As if the world wasn't still reeling from the news that one of the two greatest players on the planet was switching clubs with very little notice, it appears that we're set for a second such saga over the next week or so.
Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo, currently of Serie A's Juventus, may want to pick up and move clubs once more. Joining the Old Lady from Real Madrid in 2018, the 36-year-old Portuguese seems ready to test the waters with a new club, the would-be fifth of his professional career.
We just saw Lionel Messi, a once one-club man make the difficult decision to leave FC Barcelona and sign with Paris Saint-Germain, something few expected to actually happen. Now Ronaldo wants in on the action and could also move on. What a world we live in.
With the transfer window closing at the end of August, the time to make a move happen is short, but if Ronaldo is as motivated as reports are suggesting, it could become a reality sooner than we all think and a whole new (or old) fanbase could be stocking up on CR7 jerseys. As we did we our friend Leo, let's rank the most likely destinations for Ronaldo and his many talents, starting with the least likely first.
7. Sporting CP
The prodigal son returns. Ronaldo spent the beginning of his career with Sporting Clube de Portugal, and it's there that he was discovered by Sir Alex Ferguson while Manchester United were preparing for a preseason friendly with the Primeira Liga team. The rest is history.
Could Ronaldo return to his first pro club, one that he left nearly 18 years ago, and bring the wonderful story full circle as he enters the twilight of his career? Not likely, at least not yet. Ronaldo is still too good and his brand (yes, brand) is too big to return to Portugal, even at this stage. Plus, there is more that he wants to achieve on the pitch, and playing for Sporting doesn’t exactly offer him a ton on that front.
Consider it probably two years too soon for Ronnie to return to the green and white hoops of Sporting CP. Next.
6. Major League Soccer
While Major League Soccer has had something of a shift in its transfer policy in recent years, stars are always welcome in the USA and Canada's top flight league.
Mostly gone are the days where big name players come to MLS to retire and see out their days traveling around North America's big and beautiful expanse. Now the league looks to grow and sell it's young stars and further develop the foundation of soccer in the area as it competes with a plethora of other popular sports, all while growing the size of the league to a whopping 27 teams (up to 30 in the coming years).
Ronaldo has a place in MLS if he wants it. But similar to Sporting, it doesn't exactly make the most sense at this point in his career when he arguably has 3-4 seasons left to finish carving out his immense legacy. If nothing else, Ronaldo is a competitor who is only satisfied with the highest level of competition. MLS is growing, but it's not quite there yet and thus, not a top candidate for his services.