Down The Wings

Manchester United Fan Blog

Erik ten Hag still has a Cristiano Ronaldo problem

(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo is once again the face of the headlines however this time it’s for the opposite reasons. Having stormed off the field minutes prior to the full-time whistle in Manchester United’s victorious 2-0 win versus Tottenham Hotspur, Ronaldo is seriously jeopardising chances of a fairy tale send-off as his contract expires in the summer.

It’s fair to say it’s been a very mixed ride since his comeback to the red side of Manchester for one of the greatest stars to have ever played the beautiful game. The 5-time Champions League winner knew he was walking into the fire at Old Trafford when he rejoined in September 2021 from Italian giants Juventus. United were in turmoil. Disastrous years of football however Ronaldo was and is what he always has been, up for the challenge to bring the great United back to the pinnacle of football.

Since Erik Ten Hag has stepped in through the doors at Old Trafford, Ronaldo has seen himself sat on the bench more often than not. With Ten Hag preferring the younger generation of players at his disposal as he continues to play Marcus Rashford in the no.9 position whilst out form Jadon Sancho is being deployed on the left wing. There seems to be no place for the Portuguese megastar in the United starting 11. Some are suggesting this is all but disrespect towards one of United’s biggest-ever legends whereas the other half are strongly claiming Cristiano is just not fit for purpose.

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With Rashford having the ability to press more with intent it has seen him strongly claim and occupy what would have been Ronaldo’s position. In all fairness, the decision has worked fairly well thus far as United have been able to snatch victories versus the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham at Old Trafford this season. This decision has left Ronaldo with one league goal and frustrated following the 18 he was able to net last campaign in the Premier League. A tally he should most definitely be proud of considering he wasn’t surrounded by the world’s best and a team who eventually finished 6th in the league standings. What else did we expect from the goal machine? He never allowed the circumstances to hinder his immaculate legacy. The Manchester maverick.

It’s clear the discomfort within the camp will eventually see Ronaldo part ways with his beloved United. With over 200 goals, countless Premier Leagues titles and a Champions League won all in his years with United he can leave with his head held high. It may have not ended with the fairy tale ending him and the fans may have prayed for but the memories created will live on for sure.

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The question now lies as to where the showboating star will apply his trade next. Having conquered Europe there isn’t much left to prove. Heading back to Spain seems highly unlikely and with Chelsea being linked to the 37-year-old a move to London may come across a sideways move with United and Chelsea in similar positions.

The lights in Hollywood however may come calling as the MLS is renowned for being a retirement home for some of the biggest names in football. The decision all lies in the hands of the Portuguese star however one thing is for certain and that’s he has nothing left to prove. From his astronomical goal-scoring records and being the highest male goal-scorer in the sport to his lengthy trophy cabinet. This man has taken over everywhere he has touched. Appreciate greatness when you receive it and we most definitely are witnessing something extraordinary and special. Made in Lisbon, took over in Madrid, executed the Italian job in Turin, and shone in Manchester. 

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