Cristiano Ronaldo has stated that his game lacked in his botched return to Manchester United.
The 38-year-old made a name for himself at the Old Trafford grounds and in five years, rose to superstardom. One Ballon d’Or, UEFA Champions League and several FIFA awards and nominations later, he moved on for a the world-record fee to Real Madrid, where he spent nine years.
Those nine years saw the best version of the Portugal international, leading to him getting GOAT shouts from all across the world. His rivalry with former Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in that time was also one of the biggest football rivalries ever seen in the history of the sport.
Pushed by each other, both superstars dominated football and had a duopoly over the Ballon d’Or award for almost a decade. In the end, the Portuguese superstar left Spain with five total awards to Messi’s six, and moved on the Juventus in attempts to conquer another European top five league.
His first season saw him break a number of Serie A records but after a semi-successful three years in Turin, Ronaldo exited in less than graceful terms to return to Manchester United, 12 years after he first left. However, what was supposed to be a triumphant return turned into a nightmare for the man, his family and his fans who saw their idol lose his relevance in the grand scheme of European football.
Now playing in Saudi Arabia as a trophy player thanks to his pedigree and world famous brand, Ronaldo has found some stability again. He has now found the time to speak about his troubles in his second stint at Manchester United, as well as his feelings about playing in Saudi Arabia.
“Sometimes you have to go through some things to see who’s on my side,” he said to Sport TV +. “In a difficult phase, you can see who is on your side. I have no problem saying, I had a bad career run, but there’s no time for regrets.
“Life goes on and, doing well or not, it was part of my growth. When we are at the top of the mountain, we often cannot see what is below. Now I’m more prepared and that learning was important, because I had never been through this, like in the last few months. Now I’m a better man.”
Ronaldo also claims that the quality of football in Saudi Arabia impressed him and that the league could make it into the world’s top 10 leagues in the next five years if they continue on their trajectory.
Those comments have been taken as ambassadorial because the 2016 UEFA Euro Championship winner was also signed by Al-Nassr with the backing of the league to act as an ambassador for football in Saudi Arabia with a view to garnering support for their bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
The 38-year-old currently has nine goals and two assists in eight league games for Al-Nassr, and is on course to add to his trophy haul with the Riyadh-based team currently second.