Cristiano Ronaldo has now told the Spanish sports paper, Marca, that he made the right decision to reject Real Madrid and said he expects to stay at Manchester United beyond this season.
Rejected Real Madrid
Whilst the Portuguese winger may or may not be correct about being better off at United than Real Madrid, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure that the phrase, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrejected Real MadridÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is quite how I remember the events of the Summer!
DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t Ronaldo make his desire to join Real pretty public and obvious? I thought it was Manchester UnitedÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s refusal to do business and some sharp words of wisdom from Sir Alex Ferguson in RonaldoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ear that stopped any deal being done.
Debt of loyalty
Maybe Cristiano has forgotten what happened or in fact, all the publicity was wrong and he simply rejected an offer from Real Madrid because he loves the players, manager and fans at Old Trafford so much and felt he owed them a debt of loyalty! No, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sound very likely does it?
This piece of history changing comes about after Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon told the BBC last week that his club were no longer interested in taking the player to the Bernabeu. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think Calderon convinced anyone with what he said and his comments about not wanting to upset their friendship with Manchester United caused many a wry smile.
Cristiano Ronaldo told Marca, “Now I understand I made the best decision. I am with Manchester in body and soul. I want to respect the club, my colleagues and the fans and don’t want to talk about other teams at present.”
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all well and good, but Cristiano should remember that it was him who did a lot of the talking about Madrid just a few months ago.
Ronaldo, now twenty-three years old, has a contract at Old Trafford until 2012. We all know that contracts do not seem to be worth the paper they are written on these days, but even so, that is a long term commitment by both the player and the club. The chances of the player keeping to the contract are almost non-existent and of course, United will be looking to sell for a tidy profit before the end of the contract to ensure that he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leave for nothing under the Bosman ruling.
There is no doubt that the issue of Ronaldo to Real Madrid will arise again in the January transfer window and if that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen, and it does seem unlikely that it will, it will no doubt rumble on again next Summer.
The only thing that might put a stop to the speculation could be a loss of form. The player scored a quite remarkable forty-one goals last season and was instrumental in helping Manchester United to a Premier League and Champions League double. That made him possibly the most sought after player in the world.
This season, RonaldoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s return after injury has been far less spectacular, and whilst they are looking good in Europe, their Premier League form has been patchy. Ronaldo himself doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to be playing at the same level of intensity that he achieved last season and that could be for one of three reasons. Firstly, he could just be struggling for fitness a little after missing the entire pre-season. Secondly it could just be that the heights of last season were always going to be impossible to reach again and expectations are too high. The third possible reason is that his heart is not, as he now tells us, totally in Manchester.
There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo is a wonderful footballer. Even if he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t reach the amazing brilliance of last season, he will still be a wonderful asset for United. He does not look quite so threatening this time around, but he has still scored three goals in just five Premiership starts. That still has him on course for over twenty goals if he stays injury free. Not bad for a wide player!
We are left with a position whereby the fans of United and indeed his team-mates, know that he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to stay at the club. They have accepted and welcomed him back into the fold but he obviously feels that he needs to talk about it now. He will be kissing the badge next!
Makes my blood boil
I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind who he plays for and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind who he wants to play for. I just want him to play, because if you love football, you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but love watching him play the game. The man may sometimes be difficult to like and the theatrical falling over on the pitch makes my blood boil, but there are few if any, better sights on the football pitch than Cristiano Ronaldo in full flow.
It could be, of course, that both Calderon and Ronaldo are telling the whole truth and that there is no chance of any deal ever being done. I somehow doubt it, but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to wait and see.
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