Manchester United’s record scorer most likely has 10 games left, at most, for the club he signed for in 2004 and his chances of a fitting finale look slim
In the middle of the pitch, under the lights of the Bernabéu, one man could be seen going through his victory poses. Cristiano Ronaldo has choreographed these routines over the years. He kept his top on this time, maybe reserving that particular treat for the final, but you are probably familiar with the rest of the act. Ronaldo pointed at his chest. He nodded with appreciation at his own night’s work and it was the look of self‑adoration you might remember from the Fonz after a particularly impressive chat-up line to one of the girls from Happy Days.
A couple of nights later, it was midway through the second half at Old Trafford when Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo’s old colleague, started going through his warm-up on the side of the pitch. Manchester United were finding it difficult to shake off Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had rarely looked so disorientated. Yet when the crowd called for a change it was another substitute, Ander Herrera, they serenaded rather than Rooney. A few moments later, they sang the Spaniard’s name for a second time. Rooney returned to the dugout and never had to remove his tracksuit top even when Ibrahimovic went down with the injury, ruptured knee ligaments, that footballers fear the most.
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