Cristiano at Manchester United, again. A long-planned marketing ploy?

We all know Cristiano Ronaldo, a professional footballer originally from Madeira, Portugal. Often regarded as one of the best and most complete players of all time, he was voted best player in the world by FIFA and France Football, receiving the Ballon d'Or award (which for a period was renamed the FIFA Ballon d'Or) a total of five times: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. He has also won the UEFA Golden Boot award a total of four times. In addition, he has won the UEFA Best Player in Europe award three times and the UEFA Best Club Player award once. 

His rise in the football world follows a predictable path, his signings consistently superior to the previous one, always associated with a need for his expertise on the pitch and not as a commercial and/or marketing plan. He left Sporting to sign for Manchester United and later moved to Real Madrid.

After playing at Real Madrid, from 2009 to 2018 (9 years), Juventus signed Cristiano for around €100 million, the most significant purchase in history for an Italian club. This purchase resulted in the sale of €170 million in jerseys, increased revenues at the box office, and advertising and sponsorship contracts (€22 million increase). 

Could his coming to Juventus have been a disguised marketing ploy? Because it seems that the club had more commercial benefits from his purchase than on the pitch. (Find out more about Juventus' purchase of Ronaldo from Real Madrid here.)


Ronaldo returns to Manchester United in 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo had been tipped to join Manchester City, but United moved fast and was happy to welcome him back. Speaking to BT Sport, Pep Guardiola assured the fans that there was no frustration: "We have a great squad, and I can only thank the club, who have always tried to bring in the best players. We are not frustrated that Ronaldo is not coming here; it is great that he is coming back to the Premier League. It's good news," said Pep Guardiola, Manchester City manager.


Football value or market value?

Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Manchester United has many football fans in England excited. However, some still consider this return as just a marketing ploy by the club or even the player. Many fans feel that Cristiano's arrival is not to help the club on the pitch, but rather at the shops and in the stock market. The club's shares have risen 11% in just one day, meaning an increase in market value by $200 million and an increase of 6 million followers on their Instagram page.

To be these numbers in context, Leonel Messi signing for Paris Saint-Germain brought in 18 million followers to the Parisien club, a significantly higher number, likely because the Argentinian star played for FC Barcelona for around 17 years. Fans have never seen Messi at another club, and this move has moved masses to PSG. 


Is this what the Red Devils genuinely need to become a complete side?

Of course, Man United fans are excited. On a Friday morning, they thought one of their all-time icons would be playing for their greatest rival, Manchester City. Instead, they can welcome Cristiano back as one of their own and happily forget that he seemed just as happy to pull on the sky blue shirt until it transpired that Juventus was adamant about a transfer fee and City dropped on its interest. Exactly why City wanted him anyway is a mystery. Ronaldo seems far from a natural fit to play for a Pep Guardiola-coached side.

But then again: is there a spot for Ronaldo on this United team? The world is about to see.


What will Ronaldo's next move be?

Before retirement, maybe he'll consider moving back to Sporting to keep up the trend. What would that purchase do? 

  • Would followers from all over the world come to cheer the club on?
  • Would the club make millions of euros in jerseys?
  • Would the national title be guaranteed?
  • Or, will his career be so close to the end that masses won't behave like they used to?


Make history for yourself as a football legend

Do you daydream about playing in front of a 50,000 fan packed-stadium? Or maybe you want to win the World Cup with your national team? Well, first things first: sign up your team for the Lisbon Football Youth Cup this coming October and jumpstart your path to fame!