Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be working hard after ending his summer exile from Manchester United.
The Portuguese superstar is back at the club and, as rumors over his future continue, the 37-year-old may have just given a very strong hint that he will stay at Old Trafford this season.
After missing United’s pre-season tours of Thailand and Australia, Ronaldo was seen reporting to the club’s training ground in Carrington on Tuesday this week after spending an extended break in Portugal.
The striker arrived with agent Jorge Mendes and multiple reports claimed he had held confrontational talks with Red Devils chiefs over his future, following suggestions he had made known to the club that he wanted to leave.
However, Ronaldo has recently hit back at the ‘lies’ being said about him.
And he now appears to have posted with one last post on social media, as he looks to make up for lost time as he prepares for the new season – possibly in Man United colours.
While his team-mates were in Oslo to play Atletico Madrid in their final pre-season friendly – which ended in a 1-0 defeat – Ronaldo posted a picture on Twitter showing the star alongside several young United players with the caption: “Working for progress…”
Much has been made of Ronaldo’s commitment and loyalty to the club, with reports that he is keen to join a team competing in the Champions League as he seeks to extend his competitive record of 140 goals and further consolidate its place in history.
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Former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino is among those who have urged Ronaldo to take greater responsibility as a leader on the pitch and in the dressing room, rather than focusing on his relentless pursuit of goals.
But, having appeared to have taken some of the club’s players under his wing, it looks like the Portuguese icon is already demonstrating that.
“Ronaldo’s role is not just about scoring more Champions League goals,” said Weekend Sports Breakfast host Cascarino.
“Breaking records is good, but he is now at the stage of his career where the club he is at is trying to revive itself and he needs a leader.
“He has to be that leader on the football pitch, for them, as a team, to try to galvanize something.
“If Ronaldo thinks it’s just his goals, he will achieve his goals but the club will still fail.”
It’s something we saw happen last season, as Ronaldo’s 24 goals in 38 games weren’t enough to help United achieve more than sixth place in the Premier League or lift the silverware.
CR7 is an Old Trafford legend and, despite the recent uncertainty surrounding him, is still adored by the club’s supporters.
However, Cascarino has warned he risks ruining his status as a club hero if he doesn’t commit his future to Manchester United soon.
“You don’t need to rock the boat,” Cascarino added.
“What I would say to Ronaldo is, for the first time in your life, think about your club, your team.
“The club and the fanbase have been amazing for you, and you’ve played brilliantly for them. You’ve done so well that they liked you from the moment you came in and even after you left, and when you came back they loved you. loved and still love you.
“But he’s downplaying that now because there must be a section of Manchester United fans who have been pissed off at his non-commitment to the club.”