Date:Thursday June 4 2009
Is there any other club in the world which would get away with regular attempts to unsettle other clubs' contracted players? Real Madrid have their own papers (those who believe AS and Marca are independent should wake up) which say what they dictate and their every single transfer bid is conducted with a press campaign, in order to unsettle the player and force the selling club into a corner.
This strategy is despicable and it makes them the most arrogant and hateful club in the world. They did this with Figo, Zidane, Beckham and Ronaldo last season - but there they failed. This year Florentino Perez is back in the hot seat and it looks like he's already managed to land Kaka but it's not a typical Madrid transfer: the player himself wasn't desperate to join them but the club was said to be eager to promote the deal as they are in desperate need of the money.
And money is the most interesting thing here. They reportedly pay around 70 million for the Brazilian - but they want Ronaldo and David Villa as well. Florentino Perez admitted his intention to sign our Portuguese star who would cost another 70 million and the question must be asked: where do Real get their money?
When Perez took over last time they were knee-deep in debt but he saved them: the city of Madrid bought their training complex for almost double of what it was worth. Underhand and sneaky? Yes, that is the Madrid way.
They have prodigious levels of income, yes, but it's roughly the same as United's, maybe a little more. But over the last five years they spent roughly twice of what we spent, spend more on wages than United - they even outspent Chelsea over this half decade! Little success came their way, having never survived the last 16 stage of the Champions League in the last five years yet reportedly Perez has 200 million to spend this summer.
Where? Why? How? Why doesn't Michel Platini say something about it, he who always lambasts the English clubs for their debts, conveniently ignoring the fact that United are not in debt because we spent more than our income but because of a 'leveraged' takeover which nobody at the club wanted to happen. But there's not a word about Real Madrid's dealings, not a single word.
So, they still want Ronaldo. That's understandable. What is less understandable is how such a club can be a dream for anyone. They are a mess, a circus, a shambles, light years behind Barcelona in terms of squad, the football they play, stability, everything. And yet they are arrogant, aggressive and have no respect towards other clubs.
Ronaldo will leave us one day, that's certain. But I pray that he puts this stupid boyhood dream aside and joins Barcelona or Inter Milan instead.
Date:Thursday June 4 2009
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AUDIO: Gary Neville Podcast - 21st November (Monday November 23 2015)
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