Ever so often there comes a footballer player who recalibrates the threshold of what a footballer should be like. There always is that one individual who propels the bar even forward than the previous generation did. Pele did it in the 60s and 70s, Maradona a bit later, Zidane in the 90s and so on.
They are generational footballers who keep on pushing the bar a notch higher, taking football to even greater heights.
Cristiano Ronaldo pushed that bar to the heavens and beyond.
Old Trafford has seen many great dramas unfold before its eyes, but of late, there has been a giant recession that has halted the theater.
Theater of Dreams was reeling, desperate for a blockbuster show. Problems on the field, problems off the field, and the Stretford End had been deprived of a coliseum experience.
That is until on Sunday night, their greatest performer ever turned up, pulled the strings, and put up a show that transcended the Old Trafford crowd into the glorious nostalgia. when the 3rd goal went in, CR7 had turned back the clock and for the briefest of second, it felt like 2007 and not 2022.
Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly resurrected the Theater of Dreams.
It was Cristiano 3, Tottenham 2, and a drama-addicted Old Trafford got their fix of theater.
Which they were deprived of, for ages.
Manchester United was momentarily 4th after that win against Spurs, but on Sunday Arteta’s Gunners continued with their sensational form, by manufacturing a win against Leicester.
Manchester United finds itself 5th, a point behind Arsenal who is 4th with 3 games in hand. Conte’s Spurs is at 7th.
The top 4 race is becoming more intense with each passing match day, and the United-Spurs game was obviously an intense affair. So, let’s derive a few talking points from this heated clash!
(For the proper match review go here!)
Narrative, Narratives, and Narratives
Manchester United coming off the back of a derby day defeat and struggling to find an identity. Tottenham a highly inconsistent team not knowing which side of theirs will turn up.
Then there is the matter of playing Champions League football next season, while the mutual enemy Arsenal, thriving and touching a pristine patch just at the right time.
All these complex and deep-rooted narratives were put to play in the anticipation of this match, and once the affair concluded it opened up a pathway for more of these narratives to shine.
Ronaldo not included in the derby, 37 years of age and recent form, not Ronaldo like, doubts were seeping in about the superstar footballer, and some thought that the era is over.
But as time and time again Cristiano for one more time proved his doubters wrong. he scored a sensational hattrick and United were saved.
A long shot, a tap-in, and 82nd min header that finds the top right corner, all of this while Ferguson is watching from the stands.
Cristiano Ronaldo the boy who became a man under Fergie, returned to the club and once more made Stretford End singing his name.
Ferguson with equal disbelief and awe of the beast he created, while Spurs being just Spurs.
The plethora of narratives existent in just one match is what makes the Premier League the best in the world. It is the finest storytelling that sports can offer and the Premier League provides such contexts, that even a Martin Scorsese drama can fall short at times.
The Manchester United-Spurs clash featured everything that makes the Premier League what it is, and there was no better setting for it to unfold than the Theatre of Dreams.
Cristiano still and still
There has been a lot said about Cristiano in the recent past, something to do with his form, mostly negative. But after Sunday night’s testimony, he is still the biggest name in football performing the biggest when it matters the most.
Cristiano Ronaldo is still the immaculate personality that exudes brilliance on the pitch.
The ascent of Mbappe and Haaland in recent years has cast doubt on the Messi-Ronaldo monopoly.
With one GOAT going down with Paris, another demonstrated that the old blood is still prevalent in the era of the dazzling new.
Even after achieving everything football has to offer, he still has the power, drive, and hunger to exhibit more. He takes on difficult challenges and still strives to be better than the day before.
To do it in the Premier League with a struggling United at 37 years of age makes Ronaldo a timeless legend, an unquestionable masterpiece, and a supreme athlete that never fails to amaze.
He is the greatest athlete in the world, the pinnacle of idolism, and a prime example of what masculinity looks like. Cristiano Ronaldo is forever!