Cristiano Ronaldo continues to be linked with a return to Manchester United this summer – with his former teammate Rio Ferdinand offering his thoughts on the ongoing transfer saga.
Ronaldo may be 36 years old but he is still one of the deadliest marksmen in European football. Having shone at Old Trafford and Real Madrid, he has continued to find the net at Juventus. The Portugal captain bagged 29 Serie A goals from 33 outings in 2020-2021 and has 81 in total for the Old Lady.
He’s also underlined his quality and ice-cool temperament at the European Championships. Faced with the so-called Group of Death, Portugal navigated their way through to set up a last-16 clash against Belgium on Sunday.
Ronaldo also happens to be the tournament’s top scorer so far with five goals to his name. It’s a mark that will be tough to beat.
After the tournament is over, a decision on Ronaldo’s club future will be next on the agenda.
He has one year left on his Juve deal, but rumours persist that he may be on his way this summer. United’s link to the player is obvious; he spent six seasons with the Red Devils before moving to the Bernabeu in 2009.
And it is thought he is still in touch with current United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There have been multiple reports that the north-west giants are plotting a summer swoop.
Even if Pogba were not included in any deal, Corriere dello Sport claims United are offering Ronaldo €17m a season to return.
However, Ferdinand doesn’t think a deal to take Ronaldo back to Old Trafford will go through.
He told The Sun: “I don’t think Ronaldo [to United] will happen.
“That chapter has been written and it’s closed so I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening.”
On playing and training alongside Ronaldo, Ferdinand added: “He was an obsessed human in terms of becoming the best. It’s down to commitment, a little bit of luck genetically as well.
“His touches have gone down since he was a young kid in 2004. But obviously the touches in the box where he’s going to affect games has gone up.”
Criticism of Ronaldo also only makes Ronaldo strive to become even better, according to Ferdinand.
“He uses negativity as fuel,” he added on the BBC to Gary Lineker. “You’ve [Lineker] said some things like your preference would be Messi out of the two. He will send me a text saying: ‘I can’t believe he said that, can’t believe he’s done that’.
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“You think, he’s done so much in his life, ‘why do you care about what anyone says about you? You know you’re the guy’.
“He has gone on. Accelerated. [It] defies logic really.
“You’ve got to think about where you are on the pitch and I think he’s done that as well as anybody in terms of evolving as a football player.”
Ronaldo cryptic message on future
Ronaldo has since been linked with a huge transfer to Barcelona that would see him link up with Lionel Messi in a dream partnership.
Either way, the veteran star seems unperturbed about what might happen domestically and is focused on his national team.
“I have been playing at the highest level for many years, this doesn’t faze me,” he said prior to the start of Euro 2020. “Maybe if I was 18 or 19 I might have had some sleepless nights, but I’m 36. Whatever comes will be for the best regardless of staying at Juve or being transferred.
“The crucial thing now is the Euros, it is my fifth Euros, but for me it’s like my first Euros. We want to play a good match with good thoughts from the first to the last match.”