Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be the talk of the summer with their respective clubs facing an uncertain few months, all eyes will be on Balon D’ór Holders.
But their presence together appears to have kept them going, which is fortunate given that both stars are undergoing major changes at Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
With uncertainty looming, Futballnews dives deeper into what the future may hold for the legendary partnership, who has a combined total of 12 Ballon d’Or titles:
When their modern hero returned last summer, United fans were ecstatic, and the swoop was made even sweeter by the fact that Manchester City appeared to be days away from completing the deal.
Even if Ronaldo’s rumored £500,000-a-week earnings hadn’t already ensured it, the romanticism has gradually faded since then.
Despite a rocky reunion, his explosive goal-scoring return is undeniable. Even if it means he will only score less than 30 goals in all competitions for the second time since 2009, 19 goals in 33 games this season is nothing to laugh at.
Some have questioned Ronaldo’s impact on games when he does not score, and speculation that he would leave Manchester if United fails to qualify for the Champions League next season persists. At 37 years old, and with a strong work ethic, it’s apparent that the Portuguese legend wants to fill his trophy cabinet to the brim until the day he quits.
If he does leave, he has been linked with a return to Sporting Lisbon, a fantastic link-up with Lionel Messi at PSG, and a return to the Bernabeu, but the option of staying at United may look a whole lot more appealing if the striker likes the look of Ralf Rangnick’s permanent replacement.
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are the front-runners for the job, with an announcement likely in the coming weeks. They could have a role in whether Ronaldo remains or goes.
When it came time to renew his lucrative contract, Barcelona turned their pockets inside out, revealing nothing but fabric, forcing the Argentine out of Catalonia last summer.
That brought an end to a 17-year career in the Barcelona first squad, though the blow was softened by the prospect of a spectacular front three at the Parc des Princes featuring himself, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar.
Messi’s first club test outside of Barcelona took place in Paris this season, and it did not go as planned. Even while a slew of assists and good performances have given Parisians confidence that there is more to come, his Ligue 1 goal total of four is a far cry from what he put up at Barcelona.
PSG will have their own uncertainty this summer, with Mauricio Pochettino anticipated to be replaced in the dugout by Zinedine Zidane. The former Tottenham manager is a strong contender for the Man United manager’s job, and the notion of working alongside a Real Madrid great could be unsettling for Messi.
Mbappe is expected to return to the Bernabeu after refusing to renew his contract, leaving Messi and Neymar to handle the attacking weight in France. Messi is three years Ronaldo’s junior at 34 years old and still has plenty left in the tank, so PSG is in good hands, even though ‘Leo’ has left supporters wanting more during his first season.