Thursday, 11 June 2009

admired but not loved

Well it has finally happened. The 'will he go will he stay?' soap opera seems to be coming to an end with the news that Christiano Ronaldo is being sold by Manchester United to Real Madrid for £80 million. Earlier this season Sir Alex Ferguson said that he wouldn't sell Madrid a virus but the deal does appear irresistible. Ronaldo has been a great player for Utd, however, this season it looked like his heart was no longer at Old Trafford so time to let him go.

I would argue that Ronaldo was admired but not loved by Man Utd fans. His goals, dribbling, flicks, free kicks, speed, headers and ability to score when most needed will not be forgotten. The other side of Ronaldo; the diving, gestures, winks, failure to track back and tackle, general preening, stroppiness and disrespect we could do without. Plenty to marvel at, but not a character who endeared himself to the fans of the club or supporters in general in the manner of Cantona or Giggs.

Ronaldo gets his dream move to Real Madrid and it is a good match. Madrid have reinstated their Galactico policy of buying up star players, though it is easy to forget that last time they tried this it ended in tears. The team have already bought Kaka, the gifted Brazilian who I would love to have seen come to the Theatre of Dreams. Kaka is a Christian who handles himself with grace and class, so lets hope some of it rubs off on Ronnie.

This is good business for Utd and gives us the clout to complement an already great squad. It also means that Rooney and Berbatov will get to play in their natural positions and it will be fascinating to see who Sir Alex brings in as a winger; Nani has failed to impress and is not the Ronaldo replacement he once looked. Doing this deal at the beginning of the summer gives SAF plenty of time to buy the right players.

So farewell Ronnie and thanks for all the goals and tricks, but no one is bigger than the club and maybe one day you will come to appreciate just what Manchester Utd has done for you.


Tim Goodbody said...

Platini is right (for a change) though, that that amount of money in this climate is just insane.

Philip Ritchie said...

Yeh, Platini has a point, though he was very quiet when Kaka went for £56 million. Haven't heard him say much about Real Madrid's financing structure either. I think the transfer fees are a distraction as the money circulates between the clubs and this deal will probably be spread over several years. The real issue is players wages. The word is that Ronaldo will be on £180,000 per week with significant step increases each year up to over £500,000 by the end of the contract! Now that is obscene.