Why Would Cristiano Ronaldo Leave Manchester United for Real Madrid?

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IMay 23, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo has been Manchester United's best player this season, scoring a sensational 42 goals, and was instrumental in securing a Premiership and Champions League double.

But now that Real Madrid are courting him and the player is interested, what shirt will Ronaldo be wearing come September?

Ronaldo's decision, if it is to leave, will likely break the transfer record set by Zidane; anywhere between 80-100 million euro's has been quoted. The Bernabeu club can afford this because they stand top of the Deloitte money league.

No one can question Real's ambition and reasoning for this move, but you have to question Cristiano himself. Why would he swap England for Spain and Manchester for Madrid?

Ronaldo has won everything he possibly can in England: League Cup, FA Cup, Premiership, and Champions League. In Madrid, there is everything to play for, but as a professional footballer the hunger should remain to win again with the Red Devils.

The winger/forward is adored in Manchester, idolised by United fans across the globe. Real Madrid could not offer that kind of support. If he were to fall on his face in Spain, he'd receive the white hankie treatment. His fan base currently unrivaled, why leave it?

While on the topic of support, do Man Utd not deserve some loyalty for standing by him during the Rooney incident?

Every fan in the country, even some United fans, wanted him out, but the club stuck by him which is one of the main reasons he is where he is.

The managers at each club draw another striking comparison, Sir Alex Ferguson or Bernd Schuster.

One is a Scottish serial winner who has 10 league titles to his name with two European Cups.

The other, a German who's only managerial achievment pre-Madrid was leading Getafe to a cup final. On that criteria, David Gill could give Redknapp the United job.

Looking at both clubs recent history, Man Utd are champions home and abroad while Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia have shared La Liga among themselves since 2002.

Madrid are without a Champions League title since 2002, and the semi's since 2003. If Ronaldo ever wants to add another European medal to his collection, he knows where to stay.

Goals are scored through teamwork, and Madrid's top striker is a certain Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Toward the end of 2005-06, the Dutchman reportedly told Ronaldo to go cry to his Dad.

Ronaldo's dad was recently deceased. Can he play with Van Nistelrooy?

The Premiership is undoubtably a better league than La Liga, and sometimes a players dominance in one country does not translate to another. A good example is Thierry Henry, who hasn't adapted to Spanish life and is constantly linked with a return.

Could Ronaldo shape his game to suit Spain?

Ronaldo might cite being "stale" as a reason of departure, but I've never bought into this excuse, ever.

Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, two fellow teammates, have played at Old Trafford all their careers and still maintain hunger for more. Surely Ronaldo can attain that; if not, his reputation as a professional is severely shot.

I often thought "Marc, study for your exams" was pressure, but when Ronaldo's mum comes out and states she doesn't want to die without seeing her son in the famous white jersey in the Bernabeu? Talk about pressure. That is the definition of a guilt trip.

I feel it is almost inevitable Ronaldo will move to Real someday, maybe not this year, but all this speculation comes from those stupid quotes he repeats: "Future, no one knows, future, no one knows"

Ronaldo must think long and hard about his future, because everything is going for him at Manchester. Does he risk his legacy in Old Trafford for his "Future"?