Cristiano Ronaldo is coming home. Some people will call it fate, some people will call it luck, but there is no doubting that the return of Real Madrid to the Theatre Of Dreams for the first time in just under ten years will deliver not just footballing wise but it will attract the attention from football fans all over the world, due the highly anticipated return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United bought Ronaldo for £12m from Sporting Lisbon back in 2003 when the Portuguese starlet was only 18. He was seen as a perfect replacement for United’s then wonderkid David Beckham, who eventually joined Real Madrid on a four year contract. Ronaldo went on to make just under 200 appearances for the Red Devils in which he scored 84 goals and became one of the fans favourites due to his world beating talent, hard work ethic and an ability to turn opposing defenders inside out.
He came to Manchester United as a cool, cocky, creative Portuguese teenager. He left United as one of the best football players to ever grace the earth. His move to Real Madrid in 2009 in a world record £80 million fee made him the most expensive football to ever live. However, Ronaldo remains extremely fond to Manchester United and frequently talks about a possible return to Old Trafford in the future.
His relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson is identical to a father and son relationship and there is no doubt that whilst Sir Alex is still at the helm at Old Trafford, Ronaldo will always be keen for a return to the club who made him the player who he is today. And with his Real Madrid future in doubt due to rumours of Ronaldo being unhappy in the Spanish capital, it may be a perfect time for Ronaldo to return to Manchester as he may just realise that a United return could be the right move for him in the coming 12 months
Manchester United have been drawn against the Los Blancos in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League with the tie being played over two legs with the first at Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu. In a tie which was correctly predicted by the draws rehearsal only a day before the main draw, a Madrid team struggling domestically will play a Manchester United team who in contrast have raced six points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
The meeting between the two clubs being a big enough occasion alone but the tie will be the first time Ronaldo come up against United since his big money move to Real Madrid.
Real Madrid have had an unfamiliar 2012. In May, they were crowned champions of Spain after beating rivals Barcelona to the title but they go into the final game of the year trailing the Catalonian outfit by 13 points, with a difficult tie away to Malaga awaiting them this weekend.
Madrid strengthened their squad to full effect in the summer with the likes of Luka Modric and Michael Essien joining the club who, under the watchful eye of ex Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, looked to win their second consecutive La Liga title but that feat looks highly unlikely now going into the new year.
I see both legs being attacking masterclasses off both teams and I expect to see plenty of goals but from a United fans point of view, I think it will be the perfect time to play Madrid and to show the world that Manchester United are back and back for good.