Manchester United legend Mark Hughes has explained what he found refreshing about the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.
The Portugal international is back at Man Utd after 12 years away, having moved from the Red Devils to Real Madrid in 2009, and then to Juventus in 2018.
Ronaldo remains a legendary figure in United’s history, and it came as a bit of a surprise when an emotional return to the club was wrapped up quite quickly towards the end of the summer transfer window.
Former United star Hughes is pleased with the signing and admits he thinks it’s “refreshing” that Ronaldo wanted a romantic return instead of just chasing the money as he could have done elsewhere.
Of course, one imagines Ronaldo will still be making huge money at United, but it’s also certainly true that he could have earned similar amounts or perhaps more whilst also playing at a lower level in the MLS, Qatar, or China.
Hughes thinks the emotional pull of returning to United must have ultimately settled this transfer saga.
“It’s fantastic for Manchester United and it’s good for him,” Hughes told the Daily Mirror. “It makes sense him going back. It’s the right time and the right opportunity and there’s no reason why he can’t make a success of this.
“Certainly when I went back I had the opportunity to stay in Germany with a great club, Bayern Munich.
I was having a great time and it was only the fact that it was Manchester United, because to anybody else trying to get me back I would have said, ‘No’.
“It’s the pull of the club. I had been there since I was a kid. I had an emotional pull and attachment so when I knew they wanted me back it was an easy decision for me as an individual and for my family as well.
“I’m sure Cristiano has had similar feelings and has gone through similar emotions.
“People comment on the size of fees and the money involved but that’s not an issue for Cristiano because he is a very wealthy man.
“It’s quite refreshing when money hasn’t been a deciding factor in this transfer. It’s happened simply because he wants to be back at United and you would like to think he sees an opportunity to continue winning trophies, which he has done all his career.”