It’s been approximately twelve years since Cristiano Ronaldo left the comfort of Old Trafford to make his legacy in the Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. Those years in which Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated the Spanish league, with Ronaldo playing for Madrid and Messi for Barcelona, have already gone down as some of the most exciting in soccer history. Ronaldo shocked the world when he agreed to play for Juventus, but was more shocking was the fact that Juventus paid approximately 88 million euros to sign the Portuguese soccer legend. Some may not find this so surprising given that many make the case for Ronaldo being one of the best, if not the best, soccer players around, but one should remember that at this stage of his career, Ronaldo was around 33 years old, only 2 years away from the average retirement age of soccer players.
The disparity between the fee Juventus paid for Ronaldo and that which Manchester United just gave Juventus to resign their former star striker makes a lot more sense when you factor in Ronaldo’s age. Sure, United only paid 12.8 million pounds to get him, but Ronaldo is already 36 and steadily approaching 37; that’s way past most players’ physical peak. So now, in the twilight of his own career, it seems that Ronald will go back to the club he grew up in both as a soccer player and as a person.
It’s safe to say that the transfer came as a surprise for pretty much everyone in the soccer world, perhaps even Ronaldo himself. It seemed that until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer held a news conference on Friday afternoon stating that their former star “knows that we’re here”, a transfer to United seemed like the stuff of legends. Yet, here we are now; witnessing a legend manifesting into reality.