Manchester United confirm Cristiano Ronaldo return
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Manchester United players, staff and fans have every right to feel excited about a long-awaited reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his name at Old Trafford well over a decade ago. Their prospects of success for the season ahead just received a major boost, and that is reportedly being felt in all corners of the dressing room.
In a fast and furious transfer saga which rapidly turned on its head on Friday afternoon, Ronaldo changed course from the blue half of Manchester to the red.
Upon seeing the 36-year-old’s impending move to Manchester City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly swooped in to ensure that his former team-mate would not betray the club’s fans.
There always seemed to be an air of doubt regarding Ronaldo’s move to the Etihad, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s reported phone call was perhaps the nudge that he needed to change his mind.
Within hours of the first murmurs that the move may genuinely be on the cards, the announcement arrived, much to the shock and jubilation of United fans watching on.
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Like the fans, the Athletic report that United’s squad are ‘ecstatic’ about Ronaldo’s arrival.
Within the club, there is now a general feeling that he will up the levels in the dressing room due to the hoard of individual and team accolades he has accumulated throughout a glittering career.
Renowned as one of the hardest-working trainers in the game, as proven by his superb physical condition at the age of 36, his relentless work ethic is also likely to rub off on others.
The prospect of sharing a pitch with Ronaldo also gives younger players an added incentive to work harder, as well as having access to a world-class brain to pick as they make their way in the game.
While the excitement within the squad is very real, there may also be a select few within the attacking ranks who are concerned about how their game time will be impacted.
Even before the Portuguese megastar sealed his sensational return, spots on the wing and up top were overcrowded with the likes of Paul Pogba in great form, Jadon Sancho arriving for big money and Mason Greenwood developing quickly.
It may turn out to be the final straw for some, with Jesse Lingard now surely set to join West Ham and Amad Diallo lined up for a loan move to guarantee minutes.
While Solskjaer will also be delighted that he was at the helm when he brought Ronaldo ‘home’, something fans have long dreamt of, serious pressure is sure to follow.
Put simply, progress is no longer acceptable for the Norwegian and such an expensive, star-studded squad must be good enough to yield silverware.
After a long, drawn out period of rebuilding since Fergie’s departure, United now have incredible squad depth and a scintillating balance of superstars both young and old.
The Premier League is shaping up to be one of the most competitive at the top in recent memory, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City all stronger than last season.
With Ronaldo by their side and the knock-on effects felt by the rest of the squad, the Red Devils are sure to be right in the mix.
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