Cristiano Ronaldo recently confirmed he would be extending his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, as Real Madrid tied down their biggest star following the arrival of Gareth Bale. But will he regret his decision?
For months, even years, it had been predicted that Portugal's national captain would one day return to Manchester United. By extending his deal in the Spanish capital for another four-and-a-half years, per BBC Sport, Carlo Ancelotti's main attacking weapon has ended speculation of an Old Trafford comeback.
Of course, he could still return if the opportunity arose and the stars aligned in the right manner, but the 28-year-old’s desire to remain with Los Blancos for the prime years of his career sends a message in itself.
Marouane Fellaini was recently reported by the Daily Mail’s John Edwards as saying that Ronaldo would have been better served joining him at Old Trafford, adding: “If Ronaldo has made it clear he won’t be coming here, that’s just too bad for him!”
The Belgian clearly feels he is part of a winning formula at the Theatre of Dreams, and why not?
By reuniting with David Moyes in Manchester, Fellaini is sticking with the manager who made him a Premier League star. He is just one component in a very powerful machine arguably gearing up to become the strongest it has ever been.
That’s what Sir Alex Ferguson is for Ronaldo, a player who is merely hoping to squeeze the most out of the best years in his career.
A decade ago, even the Sporting academy starlet may not have dreamed of rivalling the world’s biggest talents (or perhaps he did) for top honours, but this summer was his best chance of creating something beautiful once more as a Red Devil.
With Real Madrid, the superstar has won one La Liga title, one Copa del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup—not quite the trophy cabinet of the world’s best player.
That’s compared with the three Premier League titles, a Champions League crown, one FA Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two League Cups won with Manchester United.
Of course, the natural reaction is to say that Ronaldo wasn’t competing against Barcelona in England, and his chances of success were far rosier because of that. But a player has to go with the cards they’re dealt.
Although Ronaldo will almost certainly feel differently, he has achieved just about all he can in Madrid. The Spanish giants seem intent on having a carousel of managers obstruct them from claiming any sort of football dynasty, and the powers of other Spanish clubs are on the rise.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have all the tools in place for Moyes to be a success at his new side, a venture that has already begun in encouraging form and would have been all the better had Ronaldo become a part of it.
The forward may be on cloud nine after becoming the world’s highest-paid player, but that satisfaction will eventually subside, leaving him to contemplate a lack of silverware and thoughts of what could have been.