Cristiano Ronaldo's latest quotes are very similar to those he made shortly before leaving England.
On 27 February 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about his Manchester United future, and this is what he had to say:
“I feel very happy where I am now. I feel very happy in Manchester.
“As for the future, only God knows. I prefer to speak about the present and the present is brilliant. Manchester play well and I feel very happy here and I want to stay here.”
Less than four months later, he was on a plane to Madrid and United had an extra £80million in the bank.
Fast-forward four years and rumours abound that the Portuguese is destined for an Old Trafford return.
The cynics say it is media manipulation designed to get the best possible deal from his current employers. While the dreamers say he really could return to the club that transformed him from gangly show-pony to devastating attacker.
In truth a return to United makes little sense. With Sir Alex Ferguson gone – or at least upstairs somewhere – and with Ronaldo with unfinished business at the Bernabeu – the importance of La Decima cannot be overstated – would he really return to Manchester?
But his most recent quotes have more than a hint of that 2009 sound-bite.
Speaking earlier this week the 28-year-old said, “I miss English football. For me, it was one of the best years in my career when I was there in Manchester United. Everyone knows that it is a club that is still in my heart and I really, really miss.
“But now my life is in Spain. I am enjoying playing there too. Part of my life is there, but in the future we never know. I am really, really happy in the Spanish league.”
As emphatic as that sounds, he was really happy in Manchester, too. He said he wanted to stay there in fact. And then he left.
For Ronaldo, it seems the future is measured in months rather than years.
So United fans getting excited at the player’s most recent quotes shouldn’t be blamed for dreaming; Ronaldo does after all have previous.
One thing is for sure: the future, no one knows – but sometimes we can have a pretty good guess.
Do United fans really believe Ronaldo could return to them this summer?
image: © Gordon Flood