Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United did not meet expectations, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer openly admits that bringing Ronaldo back to the club was indeed a mistake. In an interview with The Athletic, the Norwegian manager reflects on the challenging decision and its unforeseen outcome.
A Tough Decision
Solskjaer begins by acknowledging the difficulty of the decision to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo. The prospect of bringing back one of the world’s greatest footballers seemed like a compelling choice, one that was hard to resist. However, as the season unfolded, it became clear that the decision had not yielded the expected results.
The excitement surrounding Ronaldo’s return was palpable. Solskjaer recalls the euphoria among fans when Ronaldo scored two goals against Newcastle United in his debut match back at Old Trafford. The atmosphere was electric, and it appeared that Ronaldo’s return had injected new life into the club.
A World-Class Scorer
Solskjaer highlights Ronaldo’s exceptional goal-scoring ability, emphasizing that he remains one of the best goal-scorers in the world. The Portuguese forward’s physical condition and scoring prowess were still evident, even in his second stint at Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo made his highly anticipated return to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 after leaving Juventus. It was a homecoming to the club where he had previously played from 2003 to 2009.
During his second spell at the club, Ronaldo struggled to significantly elevate the team’s performance. Despite scoring 24 goals in the 2021/2022 season, CR7 could only guide the Red Devils to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
In the 2022/2023 season, Ronaldo initially expressed a desire to leave but failed to secure a move to a new team. Eventually, he decided to stay but terminated his contract in November. In total, Ronaldo scored 27 goals during his second stint with Manchester United, without delivering any trophies to the club.
First Spell at Manchester United
During his initial tenure at Manchester United from 2003 to 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo was a key figure for the club. He scored 118 goals and helped secure nine trophies, including three Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and his first Ballon d’Or award in 2008. Following his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo went on to play for Real Madrid and Juventus before embarking on a new chapter in his career with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
Conclusion: Reflections on Ronaldo’s Return
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s candid admission sheds light on the complexities of bringing back a legendary player like Cristiano Ronaldo. While the excitement and initial impact were undeniable, the long-term results fell short of expectations. Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant chapter in the club’s history, with both moments of brilliance and challenges along the way.