It’s not so difficult to imagine of Cristiano Ronaldo one day making the transition from a great player to a great manager. Following a glistening career as a footballer, many would expect him to suffer from the burden of expectation, however, Ronaldo seems unaffected by pressure, and we predict that he will deliver from the sidelines.
Join us on a journey to the future, where we attempt to predict Ronaldo’s career path.
2023 – Sporting Clube de Portugal – Youth Team
Following Ronaldo’s retirement, and after a brief stint playing MLS football, Ronaldo returns to the club to whom he owes so much; Sporting Clube de Portugal. The club welcomes the return of their best ever export deciding to take him on board in the early stages of his managerial career.
Ronaldo focuses on coaching the youth team. His work ethic is contagious. In his early days at Manchester United Ronaldo sometimes struggled with the end product. Learning from this, he ensures that Sporting’s future prospects focus on all areas of their game and not just the step-overs or whatever skill is popular in the future.
Ronaldo is soon promoted to the role of head coach for Sporting’s youth team. All Portugal’s best young players want to play for the Portuguese legend and Sporting benefits from having the best youth academy in the country.
2026 – Manager of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Domestic and European success
Following the success of Sporting’s youth team, Ronaldo is promoted to manager of the main squad. The best from his youth team join him and together they form an exciting and attacking team.
He opts for a 4-3-3 formation in which the wide players are given a free role to rotate and drop deep when needed. In his debut season, he wins the Primeira Liga and the following year adds the Europa League to his trophy cabinet.
2029 – A return to Madrid – Domestic success
After years of success with Sporting, the opportunity to join Real Madrid is too good to turn down. A return to Manchester United was always unlikely given Ryan Giggs’ recent successes with the Red devils. Similar to what Mourinho did with Porto, Ronaldo brings his core of Brazilian and Portuguese players from Sporting to Spain. His loyalty to his Sporting players pays off. The attacking and fluid style of play pleases the Bernabeu crowd and Ronaldo wins La Liga in his second full season at the club.
2031- Champions League Final loss
Despite domestic success, European glory eludes him. Ronaldo’s defence is not up to scratch to succeed on the Champions League stage. Real Madrid conceded one goal in the knockout-round at home the year Ancelotti and Ronaldo won ‘La Decima’. Ronaldo replicates the 4-2-3-1 formation used by Ancelotti for Champions League games but his wingers lack discipline and Real Madrid fall at the last hurdle conceding a counter-attack goal in the Champions League final against an Arsenal team managed by Thierry Henry.
2038 – International success with Portugal
After a successful period with Real Madrid and a brief return to Manchester United, Ronaldo takes over as manager of the Portuguese national team. Having not won a major tournament with his country during his career, Ronaldo puts all his work and effort into the World Cup 2038 hosted in Spain and Portugal. The pace and threat of the latest crop of young Portuguese players is too much for the other teams, and with the home crowd behind them, Ronaldo manages to do what he was not able to do at the Euros in 2004. He wins an International tournament in front of his home crowd.
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