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Man United legend reveals the reason behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s Old Trafford departure

Manchester United have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a two-year deal to join the club this summer.
A return on the cards?

Gary Neville opens up on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man United exit

Cristiano Ronaldo was destined for the very top. His exciting potential transformed into an incredible final season at Old Trafford as the Portuguese international threatened to scale heights never seen before.

The then United star left Old Trafford for Spain in 2009 for a then world-record £80million fee, having scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for Man United.

He would spend nine seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu. Four Balon D’or titles and Champions League crowns are a testament to the quality of the player who is Real’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Gary Neville and Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed success at Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo was United’s attacking talisman

It is unlikely that his record of 450 goals and 131 assists in 438 games will be surpassed anytime soon.

Speaking on the Sky Sports podcast (h/t Evening Standard), Gary Neville believes that it was inevitable that the player made the move to Spain. He has attributed the weather in England and the player’s desire to live in Spain as the reasons.

Neville feels the player’s comments following the Champions League final alluded to his time at Old Trafford being up. The defender believes that trying to change Ronaldo’s mind was an exercise in futility.

“I think because he did the interview after the 2008 final where he sort of alluded to the fact that he was going, it was almost like you had an advanced warning.” 

Ronaldo returned to United to knock us out of the Champions League
Ronaldo refused to celebrate after scoring against United in the Champions League

Neville has attributed the weather as the bigger reason as he also admitted that the player had nothing left to prove at United.

“I felt like he’d almost traveled his path, he’d done the journey.”

Neville is adamant that nothing would have changed his teammate’s mind. Not many players leaving United have done better, Ronaldo is a massive exception to that rule.

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Neville attributes Ronaldo to one of those rare players who the club let go against their will. In Ronaldo’s favour, he had already won all there was at United and had earned his chance to move to Real.

He was one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League and will always remain a fan favourite at Old Trafford.

Written by Pranav Nair

An Engineering postgraduate with a keen interest in statistics, pop culture and football.

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