Liar Liar – Real Madrid, the Media, Ronaldo or Manchester United?

We hear about the Real Madrid-Cristiano Ronaldo-Manchester United transfer saga every day, with different things said by the concerned parties, and a mountain of speculation written daily on Ronaldo’s future.

If various ‘news’ publications are to be believed, Real Madrid will pay 100m Euros and send over half the Real Madrid starting lineup to secure Ronaldo’s services, and THEN pay him all their combined wages as well. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the press for you.

Then there is Manchester United who are saying that ‘keeping quiet’ is the best way to deal with the situation. I humbly disagree, and I suspect Ferguson, Quieroz and Gill disagree as well.

In an ideal world Quieroz and Ronaldo’s Manchester United teammates would be able to convince him to stay, but as things are, he’s keeping his own counsel and hasn’t been talking to his club or teammates about Real Madrid. He’s done everything either on his own or through his agent, which apparently also involves getting a verbal offer secured from Real Madrid (but nothing on paper as that would legally put Real Madrid in a bind – not that Fifa would have done anything, just as they haven’t done anything when they got enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that Real Madrid had illegally approached Ronaldo).

When United say that Ronaldo is not for sale, they’re lying. Ronaldo IS for sale, because he wants to go and Ferguson knows that forcefully keeping a player who wants to leave is bad for club morale. He’s convinced Ronaldo and Ruud in the past but this year he’s definitely for sale, the question is whether Real can match United’s valuation or not. If they can’t, he’ll probably stay another season, although I find it unlikely.

Ronaldo claims that he wants to fulfill his dream. Is his dream to become the highest paid footballer on the planet? As someone put it expertly – in which universe is Real Madrid a ‘step forward’ from Manchester United?

Real Madrid are lying when they say they haven’t used the press to their advantage or contacted Ronaldo directly. They HAVE – officially or unofficially – used Marca to leak news stories and deliberately answered leading questions in such a way as to further fuel speculation. They HAVE – unofficially – made their offer known to Ronaldo and shared compensation details with him, even if nothing has been agreed.

Liars, the whole lot of them, but all for their own reasons. Funnily enough, the primary motivation behind these lies, the tie that binds, is money. The media make more money by feeding the Ronaldo frenzy, Ronaldo gets more money from Madrid or a better contract offer from United, United hold out to get as much money as possible and Real Madrid want Ronaldo to profit from image rights and at the same time don’t want to pay too much for him.

Player power is just a consequence of football’s perceived problems – the real source is the emotional escapism that football provides, which fuels its popularity which in turn brings in people looking to make money off it.

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  1. Redondo 26 June, 2008
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