Cristiano Ronaldo posted a photo of himself training at a strange time: right after the Champions League group stage draw was over.
The Manchester United forward wrote “Keep working and staying focused” as the caption for his post. This was right before the 32 teams found out if they would be in Europe’s best club competition, which Ronaldo probably won’t be in.
After United didn’t finish in the top four last season, it looks like he won’t be in the Champions League for the first time since 2003.
Last season, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, the Red Devils had their worst Premier League season ever. They finished sixth in the table, despite Ronaldo’s great return.
The 37-year-old superstar didn’t stop trying, though. He scored 24 goals in all competitions, which was 14 more than his next closest teammate.
Six of these goals came during heroic performances in Europe. With 140 goals in 183 games, Ronaldo is now 15 goals ahead of Lionel Messi as the competition’s all-time top scorer.
But with Paris Saint-Germain in this year’s tournament and Man United not, Messi will be able to catch up to the other all-time great.
Last season, it was disappointing that United didn’t finish in the top four. This summer, there has been a lot of talk about Ronaldo, and it hasn’t stopped yet.
Several news sources said that his agent, Jorge Mendes, talked to both Chelsea and Bayern Munich about getting him back into the Champions League.
After a move to Bundesliga powerhouse Borussia Dortmund was ruled out, the forward is now being linked to French team Marseille.
Sporting CP, Ronaldo’s first team, is also one of the 32 teams that could sign him. They are currently the favourites to get the superstar if he doesn’t stay at United.
Ronaldo and Manchester United will find out their fate in this year’s Europa League group stage on Friday in Istanbul.
But Ronaldo’s message raises even more questions after he was left on the bench for United’s amazing 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool.
After he and Harry Maguire were kicked off the team, United played their best game of the season, so “Keep working and focused” might just be a message to his agent, Mendes.