HE IS BACK
After 13 years away Cristiano Ronaldo is back home at Old Trafford. At the club where he won his first Ballon D’Or, First Champions League, First Golden Boot, and first call up to the Portuguese National Team.
For United fans everywhere including myself it’s been an unbelievable couple of weeks. Originally there were links that Manchester City was the club most linked to getting Ronaldo.
Personally, I was in disgust just thinking about the possibility of him playing for our rivals. Thankfully, Manchester United swooped in last minute to get their club legend back.
He was in action last Sunday in a game against Newcastle United in the English Premier League. The emotion in the stadium was a beautiful thing to see. It was clear to see that there was a certain buzz and energy in the air.
With all this energy a big transfer like this doesn’t come without expectations. Of course, you have Manchester United fans expecting a great performance. You also have pundits and rival fans claiming that a 36-year-old Ronaldo won’t bring much to the Premier League.
I imagine all this went through Ronaldo’s head through the game. The pressure was on, everyone was looking at him through a scope analyzing every touch, and movement he made. Guess what he did?
He Put In a Match-Winning Performance.
Ronaldo scored two very important goals. One of them was scored in stoppage time right before half-time. People might say is an "easy" tap-in, but the awareness and ability to put his self in position is what helped score that "easy" goal.
The other one was a goal scored in the 61st minute. It was much more appealing to the eye, and it ultimately helped Manchester United get the three points. He made a very well timed and intelligent run, and then put his shot through the goalkeeper's legs to make the game 2-1. Manchester United ended up winning the game 4-1.
It was a great performance, but even the best players get jitters before the game. It was clear to see at the beginning of the game the buzz around the stadium and his desire to impress made him make uncommon mistakes. There was a point where the ball was in the air in Newcastle's box, and he was on the edge of the sideline by the goal.
He tried to shoot from an impossible angle and whiffed the shot. In the process, he fell on his backside in front of 75,000 people who were all there to see him. That could've been a moment that made him not play well but his mentality is on a different level. It was funny to see him smile about it, and from that moment on it was all business.
Cristiano's Mentality is All Business
Throughout his career, in every club he has gone to he has just lifted the standards. Even when he first came to Manchester United as a young 18-year-old kid, he had everybody in awe in training with his skill. He took that both to Real Madrid, and to Juventus.
He is a serial winner. In all three of the clubs, he has played for they have won big titles. An important factor is the mentality that he brings every day. Everything he does is so focused and detailed.
The players he plays with are getting a look at the things he puts in his body, how he trains, and just day-to-day advice. This is a big reason you see players around him get better.
It's going to be exciting to see how young players like Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford improve from being around Ronaldo day in and day out.
Yesterday, Manchester United lost 2-1 to BSC Young Boys in a huge upset. They start their UEFA Champions League group stage bottom of the table. This is a bad result because Manchester United doesn't have the best record in the group stage of this competition.
Last season, Manchester United was in a prime position to go through after beating PSG and RB Leipzig in the first games. They ultimately ended up losing the next two games and went out after a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig.
With the new signings of Ronaldo, Varane, and Sancho the expectations are very high. Not only are they expected to get out of the group stage, but they are expected to challenge for the trophy. There has been a lot of criticism on the team, and manager. This team hasn't won a trophy since they won the Europa League in 2017. They also haven't won the league since the 2012/2013 season.
The pressure is high but with players like Ronaldo and Varane, the mentality of this squad is different. Going forward I believe they will be fine. It’s only one match and they still have five matches to try to qualify for the group stages. My prediction is that they still top the group regardless of the setback.
We will see if this is the year that Manchester United can end that trophy drought, but there is no question having a player like Cristiano Ronaldo significantly increases their chances.
What is your prediction? Do you think Manchester United will go through to the knockout stage of the Champions League? Let us know in the comments!