There’s not many times your fellow fans sing the name of a club legend, someone who’s won titles for you, the Champions League, the FA Cup, scored over forty goals in a season, and you feel sick and embarrassed.
Yet when Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid edge past Manchester United in the Champions League two seasons ago, the large contingent of Reds singing ‘Viva Ronaldo’ – even after he’d scored- made many of us stood fuming over the injustice of one of the worst refereeing decisions since Graham Poll retired, feel more than a tad puzzled at such a ridiculous display of misplaced sycophancy.
Yes Ronaldo won the lot for United, but he was playing for the other team, the one trying to beat us and the one that eventually did, it really wasn’t the time to encourage him to play well or congratulate him when he did. There’s a fine line between adulation and idiocy and forgive me but many Reds crossed it that night.
It’s hard not to sympathise with any United fan who gets carried away with their love for Ronaldo, after all he helped deliver three of the best seasons the club has ever had collecting a Ballon D’or along the way, not to mention Europe’s golden boot.
Even the nature of Ronaldo’s departure which should’ve boiled enough United urine to fill the River Irwell, was forgiven thanks to the almost constant reminder he was a long term Real Madrid fan and the record transfer fee the club received.
Since leaving United, Ronaldo’s already stratospheric star has risen even higher, he’s gone from being one of the best players on the planet to the undisputed ruler while in the meantime despite successes the Reds haven’t quite reached the heights they did when the Portuguese wonder was wearing their colours.
With United’s new found fondness for spending money like a coke-fuelled, divorcee with her ex husband’s Mastercard, not to mention the fans little diminished love for their former number 7 it’s no wonder the rumours of his return to Old Trafford often resurface. He may have signed a new five year deal less than two seasons ago but for the optimistic Reds, a big money offer could be enough to make the Real Madrid hierarchy decide making their money back on a player who’s nearing 30 seem like a savvy idea. Let’s not forget the Jorges Mendes factor either, another bumper final pay day for his client- and in effect himself- could be very tempting for man that makes Paul Stretford look like Paul Lower Broughton.
It’s easy to pine for a player that won so much and made dropped points against the lesser sides a complete rarity, but if United were to attempt to sign Ronaldo, they wouldn’t be getting the player they sold to Real Madrid in 2009, they’d be getting an ego even bigger than the one who left, one so big it makes Floyd Mayweather seem like Frank Bruno.
In the past year or so we’ve seen the best and worst of Ronaldo when it comes to his football. We’ve seen the phenomenal goal scoring, the second Ballon D’or and Champions League wins and the dissection of sides we so fondly remember from his Premier League days. What we’ve also witnessed is the utter arrogance of a man so detached from even pretending to care about his team that he’ll even react with disgust when a team mate scores, as only CR7 is allowed to score, it’s written into his contract. Almost.
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