.
2022/23: Where Things Went Wrong For Ronaldo?
Ten Hag is a man praised for his personality and firm belief in his methods during his time at Ajax, and Manchester United signed him in a hope of finally bringing the stability back to the dressing room.
But right after the season started, Ronaldo’s dip in form and lack of effectivity on the pitch led Ten Hag to rethink his starting line-up.
The opening two fixtures of Premier League saw Man Untied losing twice, which featured Ronaldo as frontman in the attack. These loses also included a humiliation against Brentford. The scoreboard saw 4-0 in favour of Brentford.
Is Man United Better Without Ronaldo?
Right after the match against Brentford, Ten Hag took a commanding step and changed the dynamics of the starting line-up. Which saw Manchester United improve massively. That step also included benching Cristiano Ronaldo and starting Marcus Rashford in the ‘false 9’ role instead.
Leaving CR7 on the bench is quite shocking, as no one is used to see that. But consequently, the team improved and had a streak of 4 consecutive wins before going into the first international break of 2022/23 season.
Is CR7 Losing His Touch?
Though, this doesn’t take anything away from the legendary stature of Cristiano, as he’s got nothing to prove, given his exquisite football heroics in last 20 years. But, it’s also a point to ponder, is it finally the time for Cristiano to step down as one of the best players on the planet? Is age finally catching up to him as he will be 38 soon?
All these questions must be popping up in all of our’s mind. In 8 matches with club, Ronaldo have scored only once this season, with no goals in the Premier League so far until the international break.
Underwhelming Performances With Portugal
Let’s talk about Portugal national team, where critics have started to point out Cristiano being the deadwood in the team right now. Until 2021, he was a super striker, the all-time top scorer on the international stage. During the first international break of 2022/23 season, and world cup being just less than 2 months away, there are serious questions about the horrible displays from Ronaldo. That leaves us with a lot of questions. Will Ronaldo bounce back at this age? Will he continue the topflight football after 2023? Only the time can answer. Though, the history has taught us to never doubt Cristiano!
That brings us closer to the wrap today. It’s sad to see the players like Cristiano Ronaldo decline eventually, as he is among those magicians who kept us on the edge of our seats through his mind-blowing performances.
Situation as of now surely brings some question marks with it, which we discussed in detail today. We’re glad you made it till the end, thanks for reading and let us know your thoughts!