Cristiano Ronaldo is a player who thrives in pressure – his performances at the World Cup are living proof of that. When the crowds booed him against France, he was Portugal best player and only attacking threat.
Last night, against a side Manchester United should have thumped 10-0, Ronaldo was our primary attacking threat once again, scoring two goals and creating another before walking off to cheers and applause from United fans.
The Oxford United friendly was thought of as a waste, considering that it was scheduled smack between the Ajax and Seville matches. It has, however, helped Manchester United give several World Cup players their first game as well as blood the youngsters a bit more. A 4-1 victory may be considered good, but when you consider that Darren Fletcher scored you wonder who else could have (and should have) scored.
Ronaldo was booed by the crowd last night but that treatment will multiply in intensity once the Premiership starts. While Manchester United fans have quite appreciably put themselves right behind Ronaldo, his presence tends to leave a bad taste in the mouth even for us when you think that he wanted to leave for Real Madrid. Some fans might have forgotten that, but most of us haven’t and while we all want Ronaldo to do what he does best (create space and scoring opportunities for others as well as chip in with goals), some loyalty would be nice as well.
Considering the crowd’s response though, Ronaldo is forgiven for his World Cup (and post-WC) actions as long as he can turn it on for United day in and day out and as long as he doesn’t go down that “I want to leave Manchester United” path again.
The rest of the Premiership fans? Well, let them boo him – it will only spur him on to play better, which is all good for us.