Shortly after Lionel Messi made a blockbuster move to PSG in the summer of 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo completed a sensational return to Manchester United after 12 years.

Fans at the Old Trafford were eagerly awaiting for the Portuguese star to come back ever since he left for Real Madrid in 2009. Ronaldo got off to a great start, but eventually, things didn’t go to plan.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted explained that signing Ronaldo back then was tempting, but it went wrong.

Solskjaer on Ronaldo’s return to United in 2021: ‘It turned out wrong’

Bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back was a decision that was difficult to turn down and I felt we had to take it, but it turned out wrong. It felt so right when he signed — he was still one of the best goalscorers in the world…When you have a group you need everyone to pull in the same direction,” Solskjaer said.

At first, it looked like everything would work out perfectly for Ronaldo in his second spell in Manchester. Cristiano sent the Old Trafford wild in his first game back, scoring a brace in a 4-1 win over Newcastle.

To be fair, the 5x Ballon d’Or winner did quite well that season, scoring 24 goals in 38 appearances. United, on the other hand, struggled to get results and Solskjaer was fired halfway through the season.

Why did Ronaldo leave Manchester United?

After a short stint under Ralph Rangnick as interim coach, the club hired Erik ten Hag, and that’s when everything changed for Ronaldo. The Dutchman dropped CR7 from the starting eleven, and the veteran striker eventually voiced his frustration in a bombshell interview. Shortly after that, he terminated his Man Utd deal and joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr as a free agent in January 2023.