What would have become Cristiano Ronaldo if he hadn’t play this famous friendly game agains Man United?
Best scorer in the history of the Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to José Alvalade XXI Stadium this year by playing twice against Sporting Lisbon. A stadium he had left a few days after his inauguration to go to Manchester United. Sporting’s coach in 2003, Fernando Santos recently said: “If I had known, I would not have played this game with Cristiano. And if he had, what career would have Cristiano Ronaldo had?
An article based on fictional stories.
A career like Francesco Totti?
Arrived at Sporting Portugal at the age of eleven, the little Cristiano lives the first difficult months far from his island of Madeira. However, he does not know yet, but he will never leave Lisbon and the Sporting. Left as a sub by Fernando Santos for the reception of Manchester United, the Portuguese striker looks at the galleries and falls under the spell of the José-Alvalade’s public. So, he makes a promise to himself: never leave this club and this formidable audience. Despite the advances of several major European clubs, the one who calls himself CR28 remains faithful to the Sporting in which he forms a triplet of fire with Liédson and Sá Pinto.
He will win the championships of Portugal 2003 and 2004 with his two companions. A year later, in 2005, he won the UEFA Cup against CSKA Moscow and offered himself a triple in the final. Next two other championships won, two quarter-finals of Champions League in 2007 and 2008 with both times the same executioner… Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo will play until his forty years at Sporting, where he will beat all individual records of the club and the Portuguese league. He becomes a true legend among the Leões, but the Portuguese striker will not win any individual trophy internationally, but will have won the most important: the respect of the entire football world who unanimously recognizes his talent and his loyalty to the jersey.
A career like Ricardo Quaresma
During the 2002-2003 season, two young players are the delight of Leões, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Quaresma. Although less talented than his elder, Cristiano is recruited by FC Barcelona, persuaded that he will become a monstrous player in the future. Unfortunately, the fairy tale will soon turn into a nightmare, and Cristiano will return to Portugal soon after. He will again try his luck in big European clubs, but his experiences at Inter and Chelsea will also fail. Each time always the same problem, a lack of work, despite an obvious talent.
If Cristiano will delight YouTube fans with his spectacular goals and dribbles, he will not make the career that his talent promised. Worse, in Portugal, he will be the eternal second behind his despite all time friend Ricardo Quaresma, left to learn the work in Manchester United after scoring from outside the foot against the Red Devils in friendly. Taking advantage of life, without taking the lead, scoring important goals in selection as in his Turkish club, Cristiano Ronaldo ended his career with a trophy cabinet quite empty compared to that of his compatriot, but also with far fewer haters .
A career like Zlatan Ibrahimović
Sick, Cristiano Ronaldo could not play this friendly against Manchester United. Not bad, the Portuguese striker takes advantage of the first round of UEFA Cup to shine in the eyes of Europe. In front of Malmö, Cristiano scored a perfect triplete (left foot, right foot, head). Since the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimović, busting to Ajax two years ago, Malmö flies Cristiano from Sporting during the winter transfer window. From there, the native of Madeira starts his road trip, which will see him pass through Juventus, Inter, Barça, Milan or PSG.
With each time the same story: a championship won, a trophy of top scorer, some punchlines and no victory in the Champions League. From this trip to Europe, Cristiano will emerge with at least two certainties, being the best player in the world, and the fact that José Mourinho is the best coach in the world. So, he joins his mentor and decides to afford a last freelance to Man United. This is the latest new Manchester United news where he could have signed thirteen years earlier if he had not had that damn illness.
A career like Éder
By leaving on the bench Cristiano Ronaldo during the friendly match lost against Manchester United, Fernando Santos makes the promise that it will not make this error any more. Wounded, the Portuguese striker will not recover from this gesture and will leave the Sporting to return home to Madeira. Cristiano will enjoy the return by making the show through amazing dribbles, but will never exceed the 10 goals per season. He will try his luck again on the continent by signing in Braga, where he also will not shine despite a season with 14 goals in the Portuguese. He then returns to the Nacional where he meets a mental coach, Susana Torres.
With him, Cristiano starts to gain confidence in him, despite his imperfect dentition, his buttons on the face, his blonde wicks of bad taste and the mockery of supporters after his approximate checks. Inducted coach of Portugal, Fernando Santos brings Cristiano Ronaldo to the Euro 2016, to the great dismay of the Portuguese fans. Fernando Santos remembers his promise in the final against France when he is on the bench throughout the competition. Cristiano enters the field and offers the first trophy of his history to Portugal after a goal in overtime. And goes from the rank of loser to that of legend. A few years later, he will have his statue in Madeira as a tribute to this salvific goal.
So, without Cristiano Ronaldo’s friendly game against Man United, CR7 could have had many different careers. Hope you like this new kind of “fantasy football”.