Cristiano Ronaldo: Manchester United Fans Need To Let Go

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJuly 1, 2008

The guy is a good player there is no doubting that. He is heralded by many as one of the greats. He is still young and his form is scintillating. At no time does he seem predictable, and this is true even when he disappoints.

He was the stand out player in the EPL this season, and there is no denying that. He was a major disappointment for many at the European Championships, and there is no denying that.

Some would say his inability to carry his team to the final and win the trophy is proof that he is not the genius he is touted to be. Is it the mark of true genius to be able to carry a team?

Some would say yes, but I would have to disagree. Great players in past competitions have indeed inspired their teams to great things, but at the same time these teams were not Portugal.

The player of the tournament when Italy won the last World Cup was Fabio Cannavaro, who kept his team in the tournament through a masterful display of defending. He was surrounded by a very high caliber of players though.

The same can be said of players in the last two World Cups before this, when Ronaldo in Japan was backed up by a team of great players and Zinedine Zidane, in 1998, had a team at its peak team playing with him. Cristiano Ronaldo did not have this support.

For this reason I think I can safely say that we have not seen the best of Ronaldo. He may never even win a World Cup, which has happened to a great many great players over the years.

He already has a Champions League medal and a goal in the final to boot. He also has something that is absolutely priceless; his youth and a chance to hone his skills to new levels.

All the talk and derisive comments coming out of Manchester United's fan base is really just evidence to me of his importance to the club. They are afraid of losing him and their admiration is turning into hatred as they realize he is going to leave them.

Like a women who scorns the love that was once unquestioned, these fans have developed a scathing hatred for their once beloved Ronaldo.

Does he have anything more to achieve in the English game? I don't think so unless he has a hidden ambition to contest the Johnstones Paint Trophy.

He will have more to achieve if he leaves England already having won all the major honours. All the debate about him staying with United, because they are the best and they are building a legacy, will be lost on him for this reason: He is moving on to new things. New leagues and new targets.

All the moaning and whining of United fans and the sheer bitchiness of the comments that they have resorted to just underlines the effect that he has had on the team, and its standing in the world today.

The hype machine has been out of control regarding him. Yet, in a way, this is because people already see his potential for greatness, and wish to be able to say I told you so when, and if, he becomes one of the greatest ever.

He is not there yet, and still has a way to go before he can eclipse the great Ronaldo of Brazil. If anyone knows this, it will be him. It is the mark of a great player to always strive to outdo himself, and Cristiano definitely has this attitude.

Alex Ferguson has remarked on Cristiano's desire to improve. As I mentioned he is young—a mere 23-years-old—and this can only work in his favour.

It is sad to see the amount of derision he is being subjected to over his desire to go somewhere where he hasn't won everything. Fortune favours the brave.