Steve McManaman backs Cristiano Ronaldo to call it quits at Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2023
He, however, does not expect the Portuguese sensation to do so until 2023. Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford from Juventus earlier this summer. While he is not at the peak of his powers, the 36-year-old still remains a formidable player.
Ronaldo is the club’s top scorer this season with 13 strikes in all competitions. It would be fair to say that the season would have looked direr had it not been for his timely interventions.
While Ronaldo developed into a world-class player at Old Trafford, it was at Real Madrid that he reached the height of his powers. He scored 450 goals from 438 matches during his nine-year stint in Spain, going toe to toe with Lionel Messi and Barcelona.
McManaman has now declared that a return to Santiago Bernabeu is not outside the realms of reality. He adds that one cannot write off anything regarding the Spanish giants.
“It’s not impossible. Nothing is impossible when you’re talking about Real Madrid.”
A former Madrista himself, McManaman does not believe Man United have anything urgent to worry about. He believes Ronaldo will spend another season at Old Trafford, before potentially moving to Real in 2023.
“Cristiano could go back but I think he will have another year at Manchester United and then see.”
Given that Ronaldo will be 38 at the end of the 2022-23 season, Man United should not have much to fret about. In fact, they should actively be looking to replace the Portuguese legend rather than worry about keeping hold of him.
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Despite having a sensational 2021 summer transfer window, the Man United squad still has some gaping holes in it. Ronaldo is at best a short term option and it should be kept as such. After all, there is only so much we can progress if we keep calling out to the past.
We do have the likes of Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to handle our club’s future when it comes to leading our line, but it would help if we can lure in a potent goalscorer like Ronaldo when the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner leaves Old Trafford.