Cristiano Ronaldo could be in for a monster season if he stays in 2022/23
Cristiano Ronaldo made his return for Manchester United on Sunday in the friendly against Rayo Vallecano, to applause from the Old Trafford crowd.
Despite his reported desire to leave [via The Times] a departure is currently looking unlikely due to a lack of offers.
It’s possible this fuels a huge season for Ronaldo at Old Trafford if he is still a Red Devils player on September 1.
After a season in which he struck 24 times in 2021/22, Ronaldo will be looking to take another leap forward with his performances and prove a real point.
If he stays, Ronaldo could have a huge season
Cristiano Ronaldo proved last season that his ability is not in question. Even at the age of 37, Ronaldo is still a devastating goalscorer, single-handedly winning matches last season.
So what has happened this summer will have dented his ego hugely. Ronaldo wants to play in the Champions League, and has been trying to land a move to a Champions League club.
Remarkably, and humiliatingly for Ronaldo, there have been no takers. Bayern Munich have publicly rejected a move, ESPN report, and they aren’t the only ones.
PSG, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid have all also distanced themselves, and there has been no sign of former club Real Madrid showing any interest.
This could all prove to be a big motivating factor for Ronaldo to prove them all wrong, for choosing not to sign one of the greatest players of all time, no matter their reasons.
Aside from his ability, the one factor which has made Ronaldo a true great is his mindset, and his desire to be the best.
This has allowed him to score more than 800 career goals, setting record after record, and achieving heights which nobody would have dreamed possible at the start of his career.
The true sporting greats are able to find reason for motivation and use them as inspiration. Basketball legend Michael Jordan used to invent slights by his opponents as reason to want to destroy them.
Ronaldo’s summer has just provided him with a tonne of motivational fuel to go on and have an unstoppable 2022/23.
While unintentional on United’s part, the circumstances of Ronaldo’s summer of 2022 could lead the unleashing of a monster.
All the parts of the puzzle are there. A player with incredible talent, who has extra reason to be motivated, with the support of an elite manager who is going to lift the level of the entire team.
Add a World Cup into the mix too, and Ronaldo’s last real shot at glory (although don’t rule out a 2026 appearance), and we could see a player who hits new peaks for a 37-year-old footballer.
Manchester United could be the big winners from this saga, providing we can get to September 2 with Ronaldo still at Old Trafford.