How Cristiano Ronaldo’s U-Turn from Man City to Man Utd broke the internet

Quick Reads

The summer of 2021 has given us one of the most dramatic transfer windows in football history. Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock return to Manchester United is right up there with the highlights. 

Ronaldo finished as top scorer at Euro 2020, having also topped the charts for goals in Serie A last term. But the 36-year-old’s future was always uncertain at Juventus as he approached the final year of his contract in Turin.

Still, few could have predicted a return to Old Trafford, or the dramatic circumstances that led to it. Here’s how the story developed via social media, and some of the best reactions to the announcement.

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How the story developed

We reached mid-August with Ronaldo staying put in Italy and relatively few transfer stories out there. But when a story appeared linking him with a move back to Real Madrid, he took to Instagram to criticise the speculation.

Tellingly, however, he didn’t commit his immediate future to Juventus.

But come the start of the Serie A season, Ronaldo was left out Juventus’ starting XI amid speculation. He was brought off the bench and celebrated with his shirt off after scoring a would-be injury-time match-winner against Udinese, but it was subsequently disallowed by VAR for offside.

His last act for the Old Lady. Ouch.

On August 25th, as it became clear Manchester City wouldn’t be getting their mits on Harry Kane, reports of negotiations with Ronaldo began to snowball – as reported by Twitter’s transfer king Fabrizio Romano.

Solskjaer was not at all happy about the suggestion his former team-mate could go to the old enemy:

But suddenly rumours began spreading like wildfire after Ferdinand cheekily posted something cryptic:

Solskjaer himself opened the door back up to the possibility of bringing Ronaldo back.

And sure enough, insiders began to report that a move to Old Trafford was on, while City had pulled out.

The announcement

After a wild afternoon of feverish speculation, United themselves made the announcement the deal was done. Inevitably, it clocked up thousands of likes and retweets within seconds and 24 hours later it’s got nearly two million likes.

The one-emoji follow up even proved wildly popular.

The reaction

Needless to say, in the 24 hour period that it looked as though Ronaldo might’ve been joining Pep Guardiola’s side, there were a lot of hasty reactions from both sides of the city divide.

Of course, some were on hand to make sure they’d never be forgotten.

Even former City players were quick to believe.

The Premier League will be thrilled about having a player of Ronaldo’s status and marketability back.

Here’s how the current squad, former players and team-mates reacted to the news:

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