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FPL tips: How half a million managers added Cristiano Ronaldo in 24 hours

Ronaldo File Photo
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Cristiano Ronaldo was added by more than half a million fantasy managers in his first 24 hours back on the FPL system.

The Portuguese was transferred in by more than 200,000 bosses within three hours of being registered as a Manchester United forward.

Thereafter, the 36-year-old’s popularity steadied – after 24 hours, 575,861 managers had transferred him into their side.

A graphic showing how many FPL managers bought Cristiano Ronaldo in 24 hours

With 29 goals in 33 Serie A games last season, Ronaldo’s scoring abilities are probably better than when he left United in 2009, despite his age.

He returns to Old Trafford with an additional four Ballon d’Or trophies, four Champions League titles and a European Championship to his name.

But at £12.5m, how did hundreds of thousands manage to fit him into their squad?

The answer lies in the transfers of other players, with United and Portugal team-mate Bruno Fernandes one of those to suffer.

Southampton’s Jack Stephens (right) confronts Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes during the Premier League match at St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: Sunday August 22, 2021

(Andrew Matthews/PA)

The £12m midfielder – who impressed last season with 18 goals and 14 assists – notched a hat-trick in gameweek one but has since delivered two blanks.

Perhaps those blanks made the following easier for FPL bosses to do – in the same 24-hour period that saw Ronaldo go from zero to more than half a million owners, Fernandes’ ownership dropped by 234,455.

Thousands of managers then made the savings required to buy Ronaldo by replacing Fernandes with Manchester City’s Ferran Torres (£7.1m) or West Ham’s Said Benrahma (£6.4m).

Torres began the season with two blanks before scoring two goals against Arsenal in GW3, while Benrahma has shown his point-scoring potential with two goals and two assists in his first three games.

With City scoring five against the Gunners and the Hammers facing Southampton, Leeds and Brentford in the weeks to come, both midfielders look good value for money.

But with that money in the bank, managers would have had to sell a forward to bring in Ronaldo – that forward looks to have been Aston Villa’s Danny Ings.

Aston Villa’s Danny Ings celebrates scoring their side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Saturday August 21, 2021

(David Davies/PA)

Despite the £8m forward scoring two and assisting one in his first three games, Ings saw his ownership drop by more than 150,000 managers in Ronaldo’s first 24 hours back on the system.

Perhaps bosses noticed that Villa face Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham in their next four league games – even Ings himself would admit that is a tricky run.

As for Ronaldo’s new managers, they may learn whether or not the changes they made to bring him into their squad were worthwhile when United host Newcastle in GW4.