After an up-and-down year at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo should move on and return to the English Premier League next season.
The Spanish club had a disappointing year compared to its lofty standards. A poor start left the club little chance to catch Barcelona in La Liga, and it finished in second place.
Meanwhile, the team failed to capitalize on opportunities in the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey and could not win a trophy in either tournament.
In the latter event, the club lost in the finals to Atletico Madrid after Ronaldo was sent off. He was apparently still bitter following the match (via 101GreatGoals.com):
101 Great Goals @101greatgoals
Neither Jose Mourinho or Cristiano Ronaldo picked up their Copa del Rey losers medals http://t.co/GHFdeB6obZ5/19/2013, 10:08:37 AM
While Real Madrid is still one of the top clubs in the world, it was obvious this season how reliant it is on the contributions of Ronaldo. The forward is currently second in the league with 34 goals, 20 ahead of Gonzalo Higuaín, who is next highest on the squad.
If you thought he was simply the benefactor of the hard work of others, he also tied for the team lead with 10 assists, which ranks fourth in the league. It is difficult to imagine the offense functioning anywhere near as well without the Portuguese star.
Additionally, the defense has been less than stellar all season; Real Madrid has earned only one clean sheet in the past 12 La Liga matches.
Ronaldo has basically carried the club to its level of success, and it is clear he will be able to do this and more with almost any other organization.
Considering he is currently avoiding negotiations for a new contract, he should use this opportunity to move on to the EPL.
The first option for the superstar is to follow his manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, although Real president Florentino Perez claims this is not happening, according to Dave Kidd of Mirror Football.
Another possibility is for him to return to Manchester United. He has plenty of familiarity with the club, who has stated it is looking to make one major signing this summer.
With Wayne Rooney attempting to transfer out, there is plenty of room for Ronaldo to join the current EPL champions.
Ronaldo can play alongside Robin van Persie and a number of other talented players to not only defend the league title but also contend for a trophy in the Champions League.
This would be the perfect destination for the Portuguese star, especially if he is truly unhappy in his current situation.