Man United are struggling on the pitch this season and Cristiano Ronaldo has an important new role at the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored over 800 career goals and he was brought back to Manchester United to find the back of the net.
So it was naturally the most seismic story of the summer when Ronaldo returned to United on deadline day.
Ronaldo, 36, returned to the club firmly in the autumn of his career, but it was clear his ability in front of goal hadn’t diminished at Juventus.
United knew Ronaldo was no longer the complete player he was in his last two seasons at Old Trafford but they weren’t under that illusion.
They were re-signing him for goals and to prevent him from playing for Manchester City at the Etihad.
Ronaldo has already vindicated that decision ten-fold. The forward has 14 goals in 22 appearances this season but that doesn’t do the player justice.
Ronaldo is the man for the big occasion and he thrives under pressure – he certainly has this season.
When United have needed a moment of brilliance most, Ronaldo has provided it.
His injury-time goals against Villarreal at Old Trafford and Atalanta in Bergamo are the reason United still remain in the Champions League. On that alone, he’s repaid United’s latest financial investment in him.
It has been laughable to see some pundits suggest Ronaldo is behind United’s miserable results this season.
Instead, the question should be, just where would they be without him? It’s likely United would be out of the Champions League and perhaps further down than seventh in the Premier League table.
- It’s telling that Ronaldo and David de Gea have been the club’s best players this term.
With a simplistic outlook, Ronaldo’s role is to score goals and De Gea’s is to prevent the opposition from scoring. Both players are performing well individually this season, but United are failing collectively as a team in every single other area on the pitch.