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Vlog on the Pitch: Cristiano Ronaldo special

In which Owen Wyatt and Kevin Fylan discuss the merits or otherwise of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.

Real have got the best player in the world, arguably, but have they got a bargain, or come to that a sustainable business model? And just who is the new Claude Makelele…?

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Great teams evolve … they’re never bought off the shelf

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One of the cruellest insults thrown at Florentino Perez during his first spell at Real Madrid was that the president had turned a great team into football’s version of the Harlem Globetrotters.

For Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon read Figo and Zidane. For Wilt Chamberlain and Marques Haynes we had Ronaldo and David Beckham to bring gasps from the crowd and bamboozle the  opposition.

Ronaldo set for Real Madrid – your views

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Manchester United said on Thursday they have received a world record 80 million pound ($131.2 million) bid for forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

“At Cristiano’s request – who has again expressed his desire to leave – and after discussion with the player’s representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player,” a statement on the United website said.

Vlog on the Pitch: Florentino’s new era at Real Madrid

Florentino Perez began his second spell as Real Madrid president on Monday and immediately signed up Zinedine Zidane and Jorge Valdano for the project.

Those appointments are all very well, but the question we all want answering is which players Florentino is going to bring in. Will he content himself with one major signing, a la Zidane, or will he, as some have speculated, sign basically a whole new team.

Does Ronaldo’s strike rank among the greatest?

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s thunderous strike in Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Porto has been hailed as a wonder goal, but just how good was it?

Few could find such power on a shot from 40 metres, few would even try to shoot from there. The context of the game, where United needed to win to reach the Champions League semi-finals, also adds weight to the argument that it was one of European football’s great goals.

Friday afternoon question: Should Giggs win PFA player of the year?

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Ryan Giggs has probably never received the recognition he deserves for his contribution to Manchester United’s success over the last 15 years.

No other player has collected the full set of medals for all the silverware which has filled the Old Trafford trophy cabinet over that time. Yet several, including Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo, have received the major individual awards which have eluded the man who has played more games for United than anyone else.

Real poised for election fever

Potential Real Madrid presidential candidates will be trying to decide whether Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi is the player most likely to deliver them the majority of votes in this summer’s election campaign.

Ramon Calderon was forced out of the presidency earlier this month, setting the wheels in motion for another six months of rumours and speculation as rival candidates manoeuvre behind the scenes to take power at the Bernabeu.

Kissing the badge, and other inadvisable ideas

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Score goals, kiss badge, declare love for fans, sign long-term contract, collect wages, change your mind and decide you want out a few months later; it’s becoming all too familiar.

Two glaring examples of this have hit the headlines in England recently with the opening of the January transfer window, starting with Jermain Defoe’s decision to follow Harry Redknapp back to Tottenham from Portsmouth.

Ronaldo takes World Player award, Messi waits for next year

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Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo was named FIFA World Player of the Year on Monday night, adding the award to the Ballon d’Or he picked up from France Football and the FIFPro World Player of the Year title voted for by his fellow professionals.

It was an inevitable choice after the season he had for United in 2007-08 but I’m pretty confident that next year the award will be going to the man who finished second this time. Lionel Messi is playing ridiculously well at the moment, just streets ahead of anyone else in Spain, and I don’t think too many people would disagree that on current form he is the world’s best player.

Vlog on the pitch – what do you make of Rafa’s mind games?

Rafa Benitez was on the attack ahead of Liverpool’s game against Stoke City but then decided to leave Robbie Keane and Fernando Torres on the bench.

The game ended in a goalless draw and on Sunday Manchester United put three past Chelsea to close the gap at the top.

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