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Only Ronaldo can end this saga

May 28, 2008

His last United appearance?Last week Alex Ferguson slammed Real Madrid for using Spanish sports daily Marca as a mouthpiece to further their designs on Cristiano Ronaldo. United have backed their manager’s complaints by threatening to report the Primera Liga side to FIFA for their behaviour.

Real, however, deny any wrongdoing, saying all they have done is express their admiration for one of the hottest properties in world football.

“We aren’t going to start a conflict,” said Real president Ramon Calderon. “If a club does not want to sell a player why would we insist they sell him? We know they are not a selling club. It is a problem between the player and his team.”

Real have a point. Aren’t United pointing the finger in the wrong direction?

After all the one person who could end all the speculation is the player himself. All Ronaldo needs to do is say he is committed to United and the whole saga would be over in a matter of minutes.

But the winger, who is no doubt receiving some expert advice from his representatives, seems prepared to see which club can come up with the best offer before making any definitive decision on his future.

If United tried taking the case to FIFA, they would be hard pressed to prove Real have actually done anything wrong. However much it may appear to be, Marca is not the club’s official channel of communication.

Marca, of course, is by far the biggest selling newspaper in Spain with content primarily devoted to football and more accurately anything connected with Real Madrid. Arch-rival AS is the same. The two papers compete for the ear of the players and the top brass on the board, constantly vying with each other to provide the inside line on developments at the club.

But they both have around 50 pages to fill each day. During the season they report every quote from the daily club press conferences, give blow-by blow reports of training sessions, include cut-away diagrams of who sat where on the team plane, and even provide exhaustive lists of the kit the team might take on away trips in the Champions League.

But they are faced with a serious problem at the end of the football season. How on earth do they fill the paper when Real Madrid aren’t playing? The national team does not generate the same level of interest so they need something else to keep the readers’ attention and that is where the summer-long transfer saga comes in.

Former president Florentino Perez was a godsend to the Spanish press. His lengthy pursuit, and successful capture, of big name players such as Figo, Zidane and Beckham provided endless copy during the close season with every twist and turn documented in the papers and on television.

Since Perez’s departure the press have had to pounce on any scrap of information in the hope of reviving interest. For the last two seasons they have spent the summer talking up the chances of Cesc Fabregas and Kaka moving to the Bernabeu but in the end there was almost no basis to the stories.

But this season is different. Calderon’s undoubted desire to sign Ronaldo, off the record briefings from club directors outlining the club’s plan of action, the player’s refusal to rule out a move to Spain, and United’s angry response have provided them with the perfect ingredients for a summer-long saga.

No matter how much United complain this one will run and run until Real get their man or until Ronaldo comes clean about his future.

Simon Baskett, Madrid

PHOTO: Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Chelsea during the Champions League final, May 21 REUTERS/Darren Staples

Comments

Absolutely. Clearly CR has had a stupendous season and is looking to maximise his earning potential even though he signed a deal just over a year ago. To make things more interesting, although he has 4 years left on his contract, the recent Webster ruling means he could leave United in 2010 by handing over a year’s salary (about £6 million). hence, it’s in both CR’s and United’s interests to renegotiate. Real Madrid could just be a smokescreen in the negotiations. Or is that too much of a conspiracy theory?

 

Its true no doubt that its only the player himself in the midst of this saga to end it.

But that does not mean Real is not guilty. In fact they are guilty of professional misconduct to the extent they are fanning the fire instead of putting off fire which should what normally its the right thing to do, especially its Real.

In addition, one can say that they are TOO ARROGANT o think that they can ride roughshod over any other club with their filthy money.

Posted by Terence | Report as abusive
 

i think ronaldo,my favorite player should stay with Manchester untill he gets a record breaking transfer, and anyway they are the best in England so he would be stupid to leave Man.U. I think Ronaldo should go to Barca 4 Former World Best Ronaldinho and Deco and 6mill because Madrid always wants the best. They had Beckham,Figo,Ronaldo,Zidane

 

The British press keeps telling us that EPL wages are so high that the world’s best players are begging to come.

Yet, reality shows that top players like Henry, Flamini, and Hleb are actully quitting the EPL.

Ronaldo’s behavior so far has shown that he is not sure that he wants to stay in the EPL.

Lesson: journalists need to cut down on the hype. The Top 4 of Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool do not make the EPL.

Even out of the Top 4, only Man United and Chelsea can compete with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter, and Juventus in terms of wages…

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive
 

Even if he did claim it wasn’t going to happen, that wouldn’t quiet anybody down. Granted he ended up moving, but Henry’s move to Barcelona was hot news for a long time even if he was adamantly denying it.

that little liar.

Posted by clement | Report as abusive
 

Real president Calderon could end up with egg on his face again if he doesn’t land CR, after raising expectations with fans in a similar attempt to lure Kaka failed. Real fans regularly remind him of that one.

It’s an odd reversal of strategy for Real to try and land CR when they have just got rid of all their Galacticos. This was supposedly done to bring some harmony and team spirit back to the squad and has brought them two league titles. Maybe they think they need some flair to succeed in Europe which has always been their holy grail after four consecutive last 16 exits.

It’s a measure of what we think of players and clubs that we don’t believe what any of them say. This one will run and run, and money will decide it in the end. The logical thing would be to move. CR has won league/Champions League with United… now try and do it somewhere else, and earn some more money to (golden) boot.

Posted by Mark Elkington | Report as abusive
 

There is a post here 2 or 3 above where someone is saying 3 top players have left England because the wages are insufficient – i feel compelled to point out those three playes – Hleb, Flamini & Henry – are all Arsenal players pl;aying for a club which has a wage cap of around 50k (they made exception for Henry) spo it doesnt really reflect on other clubs. Im united stretford ender and Ronnie has to show his commitment he is waiting for a new contract he has already said that in so much as he said in 2 weeks i and the club and fans should be very happy so just shame football is run by agents.

Posted by Christian | Report as abusive
 

The thing is, people can be bought, a player has a price, and every CEO has a price he’s prepared to let players go for. Anyone who thinks it’s about matters unrelated to hard cash is in dreamland.

Posted by Beth | Report as abusive
 

I have a gut feeling that Ronaldo has already made up his mind to leave for Real Madrid, otherwise as you quite rightly say he only has to say no and surely he would if he was going to stay.
Be prepared for a long drawn ou summer deal al a Robben last year.
I hope I am wrong, it would be a massive loss to the Premier League.
Also if there was any truth in Utd almost buying Henry a couple of weeks ago, maybe Man Utd also believe he will go.

 

And now Cristiano Ronaldo complicated things with his new statement “in 2 or 3 days.” That means it’s before the UEFA EURO 2008 starts. I hope it’s a definitive answer about his future so the Portugal national team can finally focus on winning its first match. The Madrid – Ronaldo saga affects the whole national team at the Viseu training camp.

I preferred Scolari’s statement about his future. In yesterday’s press conference he said that he hadn’t made a decision yet. If he does it will be made after EURO 2008. That’s what I call a stop to speculation.

 

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