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The price to pay for Cristiano Ronaldo

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It’s one thing to wake up to a bad dream – that, you know is not true. It’s quite another to wake up to the realization of a nightmare, and this morning the Ronaldo saga has definitely taken the nightmarish twist that had beckoned ever since the winger refused to quash any speculation on his future.

Journalists have a hard job, so I’m not going to talk too much about that moron guy at the Guardian and how his story-telling may bring in readers and controversy but is hardly entertaining and always a gray shade of the truth.

I don’t have much to say about Madrid either – they want their man and they’ve done everything possible (short of physically kidnapping him) to get him. The magic (and this is worth applause) of their approach is that the more you hear the rumours in the press, the more people start to believe in it and pretty soon the whole thing gains a momentum of its own. If the player has even the slightest desire to move, this momentum can expose that desire and turn it into a full-on craving. It ain’t pretty to watch but it works, so that’s a dirty job well done.

There are a few questions that I want to ask though:

1) Why does every newspaper (and blogger) I read find it necessary to vouch for the ‘respectability’ of Terra (the Brazilian site that published the interview)? I’m sure it is, but someone ‘saying so’ doesn’t dispel my doubts about the interview’s authenticity.

2) Are Real Madrid really willing to pay 75m to United and 300k / week to Ronaldo over the next 5 years? The former is more likely than the latter, and even then it’s a bit preposterous. I’m guessing that Madrid have just thrown around these numbers to grab attention and that the real wages will just be a bit above what United are offering and the transfer fee, well, Real will battle hard to keep it around 40m.

3) Should Ronaldo be forced to stay? It’s what Fergie said in the Frost interview (to paraphrase): “when foreigners come to England they’re always looking to move on after a while and it was the same with van Nistelrooy.” Ronny has had 5 years, and could fetch United 40m+. Cash in now, rebuild the squad and move on. We have the players to do it, and keeping Ronny onboard will only make things worse (and he’s not going to be worth more next season).

4) Will United, in spite, sell Ronaldo to Barcelona instead? Always a possibility but this is not the time for spite, it’s the time for doing good business. Sell Ronaldo for plenty of moolah and be done with it.

5) Who will Madrid go after next? My bet is Fabregas, because after Ronaldo (or alongside him if you will) he is the most highly-rated young footballer around. The 2009 summer will be a lot of fun for Arsenal.

A part of me still hopes that Ronaldo doesn’t leave, that he commits his heart and soul to United. But the harsh truth is that if he doesn’t want to stay he should go, and he would fetch more money now than he would next season (unless he scores 60 goals next year…).

How will you remember Ronaldo? For the apparent betrayal, for Germany 2006, for the diving or for the matches he’s won? I choose the last option – the rest is the price we pay, and unfortunately that’s the price football makes us pay as well.

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Comments (22)

  1. I’d remember him for his shit loyalty to the club that made him.

  2. I would remember him for the fantastic entertainment he has provided us all with. Lets not forget he never was a born and bred united fan like how Gerrard is at liverpool. In any situation when an employee is outstanding in one company he will demand to be rewarded like one and will not commit to his employer if there are better options for himself out there.
    In any case, I would be delighted to get the funds that are being mentioned along with some players. I would think Casillas and Ramos are 2 of their best so we should demand them to and anything from 20-40m on top. Thats one option, the second is to go to laporta at barca and say you can have ronny for messi and etoo.
    Either which way, we should be looking to add strength in a wide position which would be vacated and a centre forward to get 25-30 goals which would basically cover the absence of ronny.

  3. I was listening to the “Sports Center”(ESPN) yesterday. According to the newscaster, Real has surged the wage offer to more than 500k/week for Ronaldo!!!!!

    …And that’s insane!!!!

  4. “I’d remember him for his shit loyalty to the club that made him.”

    Nice

    He has made himself. Others have helped along the way. He has done v. good for us. We have won Prem back to back and CL too. We cannot complain. He has been here 5 years. That is as long as most foreign (and local) players stay at a single club.

    But forget 40-50 mil. Anything less than 75mil we should refuse. Let’s at least stiff them for as much as possible.

  5. Who is the “moron/guy at the Guardian” that you have a problem with? Sid Lowe?

  6. Zidane went for around 44 million. That was quite a few years ago. There is no doubt that if Ronaldo is sold he will break the world transfer record by quite some margin. He scored 42 goals a season as a winger, can dribble, can cross, can run, can shoot, can head, can do everything.

    I’d imagine 60 million would be what Real would expect to have to pay. But it could go down to 50 million if Ronaldo acts shirty and says he won’t play for United next year. Up to 70 million if Ronaldo means it when he says he will not leave without United’s permission.

  7. Sometimes I really hate this site because it’s so biased for the EPL. Sorry to break it to you guys but Barclays does not rule the world of football. First of all, Man U certainly didn’t “make” Ronaldo. He made himself. In fact, the only real thing that Man U did was fork out a bunch of money for him. If you haven’t noticed, the Galacticos era at Real is over and a new era has begun. No longer does Real just make big name signings and steal talent from other clubs; incidentally, there is no club of which I can think that has consistently personified this mentality more than Man U has. Second of all, the only thing that Calderon and the rest of Madrid said about Ronaldo is that he would be welcome at Real Madrid, even though Calderon has been ridiculously accused of underhanded tactics such as going through the press. Real has no control over the Spanish press; Real is not responsible for what Marca or whoever else makes up. Ronaldo has said again and again that he has always dreamt of playing in Real. He himself has fueled the speculation. Face it, he is a footballer who loves attention anyway. And regarding his “betrayal” of Man U, I ask a few simple questions. Who scored 40+ goals for United this season? Who was vital to Man U’s offense for the whole season? Who scored a crucial goal in the CL final against Chelsea? My point is that, if not for Ronaldo, Man U would not have won the EPL or the CL. Real, on the other hand, is a more balanced team and, with the arrival of Ronaldo, would not become dependent on a single star, as has Man U. I know it’s hard for you guys to face the fact that Ronaldo would rather play in Madrid than Manchester, but remember, money is all that brought him to Man U in the first place. It’s about time Man U got some of the own medicine.

  8. Mal – DT.

    RvN – good job on twisting the facts, cheers.

  9. Ahmed, I understand how you feel about this. Although I’m a die hard Real Madrid fan, I REALLY don’t want this deal to go through for two reasons:
    1)We are likely to lose Robinho whom I admire and believe in very much. Robinho has been recently approached by Chelsea and they are willing to pay a lot of money for him and so Calderon will sell him in order to raise funds.

    3)Ronaldo may break the harmony between the current squad. We will return to the Galagcticos era and problems will likely follow.

    Also I don’t believe that a footballer on earth no matter how talented he is, deserves such amount of money.

  10. Anyone can say someone else is “twisting the facts”, but one must have proof for it to mean something. It’s not like your article has any factual basis, and as far as Ronaldo is concerned it’s still just speculation (and not facts), so you can’t just accuse me of “twisting the facts”. I can’t even seem to figure out exactly which “facts” you are accusing me of twisting.

    Everyone here keeps talking about how Madrid “has done everything short of physically kidnapping [Ronaldo]“, but no one can say exactly what the club has actually done that is so wrong. Also, you and Ferguson have no proof for your belief that Real Madrid has gone through the media, if that’s what you are referring to.

  11. In response to Gaz Walker:
    Ruud van Nistelrooy was the 06-07 leading goalscorer in La Liga with 25 goals, and scored 16 goals in the 07-08 season despite injuries that kept him out for at least half of the year. He also has scored 11 goals in tournaments for Real in the last two years. In my experience scoring 52 goals in two seasons despite several major injuries does not qualify as crap.

    Beckham was indeed crap, although that was due to his age, and, needless to say, Ronaldo will not have those problems.

  12. Also to clarify why I think this site is biased toward the EPL:
    For all of the complaining about how many names are linked to Real, the “transfer news” almost exclusively focuses on Premier League clubs, even the lower ones. It’s obviously ok to be biased since it’s your site, but I was just bringing it to your attention in case the imbalance was unintentional.

  13. why shouldn’t he leave. Manchester is a post industrial hole, and the weather sucks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor boy hated the UK to begin with, especially after the way he was treated following the last world cup. He’s proven himself , and will struggle to top this season in England, why shouldn’t he leave?

  14. EPL has generated millions of fans because it has powerful tv rights than La Liga (especially here in Asia). I also consider EPL more because it gives a certain sense of unremarkable passion from the fans that I rarely see in La Liga. The fans in the EPL will stick through their team no matter what, with titles or without titles. Case in point, Arsenal and Wenger. I almost loved Barcelona FC then, but seeing 100,000 fans raising white handkerchiefs in front of their manager just ticks me off!.
    Going back to the issue: admit it or not, Calderon desperately wants C. Ronaldo to boost up the marketability of Real Madrid. Beckham did it 5 years ago, making Making Real the most profitable club in the world. So can C-RON(oh no! so what’s his number gonna be? – 23? haha just joking!) do it for the second time in Real? Maybe, maybe not. “The Future, No One Knows”
    If and when C. Ronaldo does leave, I hope he makes a gesture to the Man Utd Fans clearing up this whole mess. The fans doesn’t deserve this issue going overblown and causing so much distress. I bear no ill feelings whatever his decision will be and I hope this DECISION will come ASAP!

  15. Hey Ruud,

    who cares who’s biased for the EPL, there are a many items you wrote that either your completely uninformed, or your a Madrid fan, which then we understand your bias.
    Yes, Ronny made a good United team better, but don’t be fooled, this team would have been right there. SAF would have had a person in that position to score 15-20 goals, and their backup would have scored 5-10, but Yes, 40 goals you can not replace, so point taken on the EPL race would have been tighter than it was.

    As far as Real and Caldron, your kidding yourself if you think he and his media buddies aren’t in step with one another. Their wives play tennis at the same club, you don’t think they talk??….you’re either naive or you tend to want to drink your own kool-aid, not wanting to believe the truth.

    This started, as it always does, after a breakout season like he had, his handlers saw the opportunity to cash in on the best player in the world….which means a pay raise…which also means bringing in another team, let’s say Madrid to drive interest and price up…We all know as soon as SAF leaves United, Ronny would not be far behind, but leaving now is sheer madness especially since the team’s in place, and the $50M transfer kitty for new faces will only strenghten the squad, not weaken it. His dream (and his moms) may be to play for Madrid, but if you think Madrid is as balanced as United, you haven’t been watching football lately, or you don’t know football.

    Let’s face facts, you are an ABU, and you don’t like or care for United. You could be a scouse, or a Roma fan, doesn’t matter, but your email above is commical, and reading it again, I laughed twice.

    BTW, I am a United fan, I understand football, and understand when on top, people have a need to knock you down….no problem mate..just let’s understand where you are coming from first, so we know how serious to take your rant..

  16. Thinking this United team would be close to where they are with out Ronaldo is pure comedy Sir Bobby. Simply check the stats, it’s far more then his goals, if you take in his assissts he was involved in the majority of all his teams goals in the league this season. Check the Prozone stats, there isn’t another player that comes close to that for his team. Second he scored the majority of first goals reliving massive pressure off the team. Everyone rants about the space Rooney creates for Ronaldo, but fails to mention all the space Ronaldo created for Rooney. He will be missed, and isn’t replaceable.

    I’d also like to add a reason for him to leave. Who would want Fergusson in their face every day. He’s clearly an egomaniac so it’s got to be even harder to handle having an angry Scott whose rightly full of himself mouthing off day after day.

  17. Yes hmmm,

    i can tell you have played the game….claiming stats…the game is more than stats…would the person who replaces him not have any stats…?? I’m assuming you play fantasy football as well..(stat driven) please, get a life…

    Football is a team sport, 11 men… Eric Cantona said today, United won before Ronnie, and they will win after he leaves..very true You can call SAF anything you want, but after this season, you can also call him the greatest of all times…

    The United family will be sad when Ronnie leaves, but we understand football and how things work, so were mad today, and will forgive him next year…such is life

    I doubt any of those boys (mates) would call SAF a teddy bear, more like a grizzley, but he produces, and he also gets loyality from the guys….this hmmm, is why he is so successfull, and not b/c of stats…

  18. clearly the game is about more then stats, that’s why claiming how easily you’ll replace his goals with the transfer fee is such a fallacy. Stats don’t tell the whole picture, but they do help illustrate how the entire team has been built around him.

    He’ll be better off, but the same can’t be said of Man U

  19. Fallacy, that’s what your assumption is…Teams are built around personel (plural)…and yes, he’s an important piece of the puzzel….

    I never claimed replacing Ronnie would be easy or painless..it won’t, but history is on our side, and we will win when Ronnie is a memory…Geroge Best, ring a bell..? We didn’t replace Besty either, we just reloaded and won some more.

    Better off…??? Glad you can fortune tell…knowing he will be better off with his new team (only if they win their league and the CL, then he be the same as this year, but not better off) …fortune tellers…do you have the powerball #’s for the weekend as well?

    ABU, you guys kill me…win something and then we’ll speak…don’t go away pissed, just win.

  20. you the man sir bobby!

  21. Ronaldo is so ungrateful. Sir Alex bred him till he became a thorough breed. N Sir Alex was also the man who protected him from the English fans after the infamous World Cup wink. N noe he wants to go to Real Madrid.
    Well, I only hav tis to sae to him ‘Get lost Ronaldo. With the money u bring, Man Utd can rebuild a better squad. Bt remember, u won’t b a star at Real like how u r at Man Utd cos there are juz way too many stars at Real.’

  22. I can’t be bothered reading all this