Log in
E-mail
Password
Show password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

MANCHESTER UNITED PLC

(MANU)
  Report
SummaryQuotesChartsNewsRatingsCalendarCompanyFinancialsConsensusRevisions 
SummaryMost relevantAll NewsAnalyst Reco.Other languagesPress ReleasesOfficial PublicationsSector newsMarketScreener Strategies

Manchester United : After all the hype, Ronaldo set for 1st game back at Manchester United

09/09/2021 | 08:59am EDT

The public relations push has been relentless at Manchester United these past few days, detailing everything about Cristiano Ronaldo from his movements in training, his greatest goals, his reclaiming of the “iconic” No. 7 jersey, to the inside story of his goal celebration.

Ronaldo, of course, was immediately added to the giant mural emblazoned outside Old Trafford. United jerseys with his name on the back are flying off the shelves in the club’s megastore.

“Cristiano is in the house,” United midfielder Bruno Fernandes said.

As if anyone wasn’t aware.

One of the best players in the history of soccer is making an emotional return for a second spell at one of the world’s biggest teams, so it’s understandable that Ronaldo has been the talk of the town since his stunning transfer from Juventus was completed last week.

His first appearance back at United is likely to be against Newcastle on Saturday and it is one of the most anticipated occasions in the history of the Premier League, even if the match will not be televised live in Britain because of previously agreed broadcasting arrangements.

But away from all the glitz, the hype and the marketing, what can the soccer world expect of the 36-year-old Ronaldo in what could be the last big move of his club career? Does his presence virtually ensure United will be “closer to winning” trophies, as Fernandes has said.

Certainly, Ronaldo is a still a guarantee of goals. He has a staggering 785 goals in 1,075 appearances for club and country, after all. He has just become the record scorer of all time in men’s international soccer, with 111 goals, and is coming off a European Championship where he won the Golden Boot with five goals in four games.

The top scorer in Champions League history with 134, Ronaldo has delivered the following number of league goals in his last five seasons at club level: 29 in 33 games (2020-21), 31 in 33 games (2019-20), 21 in 31 games (2018-19), 26 in 27 games (2017-18), and 25 in 29 games (2016-17).

However, even if he was top scorer in Serie A last season and had 101 goals and 22 assists in a total of 134 appearances for Juventus, his three years in Turin should perhaps act as a warning for United.

Juve steadily declined with Ronaldo there, to the extent that the team only just scraped a fourth-place finish last season to qualify for the Champions League. In the Champions League, Juve reached the quarterfinals just once with Ronaldo — before he arrived, it got to the final in two of the previous four seasons.

That maybe was not all his doing — it was a turbulent period for Juve, which had three coaches in Massimiliano Allegri, Maurizio Sarri and Andrea Pirlo, all of whom had different approaches — yet his presence did wind up being divisive purely for the fact it meant the team seemed to exist as a function to get the best out of him as opposed to working as a unit.

More than 28% shots taken by Juventus last season came from Ronaldo. Juventus was the team that supplied the most crosses in Serie A, serving arguably the best header of the ball in the world whose best work increasingly came in the six-yard box. He had 168 shots in total, 31 more than any Premier League player had.

“If there’s Ronaldo, you need to have a squad that suits Ronaldo,” Sarri, who was Juventus coach in the 2019-20 season, said recently.

Sarri, who is now coach at Lazio, spoke of the difficulty of managing Ronaldo because he is a “multinational brand who has personal interests that have to be coupled with those of the team.”

“But there are also many positive aspects," he said, "because Ronaldo brings the numbers at the end of the year.”

And that’s the balance United will have to strike.

Does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turn his team into one whose main function is to supply Ronaldo, and is that a wise strategy?

If Ronaldo starts as a lone striker, does United have the wingers who can deliver a regular supply of crosses that he lives off? In Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, who — when fit — might be first choice, that could be a no, given they are inverted wingers who like to cut inside and shoot. Jadon Sancho, signed this offseason from Borussia Dortmund, could potentially be more valuable due to his ability to stretch defenses out wide and send in more dangerous crosses.

Solskjaer has said he sees Ronaldo as “more of a center forward for me at the moment.”

“I want him in the box, scoring goals,” he said.

If Ronaldo starts as a left winger, which appeared to be his preference at Juventus, does his work rate off the ball come into question and hinder United? And what does that mean for Rashford, who mostly played there in recent seasons?

Ronaldo’s scoring ability is not in question as he begins life back in Manchester.

It’s how he affects the rest of the team that is the most intriguing aspect of his return to United.

___

Associated Press writer Daniella Matar in Milan contributed to this report

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80

© 2021 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved., source Canadian Press DataFile

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
JUVENTUS FOOTBALL CLUB S.P.A. 0.62% 0.7275 Delayed Quote.-10.69%
MANCHESTER UNITED PLC 0.00% 16.57 Delayed Quote.-1.02%
All news about MANCHESTER UNITED PLC
01:21aMANCHESTER UNITED : RONALDOES IT AGAIN Cristiano rescues Man United in Champions League
AQ
10/20MANCHESTER UNITED : Man United prevail in thriller; Barça break into win column; Chelsea r..
AQ
10/20MANCHESTER UNITED : United wins in chaos; Bayern, Juventus, Chelsea do it easy
AQ
10/20MANCHESTER UNITED : Ronaldo saves Man U again with another late winner in CL
AQ
10/19MATCHDAY : Barcelona plays for Champions League survival
AQ
10/16MANCHESTER UNITED : Leicester edge United in goal fest; Liverpool thrash Watford
AQ
10/15Manchester United Announces Executive Changes
CI
10/13MANCHESTER UNITED : Ronaldo And Messi - Increasing The Brand Values Of Their New Clubs
AQ
10/09MANCHESTER UNITED : Watch as Marcus Rashford receives degree from University of Manchester
AQ
10/07MANCHESTER UNITED : UNDERWRITING AGREEMENT (Form 6-K)
PU
More news
Analyst Recommendations on MANCHESTER UNITED PLC
More recommendations
Financials
Sales 2022 603 M 834 M 834 M
Net income 2022 -34,3 M -47,5 M -47,5 M
Net Debt 2022 349 M 483 M 483 M
P/E ratio 2022 -56,3x
Yield 2022 1,45%
Capitalization 1 954 M 2 701 M 2 703 M
EV / Sales 2022 3,82x
EV / Sales 2023 3,46x
Nbr of Employees 983
Free-Float 24,1%
Chart MANCHESTER UNITED PLC
Duration : Period :
Manchester United plc Technical Analysis Chart | MANU | KYG5784H1065 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends MANCHESTER UNITED PLC
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
TrendsBearishNeutralNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 3
Last Close Price 1 198,99 GBX
Average target price 1 461,63 GBX
Spread / Average Target 21,9%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Richard Neil Arnold Group Managing Director & Director
Cliff Baty Chief Financial Officer & Director
Joel Glazer Executive Co-Chairman
Avram A. Glazer Executive Co-Chairman
Robert Mark Leitão Independent Director
Sector and Competitors