With the 2022 Qatar World Cup underway, many people worldwide, whether they are fans or just girlfriends, who are forced to watch a match with their boyfriends, have come together to tune in to this quadrennial event.
Even if you do not know much about football, you are most likely supporting teams such as Argentina or Portugal, whose captains are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, respectively.
Normally, if you find yourself involved in a conversation about who the greatest footballer is of all time, it usually ends up with the name Cristiano Ronaldo being mentioned.
No doubt one of the greatest to have ever graced the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo, also known as CR7, shocked the world on Tuesday (22 Nov) when his former team Manchester United announced the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s departure from the club.
Relationship Had Been Rocky
Ever since the star’s return in 2021, his relationship with the team has not really been a stable one.
Ronaldo, who is now 37 years old, mentioned in an interview that the club had made “zero progress” since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
For those who do not know who Sir Alex Ferguson is, he is one of the most respected football managers of all time.
His tenure at Manchester United from 1986 to 2013 was one for the history books as he managed to bring the team 38 major trophies, which includes two European Cups, 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, the European Cup Winners’ Cup, the European Super Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Ronaldo’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson back when he was with Manchester United from 2003 to 2009 was one of the main factors for the team’s and the star’s success.
In the same interview, the Portuguese mentioned that he “does not respect” Erik ten Hag, who is Manchester United’s current manager.
The reason for that opinion however, was not disclosed.
Earlier this season, Ronaldo asked for a transfer as he felt his role had been greatly reduced.
He was then ordered to train on his own at the start of October after refusing to come on as a substitute for the team and walking off the pitch during the club’s win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The Contract Was until June 2023
According to multiple sources, Ronaldo’s contract was not supposed to expire until June 2023.
In a statement by Manchester United, Ronaldo’s left the club based on a mutual agreement by both parties.
They also thanked him for his great contributions to the club such as scoring 145 goals in the 346 games he had played for them.
In what seems to be a nudge at Ronaldo’s point of view, the team also mentioned in their statement that they would remain focused on their progress under the supervision of Erik ten Hag to achieve the success that they seek.
Ronaldo Thanks Fans
Following up on the team’s statement, Ronaldo also gave a statement of his own.
In his statement, Ronaldo said that he loves Manchester United and its fans, and that will never change. However, he mentions that he felt like it was time for him to move on and seek a new challenge for himself.
To end his statement, he wished the team success during the season as well as for their future.
A Controversial Interview
In an interview earlier this month with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo was asked whether he was indirectly being pushed out of the club, to which he responded directly with a name.
In his reply to Morgan, Ronaldo said, “Yes, not only by the ten Hag, but also by another two or three guys around the club. I felt betrayed.”
“Yes, I feel betrayed, and I felt some people don’t want me here, not just this year, but last year too.” He further added.
Ronaldo then described his relationship with his then-manager ten Hag and said that he does not respect ten Hag because ten Hag does not respect him.
A few days after Ronaldo’s comments, the club issued a statement that mentions that they had initiated appropriate steps in response to the interview.
According to The Daily Mail, Manchester United had plans to sack Ronaldo by terminating his £500,000-a-week (S$816,500) contract without paying him the £16 million he would have earned until his contract ends in June.
Manchester United Owners Considering to Sell the Club
Despite all the news about Ronaldo leaving the club, Manchester United also confirmed on the same day that the Glazer family, who owned Manchester United since 2005, is exploring a potential sale of the club.
In a statement by the club, they said, “The Company’s Directors is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.”
“The process is designed to enhance the club’s future growth, with the ultimate goal of positioning the club to capitalize on opportunities both on the pitch and commercially.
“As part of this process, the Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.”
What this essentially means is that the club’s board of directors – the people who usually make big decisions- are planning to give the club a revamp, which includes changing their stand on certain viewpoints as well as ownership of the club.
What Is the Future for United?
With the departure of what seemed to be the club’s greatest offensive asset, many are left wondering who will be the one to take over this important role.
Well, the answer is actually quite obvious, especially after the past few games that they have played.
The player in question is Marcus Rashford. The 25-year-old scored eight goals and three assists in his past 19 matches for United this season.
Despite having a poor 2021 season performance, Rashford’s career seemed to have rejuvenated by ten Hag’s plan to make him the team’s leading scorer for the season.
During his world cup game for England against Iran on 21 Nov, he scored within the first minute after being substituted for Bukayo Saka, which is considered an amazing feat by many.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Achievements
For those who are new to football or want to simply impress their boyfriends with some football knowledge about Ronaldo, we got you covered.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese football player, who is widely accepted as one of the greatest athletes of the modern era.
So far in his career, he has won five Ballon d’Ors, which is an award given to the best footballer every year, and four European Golden Shoes, which is an award given to the top European goal scorer every season.
Well, if these awards have not impressed you, do note that he has also 32 trophies under his belt, which includes seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship, all of which are very hard to win.
He currently holds the records for most appearances, goals, and assists in the Champions League, goals in the European Championship, international goals, and international appearances by a European.
Ronaldo is also one of the handfuls of players to have made over 1,100 professional career appearances and over 800 career goals for his clubs and country.
In 2016 and 2017, he was named by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid athlete beating competitors such as Lionel Messi, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Ronaldo started his football career when he first debuted for Sporting CP in 2002. He then transferred to Manchester United in 2003, where his career would bloom, before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.
During his tenure at Real Madrid from 2009 to 2018, he scored 311 goals in 292 appearances, making him the all-time leading scorer for the club.
He would then leave Real Madrid for the Italian club Juventus in 2018, where he also found personal success, scoring 81 goals in 98 games.
In 2021, he moved back to Manchester United, scoring 19 goals in the 40 appearances that he had made.
In addition to his astonishing club performance, Ronaldo also found success internationally, playing for his home country Portugal.
He scored 117 goals in 191 appearances for Portugal, making him the all-time leading goal scorer for any men’s national team.
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