Cristiano Ronaldo has sent an emotional farewell message to Juventus fans following his return to Manchester United.
In the emotional farewell message posted on his Instagram handle, the 36-year-old thanked the fans for the respect they showed him.
He noted that he gave his heart and soul to the Italian club, adding that Juventus will always be in his heart.
He wrote, “Today I depart from an amazing club, the biggest in Italy and surely one of the biggest in all of Europe. I gave my heart and soul for Juventus and I’ll always love’` the city of Turin until my final days.
“The “tiffosi bianconeri” always respected me and I tried to thank that respect by fighting for them in every game, every season, every competition. In the end, we can all look back and realise that we achieved great things, not all that we wanted, but still, we wrote a pretty beautiful story together.
“I will always be one of you. You are now part of my history, as I feel that I’m part of yours. Italy, Juve, Turin, tiffosi bianconeri, you’ll always be in my heart.”
Just four months ago supporters stormed the Old Trafford pitch in protest at the club’s owners for their part in the failed European Super League project and a perceived lack of investment in the club, forcing the postponement of a Premier League clash with Liverpool.
In response, the Glazer family have sanctioned a transfer spend of nearly £150 million ($206 million) with Ronaldo joining his former Real Madrid teammate Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
That investment has ramped up the pressure on United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to deliver the club’s first Premier League title since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.
Solskjaer is yet to win a trophy in his two-and-a-half years in charge with his mismanagement of losing the Europa League final on penalties to Villarreal in United’s final game of last season still fresh in the memory.
The Norwegian did not make a single substitution until 100 minutes had been played in Gdansk as United failed to make their far greater resources count.
A lack of strength in depth is not an excuse Solskjaer will be able to use this season if he does not end United’s wait for silverware.
Even at 36, Ronaldo is still one of the most prolific goalscorers in the game. The Portuguese netted 36 times for Juventus last season and won the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, scoring five goals in four games.
“He is a legend of this club, he’s the greatest player of all time if you ask me,”said Solskjaer of his former teammate.
He and Sancho, who cost a reported £73 million from Borussia Dortmund in June, join a stacked forward line of Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
Behind them Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba have already shone this season in a 5-1 thrashing of Leeds on the opening day of the Premier League season.
But a 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday exposed some familiar failings of Solskjaer’s reign that the recruitment of Ronaldo may solve.
The United manager can boast an impressive record against stronger opposition. He has beaten Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City four times in eight meetings and lost only twice in six clashes with Liverpool. Twice he’s won away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
But too often United have performed poorly in the games they are expected to win.
“That was the difference against Southampton, we weren’t clinical, we didn’t take our chances,” added Solskjaer. “We had as many, or even more, chances (as against Leeds). If you’re not ruthless in the box, you won’t win points in the Premier League.”