Well, well, well. That didn’t turn out as he’d hoped, did it?
What was supposed to be a heart-warming and glorious homecoming to Manchester United, has instead spiralled into calamitous controversy and a contract termination for Cristiano Ronaldo.
While he may be slap-bang in the middle of a World Cup campaign with Portugal, the question still needs to be asked: who could he join next? Well, we at 90min have weighed up some options.
Back on the cards? Hmmm, probably not.
When one fairytale goes down the pan, why not try another?
A true homecoming to Ronaldo’s first club would be wholesome and probably would suit both parties for footballing reasons; the Portuguese icon would undoubtedly take up a starring role for his boyhood club and could continue at the same level of European competition, while Sporting would, well, get Cristiano Ronaldo.
Finances, however, might dictate that this particular move would be unlikely.
Financial worry is a thing of the past for Newcastle United, who are absolutely rolling in cash.
They could feasibly take on the monetary burden of Ronaldo’s salary while his arrival would further boost the Magpies’ global status.
While they are flying high in the Premier League at the moment, however, would 37-year-old Ronaldo drop down to a side out of elite competition in Europe at this precise moment? That definitely remains to be seen.
Of course, European football is just one option.
Often dismissively referenced as the retirement home for the world-class, Major League Soccer is a realistic consideration for Ronaldo, who has previously been linked with a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami.
Guaranteed football and a beautiful lifestyle doesn’t sound all that bad, does it?
Even so, Ronaldo isn’t the type of person to start winding down before his time comes. He’ll feel as though he has plenty more to give and will want to get back to his best on an elite stage.
A move to Champions League competitors Chelsea would provide him with the opportunity to do just that; whether the Blues are keen to onboard him in January, however, is a different matter.
A move back to Serie A has also been touted as a potential route for the former Juventus man.
There’ll undoubtedly be a few sides with their arms wide open this winter, although Napoli likely represent one of the most realistic destinations.
And, it has to be said, entering a Gli Azzurri side gunning for the Scudetto and even boasting a so-far bulldozing campaign on the Champions League front, it wouldn’t be the worst marriage.
A debut in the Bundesliga could also be yet to come for one of the game’s greatest.
German giants Bayern Munich have been labelled as a potential suitor to Ronaldo and, with Robert Lewandowski’s enigmatic presence in Bavaria yet to be truly replaced, you can see why.
The prospect of playing for another of the globe’s biggest clubs and the creative genius littered throughout the Bayern squad would have to be a very intriguing pull for the Portuguese striker.