Can Cristiano Ronaldo Lead Manchester United All The Way?

When Cristiano Ronaldo made a stunning return to Manchester United just a few months ago, it was a transfer that stunned the footballing world and with the Portuguese icon returning to Old Trafford.

manchester united stadium

When Cristiano Ronaldo made a stunning return to Manchester United just a few months ago, it was a transfer that stunned the footballing world and with the Portuguese icon returning to Old Trafford, it meant expectations for the season ahead were raised considerably.

Because where the former Real Madrid star goes, trophies have a habit of following and although United may have been considered to be some way away from the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, the signing of Ronaldo would have surely closed the gap.

A gap that has meant the Red Devils have failed to win the Premier League title since 2013 and with the club continually finding themselves in a state of wilderness since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, the signing of the 36-year-old would have bought the feelgood factor back to the club.

A feeling that not only added belief to United’s hopes of winning this season’s edition of the Premier League but also aided their desire to also conquer the continent at the same and to do that, you need to win the UEFA Champions League.

Because it is not just domestic dominance that Cristiano Ronaldo and his new cohorts have in mind, it is also claiming a first Champions League trophy since 2008 and for an outfit of Manchester United’s size, 14 years is far too long a wait.

Of course, for all the fanfare that has come with United’s biggest signing of the summer – bigger than the captures of both Raphael Varane from Real Madrid and Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, there is also a feeling that high expectations may have to be dampened.

Expectations that at the time of writing, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is failing to live up to and although they are failing in the Premier League, the Norwegian has somehow managed to keep himself in gainful employment for now.Then again, one could argue that the reason the former United forward is still at the wheel, is because of one man in particular and that man, is none other than the man he signed just a few months ago.

With four matchdays of this season’s Champions League now complete, it is United who find themselves at the top of Group F and with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring key goals in each of their last three matches, his contribution has been nothing short of enormous.

A contribution that first saw him score a dramatic late winner at home to Villarreal in Matchday 2 and this was subsequently followed with another late strike in Matchday 3, as he and his teammates edged past Atalanta.

While such has been that contribution, that he will likely be the scourge of Bergamo and with the Italian city playing host to Serie A outfit Atalanta, they would have thought revenge was soon to be exacted in Matchday 4.

ronaldo t-shirt

That’s because with seconds on the clock remaining, Atalanta found themselves 2-1 up in front of their own fans and looking likely to record a memorable home win – one that would have had the in-play sportsbook odds heavily in the host’s favour.

Then again, if there is anything that football fans have learned over the past decade or so, it is not to bet against any team that has Cristiano Ronaldo in its line-up and with the former Juventus star volleying home a dramatic equaliser, it meant United find themselves top of their four-team league.

Which means with two matchdays still remaining, the twice winners of the Champions League still have a small amount of work to do before securing automatic qualification and if they do, a rather pertinent question will be asked.

A question that asks can Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United go all the way and win a third Champions League for Manchester United? While if they are to do so, they cannot be solely reliant on one player in particular.

Especially when you consider the embarrassment of riches that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can call upon and with the likes of Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood not quite doing their bit in Europe, they will have to raise their own standards in the knockout phase of the tournament.

A phase that will continue after a Christmas and New Year hiatus and if United can find themselves in the draw for the Round of 16, then the first objective for Solskjaer and his charges would have been met.

Then again, with their league form being as treacherous as it is, who is to say that the current managerial incumbent is still in the technical area for 2022 and who knows, a change of manager may actually end up turbocharging the club’s season.

Which means the United owners may have a difficult decision to make and if they conclude that a change of manager is needed, their hopes of winning this season’s edition of the Champions League may well have improved.

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