Soccer | Premier League

CR7: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Ronaldo will make his return debut for Manchester United after 12 years gone. Since then, he's achieved incredible things, but not all see it positively.

It's been confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will play on Saturday as Manchester United take on Newcastle United. The Portuguese superstar played for Manchester United 12 years ago before leaving for Real Madrid. He later signed with Juventus and has only just re-signed again with Manchester United. The deal, worth 15 million euros, was signed for an initial two years with the option of a third in Old Trafford.

The Good

Ronaldo's skills as a player cannot be denied. The trophies and stats speak for themselves. Since his start, Ronaldo has done nothing but win and improve. Ronaldo has scored a total of 551 combined goals in 572 games with Real Madrid and Juventus. The list of his achievements is expansive. He is a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, holds the record for most goals and assists in the UEFA Champions League, as well as the most goals in the UEFA European Championship, its qualification stage, and the FIFA World Cup. He recently broke Ali Daei's record for most international goals with 111. Altogether, Ronaldo has collected 32 senior trophies in his career. He is the only Manchester United player to have ever scored over 30 goals in one Premier League season. The fans, the club, and he are all clearly happy that he is returning to the team.

The Bad

Now, as we said...his skills cannot be denied. However, there is one little thing that has steadily declined over the years. Back in his original Manchester United days, Ronaldo used to rattle off free kicks like it was...well, his job. He had a knuckle ball technique which gave him the ability to score free kicks from any angle and any distance. He was unstoppable and revolutionary. Now, however, his abilities seem to have mysteriously disappeared. For comparison, in his first 12 seasons, Ronaldo scored 44 free kicks. Since 2014, he has scored just nine. Though it is not keeping him from playing his best nor affecting his ability to win, it is a concerning, if not just plain oddly drastic, change.

The Ugly

While I believe the resounding cry is that of joy to have Ronaldo returning to United, there do exist some people who think he may be too selfish of a player. Let's take a look at his time with Juventus. At the start, Ronaldo made beautiful promises of winning the Champions League. Music to Juve fans and club members' ears, as they had not seen that title since 1996. "Juventus will win the Champions League," Ronaldo said. "I don't know if it'll be this year or the next, but it's coming." Sadly, that never happened. Rather, the team saw the worst season they'd had in decades after two years with Ronaldo on the team, and some attribute that to Ronaldo's inability to play as a member of a team. Former Bianconeri midfielder Massimo Mauro said, "Ronaldo has never been a leader where he has played and he never will be. He is like a company and his turnover is more important to him than the success of the team." For such an expensive player with consequential losses in money, some might dare say that he wasn't worth it.

No matter what you think of the player, he is definitely set to play this Saturday against Newcastle and we will see then how he plays with his old team at Old Trafford.