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Fergie counting on Ronaldo for long haul

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Aug 2008

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Sir Alex Ferguson said Friday he was confident Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo will remain with Manchester United for longer than a single season.

Real Madrid had been looking to sign the 23-year-old winger all summer but Ronaldo confirmed this week he would remain at Old Trafford for at least another year despite his love of boyhood heroes Real.

And Ferguson thinks he could keep Ronaldo for longer.

“As he gets older I think he will appreciate being here more and more,” said Ferguson.

“The longer people stay at this club you tend to not want to leave.

“Rio Ferdinand is an obvious example of that. But really I'm just pleased we have managed to put all this Real Madrid stuff to bed. They know what they are dealing with now.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson dismissed calls for a foreign player quota to be imposed in the Premier League.

England's failure to qualify for Euro 2008 prompted what Ferguson describes as “hysteria” with many commentators claiming a lack of English talent has been caused by the number of foreign players employed by teams.

But the Scot said: “There has been some criticism in the media of the Premier League with a call for quotas to guarantee English players starting places in teams.

“I did not start the final of the Champions League with six Englishmen because I was making a political statement. I did it because they're good enough to win the European Cup.”

He added: “It is nonsense to say that England does not have players capable of competing on the international stage.

“The hysteria surrounding England's non-qualification for Euro 2008 does not create the right atmosphere for good decision-making.”

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