Manchester United - Ronaldo Encouraged To Stay And To Leave
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Ronaldo Encouraged To Stay And To Leave

Cristiano Ronaldo promised to remain silent about his future until after the European Championships. He kept his promise - for a little more than 48 hours.

After the game against Turkey he announced that 'I still haven't decided where I will play'. Now, I'm aware of the realities of the modern game: if a player wants to leave then the club seldom manages to keep him. Yet I feel it's a tad disrespectful from Ronaldo, talking about 'his' decision - after all, he's under contract so the club will decide where he will play next season. Ronaldo can decide one thing: where does he WANT to play.

He does not lack advices though. Real Madrid, of course, got a horde of their ex- and current players on to the task of luring him to the Bernabeu. Luis Figo, Claude Makelele, Ruud van Nistelrooy: they were the latest to speak out and praise Madrid to no ends. Of course, Makelele probably had his current employers' interests on his mind, too...

United, finally, started to engineer a response. Bryan Robson, Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand all told the press that Ronaldo is at the best club in the world right now and has no reasons to leave: he's adored here, this is the best team in the world right now whereas Real haven't even got past the last 16 of the Champions League in the last 5 years.

The latest rumour is that AC Milan have entered the war for Ronaldo and though I do not think for a moment that this speculation has any substance to it, it's still good news: we can ask for heftier amounts of money if other clubs are allegedly interested. So, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter: do us a favour and talk to the press about your interest in Ronaldo.

Further news is that United finally report Real Madrid to FIFA. David Gill is sending a letter complaining about the methods and the underhand tactics of the Spanish giants in their pursuit of our prize asset. Unfortunately they probably won't be expelled from the Champions League or suspended in the transfer market nor their stadium will be demolished... but an official warning will be enough for me. At least it shows that the laws are on our side.

An interesting sidenote: if Ronaldo does indeed sign for Real Madrid he'll be their fourth European Footballer of the Year (Ballon d'Or) winner in this decade who wins the prize as a Real Madrid player but not for his performances in a Real Madrid shirt. Luis Figo was brilliant for Barcelona in 1999/2000, signed for Real and got the prize. Ronaldo (the Brazilian) won the top goalscorer award at the 2002 World Cup, signed for Real and won the Ballon d'Or. Fabio Cannavaro was the bedrock of the Italian defence at the 2006 World Cup - then he was signed by Real and got the prize.

It tells you what Real Madrid are about: not the football but the marketing. They love to reap the financial benefits of top players even though they are nowhere near their previous commanding best after they sign for the club which is not about football. Real are not bothered by being spectacularly poor on the pitch: the important thing is that the big names sell the brand.

The last player who won the Ballon d'Or for his performances in a Madrid shirt was Alfredo di Stefano. In 1959.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday June 9 2008

Time: 12:08PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I'm sorry to state this - but Ronaldo is (apparantly) the best player in the world, formerly loved by all United fans and now all fans who hate united. If he goes to Real I think he will only get better and better (thats not to say he wouldn't at united). I think its sad that united fans are facing the prospect of losing their best player since Cantona, whilst he is still getting to his best... something us 'smaller clubs' do on a regular basis. I guess football isn't fair for any club, but at least you will be compensated in the region of 70 million, then you'll be able to buy any player you want - Also, Real aren't the only transfer swines, united have declared public interest in players and unsettled them before official bids. I seem to recall a long public chase for Owen Hargreaves before he was bought.
Report Abuse
09/06/2008 15:44:00

He wont get much better at Real Madrid. In fact, he won't score as much as he did in Premier League. Just ask Torres....struggled to score in Spain, class act in Prem. Yes we did chase Ribery but he wasnt Bayern's best player and wasn't a potential WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR WINNER. Its very different when someone is trying to unsettle your BEST player! Besides we laid off Owen and Beckenbauer was actually interested in selling, just not the manager. In this case, the manager, owner and the board all don't want to sell Ronaldo!
Report Abuse
09/06/2008 18:41:00

How will he get better at real madrid if the premiership is the best league in the world?
Report Abuse
09/06/2008 20:50:00

Friedel, I respect your comments, and the proper way you expressed yourself unliike other guests at the Man U website. Losing bentley though or anyone else isnt the same as losing ronaldo, a player that MAn U based their future success on, a player that Man U have "formed" and improved from someone that is simply good and talanted to a STELLAR player. And certainly, when you offer a player the EPL, the Champions League and a super high salary, and he wants to leave, it's much more hurtful that missing out on a player who's had a decent season and wants to try his luck a a somewhat better team. As far as owen is concerned, i dont see what the problem is. He was a rotation player at Bayern. We inquired during the summer they said no, we asked at xmas they said wait till next summer, and then we got him. I'm not sure about this though but i think he was also injured when we were trying to get him, so if he was, it wasnt like we were ruining Bayern's plans for world domination
Report Abuse
09/06/2008 20:57:00

#1 When was the last time an player in the Prem won the fifa player of the year award? #2 He wants more money. #3 Van Nistelroy gets into a fight with Ronaldo at United and now he wants to play with him again? weird? just a bit.
Report Abuse
10/06/2008 05:18:00

This was an interesting atricle and true, the fact that world/europe award winners or atleast a crap load of them have come from Madrid. Ronaldo wants those awards.
Report Abuse
10/06/2008 05:20:00

To be honest I would like to see Ronaldo sitting in the stands at Old Trafford next season if he continues this stance of his. It would show a top player who is incharge, and sadly only top teams like United have the clout to do that. Unfortunately for you he wouldn't be playing, for everyone else that would be good though! Would you guys want him back now next summer or has it gone too far to keep him after his public comments on wanting to leave?
Report Abuse
10/06/2008 12:37:00

I think it's gone too far.Not only because of his comments but because he refused to commit or put any of this to bed.After the loyalty he's been shown by our fans and our manager he been a proper little****.I'd love to sell him to Barca just to give madrid the finger.
Report Abuse
11/06/2008 00:48:00

If you want a real laugh you should sell him to Burnley!
Report Abuse
12/06/2008 13:34:00

Maybe sell him and buy Burnley ;)
Report Abuse
14/06/2008 15:07:00

You wouldn't wanna buy that sh@t heap!
Report Abuse
20/06/2008 11:59:00

I think we should take the money and run!
Report Abuse
14/07/2008 21:34:00


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