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April 20, 2024

How close were Manchester City to landing Cristiano Ronaldo?

Cristiano Ronaldo chose Manchester United over Man City

In 2021, Ronaldo chose Manchester United over Manchester City, opting for his former club's emotional pull and manager's trust. United's history and familiarity outweighed City's allure, securing the Portuguese icon return...

It's no secret that before Manchester United brought Cristiano Ronaldo back for what was to be a second spell in the Premier League at Old Trafford, the superstar forward was strongly linked with the Red Devils' old rivals Manchester City. With a world-class manager in the form of Pep Guardiola at the helm and with a team challenging for major silverware, Ronaldo might well have been tempted by a move to the Etihad Stadium. But how close was Cristiano Ronaldo to really becoming a Cityzens star?

Cristiano Ronaldo - No match for the GOAT:

Man City Interest Alerted United

The answer to that question appears to be that it was a realistic prospect that Ronaldo could have switched allegiance to the blue half of Manchester. City, who are 4/9 in the Premiership odds to lift the trophy for a fourth consecutive season this term, were on the lookout for a quality replacement for striker Sergio Agüero. The Argentine moved on to pastures new in July 2021 to La Liga giants Barcelona, and City found themselves looking for a new focal point in attack. Seeking an experienced striker to fill the void left by Agüero, reports suggested the Cityzens were in talks to bring Ronaldo from Juventus to the Etihad Stadium.

Ronaldo has since spoken to the media and confirmed the interest from City but claims the intervention of his former manager Sir Alex Ferguson helped sway his decision to return to United. Ronaldo has often spoken of the high esteem in which he holds Ferguson and the Scotsman is believed to have said it was "impossible" for the player to choose City over the Red Devils. After weeks of speculation, Ronaldo's move from Juve to Old Trafford was finally confirmed in August 2021, with the forward agreeing a two-year deal back at United.

Cristiano Ronaldo bad game against Manchester City

City Could Have Been Frightening With Ronaldo In Blue

While fate, and a few influential words from Ferguson, meant Ronaldo ended up returning to Old Trafford, one wonders how the player would have fared at Manchester City. Guardiola was clearly an admirer of the player and would not have brought the club's name into the conversation for Ronaldo's services, were he not confident the striker could fit into their system.

Guardiola's teams play with a lone striker and Ronaldo would have been a great fit for the way the Spanish tactician likes to play. With creative players out wide and with talisman Kevin De Bruyne in behind, Ronaldo would have likely thrived had he made the move to City. Ronaldo's ability to make runs in behind and his quality in the air, would have made his partnership with De Bruyne a mouth-watering prospect. Ronaldo's professionalism and the example he could have shown to other players in the City squad, would have also been a real positive for manager Guardiola.

Ultimately, Ronaldo completed the highly-anticipated return to United, which ended with his two-year contract being cut short, before a move to Al-Nassr in the developing Saudi Pro League. In the end, Ronaldo and City looked to be a perfect match, but one that was just never meant to be...

Cristiano Ronaldo in action in United vs City

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr is on April 27, against Al Khaleej for the Saudi Pro League. You can watch Al Khaleej vs Al Nassr, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Fulham vs Liverpool, Coventry City vs Manchester United, Manchester City vs Chelsea and Wolverhampton vs Arsenal, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.

Al Nassr next game:
Al Khaleej vs Al Nassr
kick-off time (27-04-2023):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 01:00
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+5.30: 23:30
Saudi Arabia
(Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+3: 21:00
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-6: 12:00

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo leadership on the field




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