Cristiano Ronaldo became a worldwide sensation with Manchester United. While an eventual return to Old Trafford wouldn't come as a major surprise, the Real Madrid superstar is distancing himself from an imminent return to the Premier League club.
Although Ronaldo, who's been linked to a possible return despite two years remaining on his current contract, did admit he misses playing for United, he made it clear he's very happy in Spain right now, according to The Guardian.
I miss English football. For me, it was one of the best years in my career when I was there in Manchester United. Everyone knows that it is a club that is still in my heart and I really, really miss.
But now my life is in Spain. I am enjoying playing there too. Part of my life is there, but in the future we never know. I am really, really happy in the Spanish league.
The fact he still talks so fondly about his time with United is good news for the club and Red Devils supporters, who would welcome the dynamic forward back with open arms. He stopped well short of saying he wouldn't return at some point in the future.
That said, new manager David Moyes has a lot of things on his plate during his first offseason after taking over for the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. Judging by Ronaldo's comments, that's one potential saga he doesn't have to worry too much about.
Moyes takes over a title-winning club with plenty of star power, good depth and high expectations heading into next season. If that wasn't enough pressure, he's also dealing with a situation involving longtime United star Wayne Rooney, who continues to be the focus of transfer talk.
So all eyes are on Moyes to see how he handles his first summer with the Red Devils. The last thing he wants is to watch Rooney exit and then make a serious run at Ronaldo only to fall short. It would be a disastrous start to his reign.
At least in that respect, Ronaldo remaining firm about his immediate future is a positive. If there was a clear opportunity to get him, the situation would obviously be different. Instead, it takes some of the heat off Moyes as he seeks more reasonable targets to solidify the squad.
In the future, Ronaldo's stance may change. If Moyes gets his way, he will be entrenched at United by that point after overseeing a smooth transition from Ferguson. He will then be more prepared for the drama surrounding a Ronaldo chase. He didn't go through that level of a situation with Everton.
Until that happens––or if it ever happens––United must focus on the task at hand, which is staying atop the Premier League with the current squad. It doesn't feature Ronaldo, but Robin van Persie is more than capable of leading the attack and he's backed by a strong supporting cast.
Players come and players go, oftentimes without making a lasting impact. That's not the case when it comes to Ronaldo. Even though he's playing with Real Madrid, the connection with United is still evident in his comments.
Perhaps someday he will make his triumphant return. As for now, Moyes has plenty of other issues to deal with to keep Manchester United on top.