From Manchester United to the hated rival of “his” Real: Madrid urchronie or the fantasy of Cristiano Ronaldo at Atlético

On August 31, 2022, a few hours before the final whistle of the summer transfer window, a Twitter alert had the effect of an explosion. In terms of football transfers, it begins with the wick soberly baptized “Here we go!“. Because if Fabrizio Romano says it, it’s because it’s true: Cristiano Ronaldo (37) is a new player for Atlético de Madrid! The rumor has turned into reality and, as unlikely as it Either, the Portuguese leaves Manchester United for Real Madrid’s ‘El Eterno Rival’.

This announcement caused so much buzz that the blue bird social network crashed for two hours! Indignant and amused reactions, insults in the purest tradition of the habits and customs of the platform: the arrival of CR7 at the Metropolitano for two seasons falls squarely into the category of the most improbable movements, in the same way as Lionel Messi at the PSG. But, after all, before returning to MU, the Manchester City rumor had surfaced for a few days…

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In the dampness of the highest capital in Europe, it’s the commotion in the newsrooms. Tomás Roncero, armed with his Zippo engraved with the Real Madrid crest, is in a trance. Facing the camera, he plunges his entire collection of Ronaldo flocked jerseys live into a trash can and burns it all down in the middle of Diario AS’s editorial staff. He vociferates, vituperates, invokes Judas Iscariot, screams to death that Messi has always been the best and that he pretended to idolize CR7.

Manolo Lama on the COPE, José Ramón de la Morena, retired returned for an exceptional freelance on Onda Cero, Dani Garrido on the SER: each radio station has requisitioned its emblematic presenter to comment on Ronaldo’s return to Madrid in red and white tinsel. Tic-tac, tic-tac: at 3:10 p.m., on the set of Jugones, the “sportstainement” program of the early afternoon of La Sexta, Josep Pedrerol takes his best poses with his eternal smirk on the corners of his lips and his indignant look.

The professors of the Actor’s Studio can take some seed! The journalists of the Chiringuito, meanwhile, stormed the Plaza de Cibeles to collect the reactions of Madrid supporters and the Plaza de Neptuno to have the colchonero counterpart.

A Galactic, 35 years after Futre

For those with a Meringue heart, the indifference to Ronaldo leaving Juventus to try to match Clarence Seedorf, the only player to win the Champions League with three clubs, has turned into contempt. After all, Casa Blanca continued to win without him. Since his departure, in addition to the Champion’s recently conquered at the end of an incredible journey, the club has raised two Liga, as much as during the passage of CR7. Cherry on the caldo madrileño, Karim Benzema will soon be Ballon d’Or. On the other hand, since his farewell, Ronaldo has joined an ultra-ambitious Juventus which has become bloodless and then a Manchester United which has inevitably fallen since the end of the Ferguson era.

On the colchonero side, the impromptu arrival of the Portuguese arouses more snide remarks than purely sporting enthusiasm. One must never fail to piss off the rival, out of elementary politeness. And if only out of respect for the painful memories of the meetings where CR7 martyred the mattress makers (22 goals and 9 assists in 33 matches with Real Madrid, without forgetting the hat-trick in the eighth return of Champion’s with Juventus in 2019), reason suggests that it is always better to have it with than against you. Despite the animosity he has always aroused in the spans of the Metropolitano, Ronaldo will be entitled, Friday morning, to an official presentation in the presence of the public. That promises! He should then join his new teammates to join San Sebastián where Atlético will face Real Sociedad.

As a good son of his father Jesús who had attracted Paulo Futre in 1987 with a yellow Porsche, Miguel Ángel Gil Marín holds “his” Galactic, exactly 35 years after his father. Despite rickety accounts, he convinced the president Enrique Cerezo, film producer who could not decently miss this blockbuster brought on a silver platter by Jorge Mendes. Despite the risks, the two senior rojiblancos leaders know full well that they have achieved a very big media coup. In the 80s, the Colchoneros had recovered Bernd Schuster, author of the Holy Trinity of treason by chaining consecutively Barça, Real Madrid and Atlético. But, even if the West German was an exceptional player, the situation is incomparable.

Seeing Ronaldo don the most hideous shirt in Atlético history (we ask you to make it simple and beautiful but you make it complicated and ugly) was highly improbable. Admittedly, the prospect of substantial economic returns was enticing, but the emoluments of the now ex-Red Devil remained very high. The two parties were able to take a step towards each other to find an agreement (there is talk of a system of bonuses to compensate for the drop in the fixed salary). The club’s proposal to integrate Cristiano Ronaldo Jr (12) into the cantera rojiblanca, which has been on the rise for several seasons, has finally convinced the captain of Quinas. At the same time, Manchester United obtained a good counterpart: the arrival in the opposite direction of the Brazilian Matheus Cunha who will strengthen the attacking sector of the team of Erik ten Hag, relieved of the departure of the Portuguese.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Futre and Nani posing in 2007

Credit: Getty Images

Griezmann, the big loser

However, beyond economic considerations, his arrival is not synonymous with guaranteed sporting success. Though. Few people were convinced that Luis Suárez would be soluble in Cholismo, and yet Charrua’s first season was a success in La Liga, with certainly the most attacking version offered by the Argentine coach. The antagonism between the two clubs, often truncated and simplified, is not new and many players have worn both shirts, starting with Santiago Bernabéu and Luis Aragonés.

In a La Liga purring too much, it was necessary to find a disturbing element to revive the interest of the championship everywhere in the world. The animosity remains strong on the colchonero side concerning a few players. The commemorative plaques of Thibaut Courtois and Hugo Sánchez on the forecourt of the Metropolitano are regularly sprinkled with spit, when they are not attacked directly with a chisel. Antoine Griezmann was not greeted by a bed of rose petals when he returned from his blaugrana journey.

About the Frenchman, the arrival of Ronaldo (who should, as when he arrived at Real Madrid, leave the 7, owned by João Félix, for the 9 vacated by Cunha) is not the best news of the been neither for him nor for Didier Deschamps. The newcomer played at Juve with Morata and will don the mentorship of the ‘Menino de ouro’ who has already exposed his connection with the Spanish striker. The kind of mission that should appeal to the native of Funchal. He could well become the missing element for the Colchoneros to perform again on the continental scene, 6 years after the C1 final lost against Real Madrid after a penalty shootout concluded by you know who.

Like Cruyff in Feyenoord

This time, the muddy argument of the “choice of the heart” is not advanced like last year, when the romanticism would have rather consisted of returning to Sporting CP to come full circle and compete in the Champions League with his training club freshly titled on the domestic scene for the first time since 2002 during the 2020/201 season. Ronaldo, who absolutely wanted to play the C1, could have found the Lions but it was ultimately the Rojiblancos who seduced the Portuguese. This transfer takes on false airs of the arrival of Johan Cruyff at Feyenoord, sworn enemy of Ajax, and with whom he had won the Dutch championship in 1984, with the difference that he had been pushed towards the exit.

Either way, the effect is successful. On social media, Atlético have seen their accounts fill with new followers, recalling the trend that Generation Z are more and more “fans” of a player than of a club, even if it costs one. contortion worthy of a Cirque du Soleil acrobat to now glorify Cholismo. The transfer of volatile followers from one club to another (at the same time, Manchester United experienced a significant simultaneous decline) has become a significant factor, especially when it comes to global players, so influential on the pitch. than outside. With the appetite that characterizes Ronaldo, Atlético is making a bet that is not won in advance. But convincing a Real Madrid legend to play at the Metropolitano at the risk of alienating some of his own liking is really priceless.

Back to our space-time. The Big Bang did not happen and the Ronaldo at Atlético rumor evaporated but, until the last minute, the search for a landing point, even the most improbable, was no longer to be ruled out. . To continue to prance at the top of the ranking of the top scorers in the history of the Champions League, CR7 seems ready for a lot of things, including denting his merengue legend. But as Igor and Grishka (almost) said: in the world (of football), nothing is impossible.

Johan Cruyff with the Feyenoord Rotterdam shirt in 1984

Credit: Getty Images

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