Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United future is still in doubt with two weeks remaining of the summer transfer window.
Reports have constantly linked the Portuguese superstar with a move away from the club – something that has dominated United’s preparations for the new season.
Ronaldo’s fairytale return to the Threatre of Dreams certainly hasn’t gone to plan.
His return to United was, unsurprisingly, met with incredible fanfare at the club as they reportedly beat rivals Manchester City to his signature.
His second debut at home to Newcastle was the hottest ticket in town. And those lucky enough to be inside Old Trafford saw Ronaldo score twice on his homecoming.
Ronaldo was back and life was good again.
There was a positive feeling amongst the squad and the fans – and Ronaldo’s arrival played a large role in that.
In fact ahead of his second debut against Newcastle, Ronaldo gave an emotional and uplifting speech to his Man Utd teammates.
Every word of Ronaldo’s inspirational speech ahead of second debut
And, according to The Sun, this is every word of it.
A source told SunSport: “Ronaldo’s speech was very powerful and uplifting. The whole group of players and coaching staff listened in silence.
“He told his team-mates: ‘I have returned to Man United for two reasons.
“The first is because I love the club. The second is I love the winning mentality that breeds through the ranks of this club.
“I have not come back to be a cheerleader. If you guys want to succeed, then I need you to love this club from the bottom of your hearts.
“You need to eat, sleep and fight for this club. Whether you play or do not play, you need to support your teammates and always give 100 per cent for the club.
“I am here to win and nothing else. Winning brings us happiness. I want to be happy, do you?
“You are all amazing players and I believe in you, or else I would have not returned.
“The fans will support you, if you give your best. I just want to create a winning mentality, so when I do retire one day, the winning mentality will remain, and this group of players will dominate football, like we did in the past.
“I will do my best for the team but I need your support too. Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to leave everything on the pitch?”
After the speech, the United squad gave Ronaldo a round of applause.
What has gone wrong?
Fast forward 12 months and it’s all gone wrong.
From an individual point of view, Ronaldo returned 24 goals in all competitions last season – certainly not a bad return.
But United recorded their lowest points tally in Premier League history and ended another campaign trophyless.
And it seems Ronaldo’s belief in his teammates faded throughout the season and he soon realised that United aren’t in a position to be competing for major honours any time soon.
It doesn’t appear as though he’s taking his own advice to ‘give your best’ or to ‘leave everything on the pitch’ with his behaviour this summer.
He left United’s pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano early after being substituted at half time, while his actions after United’s 4-0 loss to Brentford wasn’t what you’d expect from a leader.
And there certainly isn’t a ‘winning mentality that breeds through the ranks of this club’…
Whether Ronaldo will still be a Manchester United player at the start of September remains to be seen. But a lot has changed since his rousing speech 12 months ago.