Cristiano Ronaldo is due to celebrate his 37th birthday on Saturday, yet with Manchester United suffering an FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough on Friday, the Portuguese star can’t be in the most celebratory of moods.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was heralded as the move which could make the team contenders again, yet if anything, the team has dropped inexplicably off the title-radar.
What we’ve seen is a Ronaldo return to a league where physicality is the primary attribute required, and his body simply isn’t holding up to the task anymore.
No longer is Ronaldo the difference maker, despite the number of goals he has scored this term, he isn’t able to help the team in ways many expected upon his return.
However, there are still a number of individual records which the veteran can break, which motivates him significantly.
His individual honours list counts five Ballon d’Or trophies, five Champions Leagues and domestic titles in England, Spain and Italy, and he is also the all-time highest international goalscorer in the men’s game.
Ronaldo needs just eight more goals to reach a century of Premier League strikes, which would make him the first player ever to hit 100 goals in both the Premier League and LaLiga.
The oldest player to score a Premier League hat-trick is Teddy Sheringham at age 37 and 146 days, so Ronaldo could conceivably break that record if he stays at Old Trafford for a further season.
Manchester United look a million miles away from winning the Champions League, however, if by some miracle Ronaldo can help guide the team to an unexpected triumph in Europe this term, he would become the first player ever to win six Champions League titles in the current guise of the tournament.