Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester United: How did it happen?

Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly called him before his return.

Jean Chien Tay | August 28, 2021, 01:59 PM

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One summer, two blockbuster football moves.

After Argentine superstar Lionel Messi's tearful departure from Barcelona, Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has left Italian champions Juventus.

He will re-join his former club , Manchester United (Man U), where he made his name.

Both players are considered among the world’s greatest football players.

Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or, the top individual accolade in football, five times, while Messi has won it six times.

The homecoming was not without some twist and turns, with Man U's rival club Manchester City reportedly competing for the Portuguese forward's services, Sky Sports reported.

In his Facebook post (Aug.27), Ronaldo confirmed his departure, saying that he gave his "heart and soul for Juventus".

Why did Manchester City try to sign Ronaldo?

City's bid raised some eyebrows, as it was not consistent with their favoured profile of younger players. Ronaldo is already 36, at the tail-end of his career.

However, The Guardian noted that the situation changed after City's bid for England captain and striker Harry Kane was rejected, with the summer transfer window closing in a matter of days on Aug. 31.

This reportedly led to City's shifting their focus to look for another forward.

Why did City's bid fail?

As we now know, City failed to sign Ronaldo, but how did they fail after reportedly being the frontrunners?

According to reports from The Guardian, Juventus demanded a transfer fee of about €30 million (S$47.63 million) in exchange for Ronaldo, but City was not in favour of paying the sum. 

This ultimately left a window of opportunity for Man U to step in and bring home their former player.

Why did Ronaldo choose Manchester United?

Man U fans suggest that the answer is simple, his love for the club and to continue his legacy.

Behind the scenes however, it was not as straightforward.

Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, was reportedly in negotiations with Manchester City as the next destination for his client.

However, after three days of negotiation, the deal was yet to be finalised.

Hence, Mendes reached out to Ronaldo's former club, Man U, on Thursday (Aug.26), reported The Guardian.

After several ex-teammates and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly called Ronaldo to convince him to re-join the Red Devils, Ronaldo received a formal contract on the morning of Aug. 27, Manchester Evening News reported.

Finally, the deal was done, and Juventus reportedly accepted a €15 million fee up front with additional bonuses.

Top image via @FabrizioRomano/Twitter & @brfootball/Instagram

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