The news of late has been full of suggestions that Ronaldo is on his way back to Manchester United, with fantasists of the club having visions of their former number seven returning to Old Trafford. Fans were going as far as sending planes branding messages of hope, wishing Ronaldo to come back throughout recent La Liga outings for Real Madrid.
Well, that was until Jorge Mendes thought of the biggest number in his head and demanded one billion, that’s right, one billion euros – or around £800 million – for arguably the world’s greatest player. And whilst we all like to see a return from our investment, Mendes might just have lost the plot.
The real question is: for £800 million pounds is he really worth it? Here are a few reasons why maybe, just maybe, United might do without.
Age is but a number, or is it?
Ronaldo may be a magician, a maestro of the modern game, and at the moment quite physically fit, but we all get older, weaker and slower. Look at Rio Ferdinand, one of the best defenders that United and England have ever had. An absolute rock at the back, but suddenly at 34-years-old, he’s lost his legs and ended up at QPR, raking in a third of what he used to. He got slow so he got sacked, simple. Of course, comparing Ferdinand to Ronaldo is clearly ludicrous, but it just goes to show that it happens to everyone. With his price tag set at £800 million and if United were to sign him next season when he’s fast approaching 31, they could be looking at paying £200 million a year for a player that’s getting gradually worse.
How many attackers do you really need?
Let’s name a few of United’s attackers: Di Maria, Rooney, Falcao, Van Persie and Herrera. These are just a few that springs to mind. The question is how many stars do you need up front? United are inundated with a vast array of very good players on one side of the pitch. It is not a suggestion that Ronaldo wouldn’t fit in, but someone will ultimately have to lose game time. Ronaldo’s arrival could stir up an already shaky squad, with key players now fearing a loss of game time. Who knows, it could do more harm than benefit.
It’s a sign that United have lost their values
A team once reputable for growing talent rather than buying it has now nearly gone. By spending crazy amounts on superstars such as Di Maria and Falcao – albeit Falcao was a loan deal – it certainly isn’t the United approach to football that we are all used to.
If United were – if they ever were – to spend £800 million on a player, even if it is the Cristiano Ronaldo then they would ruin the face of football forever. It already gets enough stick for being a sport based on money rather than values and if United even contemplate buying the man for that price then defending the sport will become that much harder.
With United’s string of unpredictable results shaking up football betting, they should, in my opinion, focus on developing a defence rather than spending an unprecedented amount of money – £800 million pounds – on one single man for maybe four years of football.