I was 10 years old when Manchester United won the Champions League final in 2008. That may make some of you reading this feel old and I’m sorry for that.
I’d just started to become fully invested in football after the 2006 World Cup. Granted I’d watched United before then – seeing the likes of Ruud Van Nistelrooy destroy Arsenal – but it was only then that I truly became fascinated with watching the game instead of playing it.
In our household, it was United through and through. My mum made sure of that and every weekend when the game was on television we would sit down and watch our team.
Now, every United fan knows that 2006/07 to 2008/09 was a very good time to be following the club. Consecutive Premier League titles and a Champions League crown sandwiched in between.
And at the centre of it all was a certain Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, our Ballon d’Or winning Portuguese forward.
Obviously, there are quite a few reasons why signing Ronaldo this summer doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But it’s Ronaldo and he’s coming home, because inside of me and probably millions of other United fans there’s still that same kid who gets giddy at the thought of those brilliant United teams of old, flying forward and attacking without a care in the world.
The front line of Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo all linking up, cutting through defences like they weren’t even there and driving United forward.
Football is a game of emotions. Logic goes out the window at the end of the day, because if it really mattered how would teams like Leicester City have won the Premier League in 2016?
Most United fans probably screamed and shouted when Ronaldo’s free-kick against Portsmouth went in or when he got his one and only hat-trick against Newcastle United in the league.
Most United fans would tell you about their hatred for Tevez, a player who left United for the other side of Manchester. Comparisons were obviously drawn when Ronaldo was linked to Manchester City, but it just goes to show how invested the fans get in the game.
Whether you’re in Old Trafford, a pub or just at home watching the match, you can’t help but feel your heart start to race as the players take the field. Yes, when United inevitably go 1-0 down that may turn into anger, but that’s all a part of the fun.
If we didn’t have emotion in the game, why would anyone care so much about 22 people kicking a ball around a pitch?
And that’s why Ronaldo coming back to United means so much. It’s his homecoming, Sir Alex Ferguson’s golden boy coming home after a long time away. Fans have waited for years to see this moment but it never seemed like happening.
After what looked like a shaky week in terms of his love of the club, Cristiano Ronaldo is coming back to Manchester United and as a fan I couldn’t be happier.