Date:Sunday June 1 2008
Cristiano Ronaldo announced that he will make a decision on his future in the next three days and will inform us about it by Wednesday. Why can't he just stop the speculation flowing, I don't know.
Of course I have a few thoughts. Ronaldo himself said it many times that he's happy in Manchester, he wants to be a legend here and he wants to stay for many years now. Why does he now refuse to openly commit himself in the face of the rumours and the imminent tug of war between United and Real Madrid? Because of money, perhaps.
His agents might have advised him to fuel the uncertainty, the doubt in order to achieve better terms on a possible new contract despite the fact that his existing one is valid until 2012.
He will now make a decision, he says. It seems - and it is something that Real Madrid do not seem to realise, whatever Calderon says - his future is not in his own or Real Madrid's hands. United just won't let him go.
The angry statement concerning the perceivedly illegal activities of the Spanish giants spoke volumes: stop or else there will be trouble. It reminded me, if you don't mind a little wandering into the world of literature, of a scene in the 'Hitchiker'S Guide to the Galaxy': in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Ford Prefect approaches an old friend only to be told by the bodyguard that 'I am Mr. Desiato's bodyguard. I am responsible for his body but I'm not responsible for yours. So take it away before it gets damaged'.
My point is that Sir Alex Ferguson only reiterated the club's obvious stance today: Ronaldo goes nowhere, not least because of principles. We do not sell our best players at the peak of their careers. The boss met the Glazers who are likely to gain some sympathy at last if they manage to keep Ronaldo.
'Their attitude is 'to hell with them', revealed Fergie.
'Trust me, they'd rather have him sitting in the stands than sell him, just to prove a point.'
It's quite straightforward. Of course it's in neither parties' interest to get Ronaldo banished to the stands and it won't happen. What will happen is simple: he'll start and finish next season in the Red shirt of Manchester United.
Date:Sunday June 1 2008
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