This summer’s transfer market was a very active and thrilling one, but while some signings made fans and experts say wow, nothing came close to the two moves that shocked the entire football universe this summer.
After Cristiano Ronaldo decided to pack his bags and leave Juventus to go back home to Manchester United, a move that made United an automatic favorite in all Premier League odds lists, and Lionel Messi put an end to his Barcelona epic tale in favor of a move to PSG, saying that the football scene was shaken to its boots might be an understatement.
Now, with all the main European soccer leagues well into their competitions, as well as the UCL and UEL, let’s talk about what CR7’s move to Manchester and Messi’s move to PSG can amount to and how they compare.
For CR7, Coming Home to Manchester United was the Best Choice
Ever since he left for Real Madrid, all Manchester United fans had been waiting for was for their legendary prodigal son to return and although he might be in the final acts of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo came back home to Old Trafford and just like Man U fans, we could not be any more excited about this move.
While at 36 years old, there is no denying the true power and stigma that CR7 brings to the table, and with a United team who have been in a constant search for the “cherry on the pie”, bringing back one of their biggest legends might just have done the trick. Ever since coming back to don the historic number 7 jersey, CR7 has proven that he is not anywhere close to retirement and is ready to bring Manchester United back to their winning ways.
Since coming back to United on the summer transfer deadline day, CR7 has delighted fans with a total of 4 goals, three in the EPL and one in the UCL in United’s surprising defeat against Swiss side Young Boys in Switzerland. But it’s not just the goals that have United fans excited about CR7 being back, it’s the change of attitude from the whole team and how Ronaldo’s presence has helped bring up the fighting spirits from players who were more on the outs than with United like Paul Pogba.
With Ronaldo playing upfront alongside the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, or Anthony Martial and with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes following them from the midfield, this team has gone from being a contender for one of the European competition spots granted by the EPL, to being one of the main contenders for the Premier League title.
And not just that, with the addition of Raphael Varane to United’s defense, a former teammate of CR7 at Real Madrid, and someone who knows very well what it takes to win a UCL title, or three, his experience alongside CR7’s leadership will come in very handy in their run for the UCL championship, where even after falling short against Young Boys, they will surely bounce back and end up as leaders of their rather accessible Group F.
Messi to PSG Only Means One Thing: UCL or Bust
Paris Saint-Germain has been long awaiting the moment to be able to finally prove to the world that they’re not a gigantic fish in a small pond and that they have what it takes to compete with the world’s elite football clubs hand in hand. But it seems that every season that goes by, the sooner they get to achieving their goal, the worse their fall is and they end up back at square one.
Well for this season, PSG decided that enough was enough and after signing former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, former Liverpool midfielder Georgino Wijnaldum, former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnaruma and former Inter defender Achraf Hakimi, they went for it all by bringing in who is considered by many as the best footballer to ever play the game, former Barcelona legend, Lionel Messi.
For Messi, the move away from Barcelona was one, both expected and unexpected depending on who you ask. On the one hand, there was already a precedent of Messi wanting to leave Camp Nou in the year before last season without any success, but in this summer transfer window and after a failed attempt from Barcelona to try and make financial room for Messi and his salary, the Argentinian decided to pack his bags and move to Paris to help PSG finally take a real shot at winning the UCL title this season.
Although on paper pinning together Neymar, Messi and Kylian Mbappe at the forward formation sounds like the most incredible trio of attackers since Real Madrid’s BBC (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Cristiano Ronaldo) and Barcelona’s MSN, (Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr), the reality has been rather bittersweet for Messi in his first outings with PSG.
While it’s understandable that he’s still growing accustomed to playing in a different team and system, something he had never done before, the level of competition in France’s Ligue 1 championship as well as PSG’s first UCL outing which ended in a tie against Belgian side Club Brugge has left Messi and PSG fans if moving to Paris was the best move in hand.
For now, what we can expect is for Messi to come back to his regular God-like playing level, because when that happens, added to the fact he’ll have Neymar Jr, Mbappe, Angel Di María, and a whole slew of superstars to back him up, this PSG team might become one of the scariest in the land.
By: Juren Quiros
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Ash Donelon – Man United / Aurelien Meunier – PSG