Cristiano Ronaldo was and will always be one of the greatest football players in history. In 50 years, people will watch his goals in super gadgets and not believe their eyes. But it will be later, and now Cristiano is going through the worst period in his career. Everything is so bad that not only Manchester United fans turn away from the Portuguese, but even former club players who until recently supported him 100 percent. How the 37-year-old superplayer ended up in this hole and what ways out of it are available – we understand.
Scandal upon scandal
Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended from training with Manchester United and moved to the youth squad – this news could have been shocking a week ago, but not now. In a few days, the Portuguese allowed himself such antics that no one can be forgiven, even a player like Cristiano. In the match with Tottenham on October 19, he refused to come on as a substitute at the end of the meeting, and then completely went to the locker room before the end of the match. This is the second unauthorized departure of the Portuguese before the final whistle, the first was in the summer, in a freight train with Rayo Vallecano.
Now the future of Ronaldo at United is in question, he will not play in the next matches, he will not have match practice for at least a couple of weeks, despite the fact that there is only a month left before the World Cup in Qatar. Here is how ten Hag himself commented on the situation with Cristiano’s demarche.
The details of the conversation will remain between me and Cristiano. The club’s statement was clear. Ronaldo remains an important player for the team. I am a coach and I am responsible for the culture in the club. I have to set standards and define values. I have to control if the players follow them. We have values and standards in the team – I have to follow this. After the game against Rayo Vallecano, I told Ronaldo that leaving the match was unacceptable, neither for him nor for anyone else. The second time this happens, there must be consequences, ” he told the Manchester Evening News and added that Ronaldo will miss the match against Chelsea on Saturday 22 October.
Ronaldo is suspended. He was also fined one million pounds, two weeks’ wages. But perhaps the most unpleasant consequence for Cristiano (certainly worse than a monetary fine) is that both fans and football players turn away from him. According to the same Manchester Evening News, the number of Manchester United players who want to take the field without Ronaldo is growing. Some of the players are against him, some are for him, but his partners are less and less satisfied with him.
Former players such as Peter Schmeichel, the legendary Manchester United goalkeeper, are also speaking out against Cristiano. He said that for the first time he was disappointed in the Portuguese, as he puts his own interests above those of the team, and this is absolutely unacceptable. This could not be under Sir Alex Ferguson, and partly why the team under him has achieved everything it has achieved – was one of the best in the world for two decades.
Photo: IMAGO/Andrew Yates/Global Look Press
Cristiano at a crossroads
It’s amazing how Cristiano Ronaldo was able to go from hero to antihero to fans all over the world in a matter of months. Even Manchester United fans, judging by the publications on social networks, are unhappy with the club’s top scorer and want him to leave.
It’s not just the demarche in the match with Tottenham, it all started back in the summer. Then Cristiano ignored the pre-season training camp of his club, citing family problems. But in reality, if there were family problems, the reason for the antics is not in them. Several reputable media outlets, including Sky Sports, wrote that the football player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, was actively looking for a new team for Cristiano.
Initially, it was about Bayern and Chelsea, and when both top clubs publicly refused the 37-year-old player, there was talk about Atlético, the main rival of the main team in Cristiano’s life, Real Madrid. It didn’t work out there either. Even rumors were launched about Napoli and Sporting – also to no avail. Everyone says the same thing: “We respect Ronaldo, he is a great player, but he is not in our plans.”
What does it all mean? Ronaldo wanted to leave Manchester United, but he couldn’t. He set the club up and showed disrespect to the new head coach, Erik ten Hag, who had just taken over the team and was preparing it for the season. If you ignore the preseason, then you should be prepared for the fact that you will not play the first time. But Cristiano cannot agree with the role of a substitute, and this causes more and more demarches.
In a sense, Ronaldo is understandable, he is the club’s top scorer last season, a living legend of the club and world football, and he is used to special treatment. He seems to have deserved it. And there are many coaches in the world who could turn a blind eye to the antics of a star and continue to put such a player in the squad. But Eric ten Hag is not like that. There was no “match” here. And it is quite possible that Cristiano will never play for Manchester United under the Dutchman.
What can help the 37-year-old striker now? He has two ways: the first is to accept the situation as it is. Serving a sentence in the backup team, and then on an equal footing with everyone else to fight for a place in the base. It takes time. The team really shows better results without KriRo than with him. But there will definitely be chances. In the end, if you are really the best, you will make your way on the field. No coach will ignore real class. Especially not a single cool coach, which ten Hag definitely is.
The second option is not to put up with the situation, continue to consider yourself humiliated and leave. In Europe, buyers can be found, but you will have to shrink in wages. If you want to get half a million a week, you can go to the Middle East, where a whole queue will line up from teams ready to pay Cristiano any money. This, however, will no longer be a game of football, it will be a pension.
One way or another, now the situation looks like Cristiano Ronaldo’s career is coming to an end. And it’s pretty disgraceful. His antics really ruin his legacy and reputation. He is still a great player and could certainly be of benefit to any team, but his position at Manchester United looks very bad. Given his age and the reputation he is earning for himself now, his future at a big European club looks bleaker than ever.