Manchester United & Cristiano Ronaldo: Will They Ever Reunite?

Ryan RodgersContributor ISeptember 9, 2011

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson the manager of Manchester United face the media during a press conference held at Old Trafford on April 6, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Recently, in an interview with Sky Sports Cristiano Ronaldo hinted at a possible return to Manchester United.

This is not the first time talk of a Ronaldo-Manchester United reunion has taken place.

Both here, and here talk of Ronaldo returning to United has occurred.  Oh, and here as well.

The point is, Ronaldo still has some attachment to Manchester United.  And Sir Alex and The ManU faithful still have some love for Ronaldo.

The question is, could he ever return to Old Trafford, and better yet, where would he fit in?

Although Ronaldo also said he would sign for Madrid for ten more years, his public admiration for United has made the move far more likely than just a fantasy football transfer.

Myself included, many fans would be happy to have a player of Ronaldo's quality back in the squad.  But, there are arguments on both sides for and against his return. 

Sure, there would be some sort of nostalgia factor.  United would be getting one of the best players in the world, and a player that United feels is in part their player.  His skill is undeniable, and he is a proven talent.  He is familiar with the Premier League, and Manchester United.  The thing is, Ronaldo has four more years on his contract, and at a €1 billion buy-out clause, United will realistically not move for Ronaldo unless he is in the last year of his contract and fails to sign an extension.

At 29 years old, it is unlikely Ronaldo will be the same player he is today.  His age will have diminished his speed, flair, and overall unpredictability.  Although at 29 he will still most likely be in better shape than most professionals, his playing style is likely to have caught up to his body by then.

While his age will certainly be a factor, the bigger picture will be what Manchester United looks like four years from now.

Already, United is a transformed team from when Ronaldo was there.  Youth has replaced older legs, and United have added different dimensions to their attack.  United's attack now funnels through multiple players, as opposed to always looking for Ronaldo to start the attack.

Ashley Young, Nani and Antonio Valencia have risen their game and have begun to shine for United out wide.  Wayne Rooney has come out of his shell and developed into one of the best players in the world.  Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck have prospered due to increased playing time. 

United have only gone forward since Ronaldo's departure, would bringing him back be a step backwards?

Incorporating Ronaldo into the squad would be like fitting a square peg into a circular hole. 

That being the case, ask any United fan if they would welcome Ronaldo back into the squad, and it's a safe bet that they would welcome him with open arms.


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