Hey Dave: What’s the next step in Ronaldo’s career?

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Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal for his personal hat trick in thirty minutes during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Cagliari and Juventus, at the Sardegna Arena stadium in Cagliari, Italy, Sunday, March 14, 2021. Photo by Alessandro Tocco/LaPresse via AP.

After countless years of transfer rumors about him, Cristiano Ronaldo made the shocking move of leaving Spanish giant Real Madrid to challenge himself in Serie A’s Juventus in the summer of 2018 for around $128 million.  

While he’s been successful for the club in terms of domestic trophies, his European achievements have been woeful. Within his three years at the club, the Old Lady with Ronaldo have failed to win the Champions League trophy to Ajax, Lyon and now Porto as of March 9. The last time Juve won the European title was in 1995. 

Following their fallout against Porto, many have questioned whether or not Ronaldo should consider getting out of Italy. Keep in mind, he’s 36 years old; he doesn’t really have a whole lot of time left to end his career on a high note. His contract with Juventus expires at the end of the 2021-22 season. 

Those who are in favor of the Portuguese star moving out highly favor a return to Madrid. As of Monday, manager Zinedine Zidane made a comment about the return rumors, confirming it as a possibility. 

“Yes, it could be…,” the Frenchman said. “We know Cristiano, but he’s a Juve player now. And we have to honor this, he’s playing for another club. Now let us see what the future will be.” 

Despite reports from reliable sources like AS who said Ronaldo is keen on a Madrid return, I think Zidane and club president Florentino Perez should work on getting Kylian Mbappe or even Erling Haaland instead. Obviously, they’re both a lot younger than Ronaldo, and they’ve also established themselves as the next generation of legendary talent. 

While I’m not entirely opposed to Ronaldo returning to Spain’s capital, especially if Messi decides to stay at Barcelona so future El Classicos won’t be as boring, I personally believe that he should return to the club where he enhanced his name: Manchester United. It’s a bit of an odd call, but hear me out. 

 Currently, the Red Devils have Edison Cavani in the frontline after failing to sign Haaland last summer. The only problem is, Cavani is interested in playing in South America once his loan deal at Old Trafford is over. Once he leaves, United’s options are pretty shallow. Even if Manchester United and Juventus agree on a loan deal for Ronaldo, he’ll do absolute wonders aiding the Red Devils in their Champions League campaign next season, or possibly the season after that should Ronaldo stay in Italy until his contract expires and United finish in a top four spot. 

On top of that, there have been reports of a return to Old Trafford dating back to November 2020. United are also looking to sell at least four players in order to make some moves in the upcoming transfer window. The United board is hoping to provide manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at least £80 million (over $111 million) for the summer window. Ronaldo’s current market value, according to Transfermarkt, is about $66 million. The only issue I can see is Manchester United struggling to satisfy Ronaldo and his £30 million ($41.7 million) salary. 

As I said earlier, Ronaldo really doesn’t have much time left in his career. Knowing Ronaldo, he is more interested in prestigious trophies to end his career on a good note. Why not do it at the club where it all really began for him? All I’ll say is, keep an eye on the Portuguese legend in Turin this summer. 

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