Manchester United fans have been dreaming of the return of Cristiano Ronaldo for years. On Friday the dream finally came true.

It still feels a little surreal. United fans had a grim day when Ronaldo was reportedly supposed to sign for City.

This was a truly nightmarish scenario. Ronaldo in a city jersey was unthinkable, the mere thought of it was hard to bear.

To go through that would have been absolutely miserable. City fans knew it and would have loaded it over us.

It would have been the kind of deal to get United fans to fall in love with football, with a club icon seduced by the money from one of the game’s oil-powered giants.

(Photo by Matthew Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)

United saved Ronaldo from himself

Fortunately, United got through thanks to a charm offensive led by Sir Alex Ferguson, Bruno Fernandes and Rio Ferdinand.

It was like the earth was threatened and the Manchester United Avengers teamed up to save the day.

Ronaldo chose red over blue. He opted for the romance of returning to United through the riches of City.

This was the kind of transfer deal to make United fans fall in love with football again.

If you want to talk about stats and numbers, where Ronaldo fits in, what this move means for other players, whether the funds should have been used elsewhere, there is a reason to talk about all of that.

Leave it to the non-United fans to chat and debate the move to themselves and criticize it to their hearts’ content.

There really was only one game here for United fans: get the Ronaldo deal.

It really happened

This was an emotional deal that brought tears to the eyes of United supporters. The prodigal son of the club is coming home.

Fans wondering what to do with old replica Ronaldo shirts that had been in closets for a decade suddenly wore them again as they immersed themselves in chants of Viva Ronaldo.

(Photo by Etsuo Hara / Getty Images)

The star’s return to United will be emotional. To see him again at Red at Old Trafford will be great.

Will Ronaldo bring success? We hope so. But it’s not the be-all and end-all. His presence alone is fascinating.

Football is all about these emotions, and it was an added bonus to convince City of it. You can’t buy love.

If Ronaldo leads United to trophies after years without cutlery, it will become one of the biggest deals of all time. But to be honest, it already feels like that.

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