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Man Utd should sell 'slave' Ronaldo

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Phil McNulty | 08:52 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008

London

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the start of the new season after undergoing complex surgery to remove the foot firmly jammed in his mouth.

Well it's his ankle actually, but there is clearly a more serious problem troubling Manchester United's superstar.

There must be after he aligned himself with Fifa president Sepp Blatter's assertion that there is "too much modern slavery" in football and his helpful suggestion that Manchester United should facilitate Ronaldo's dream to play for Real Madrid.

Let me make one thing clear - I shed not a single tear for Manchester United or Sir Alex Ferguson as they make their complaints about Real Madrid's campaign to sign Ronaldo.

United and Ferguson have relentlessly and ruthlessly pursued players from home and abroad in recent years - and plenty of clubs have tried and failed to keep their stars in the face of their attentions.

Whether we like it or not, this is the law of the jungle in modern-day football and United have used it to their advantage.

So this, in my opinion, is simply a case of the biter bit.

Indeed, if you listen hard enough, you might just hear the chuckling from those who inhabit Goodison Park, White Hart Lane, Villa Park and other places on a regular basis as United try to fight off Real's tried and trusted transfer methods.

United, however, have every right to tell Blatter to keep his nose out of their business after he effectively suggested every contract signed in football should actually be meaningless, although we all probably knew that anyway.

These are unwise words from the head of world football's ruling body - and the connotation of slavery will be distasteful to many, not just because the man and woman in the street see some of Blatter's "slaves" earning more than £100,000 a week.

It conjured up images of poor old Cristiano being held against his will be nasty Sir Alex, who will only pay him £100,000-a-week and drags him kicking and screaming to sign his latest multi-million pound endorsement.

And what have United's transfer dealings got to do with Blatter? Nothing.

We have to be cautious condemning Ronaldo's words. Yes, he did say Blatter was right on this issue, which was not clever in his current circumstances.

Cristiano Ronaldo

He did not, however, suggest that he regarded himself as a slave, even though that can understandably be read as the sub-plot behind his support for Fifa's top man, another manouevre to ensure his bandwagon to Madrid keeps rolling.

What it should do, though, is crystallise the thinking about Ronaldo's future inside Old Trafford.

Has he really acted like someone whose heart it still at United? Will he be the same brilliant Ronaldo if he is effectively forced to stay?

My answer to both of those questions comes firmly in the negative.

United should now disturb his convalescence and get straight answers out of someone who has been as elusive in clarifying his future as he was in evading defences last season.

He has played everyone like a priceless Stradivarius since the last penalty was taken in the Champions League final. It has cast a cloud over what should have been a summer of unrelenting triumph for United after winning the Premier League and Champions League.

My take on it is that United should let him have his move, while dredging every last penny out of Real Madrid and their president Ramon Calderon.

If United can prise £70m out of Real for Ronaldo, then that can easily be painted as a victory by Ferguson. It would actually provide the ultimate proof that football has finally gone mad and United will be the financial beneficiaries of the lunacy.

And here is a theory that has not been explored enough - the theory that United might actually survive and prosper without Ronaldo.

Old Trafford's walls will not crumble if Ronaldo leaves. They were champions before he arrived and they will be again after he leaves.

Ferguson is smart enough to make the most of the huge injection of money into his transfer fund, and wise enough to know a sulking Ronaldo hankering for The Bernabeu is not an asset worth having.

Ronaldo would be a loss to United - no-one would deny that - but his departure would not turn them from champions into also-rans.

Ferguson may feel losing Ronaldo after such a public fight to keep him would represent a loss of face - but £70m might make them feel just a little better.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:25am on 11 Jul 2008, sbb1979 wrote:

    Please just let the poor little slave leave - its heart breaking for us to see him in such pain and all the world should fight to end this slavery. Just think of all the millions of people who were removed from their homes and dragged to the other side of the world - many of them not surviving the journey - many of them never seeing family again. Do we want this to happen to Cristiano - I for one do not!!

    On the other hand - lets get rid of this horrible little oik!

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  • 2. At 11:26am on 11 Jul 2008, bingleyperson wrote:

    They should sell him, but for £120 million, not 70.

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  • 3. At 11:27am on 11 Jul 2008, equipe do som wrote:

    I like your adoption of the attitude of the biter has been bitten, but there are a few fundamental differences here with the tiresome Ronaldo saga and United's pillaging of unfortunate teams outside the top four. I think those on the board at Goodison Park may not feel so hard done by in relation to United's relentless approach of Wayne Rooney in so far as that particular transfer has earned the Toffeemen more money than Wayne would ever have earned them if he had stayed. Incidentally weren't Newcastle the first club to approach Everton? Furthermore Ronaldo's only just signed a handsome new contract. Nobody forced him to do that. For £70 million, sell him, and let the likes of Rooney shine in his absence.

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  • 4. At 11:27am on 11 Jul 2008, razmatazbaz wrote:

    give me 1 of these slave jobs, they sounds great.
    its a real kick in the teeth for the working class fans who go to old trafford every week who slave it out at their boring jobs.

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  • 5. At 11:29am on 11 Jul 2008, sarge98 wrote:

    What really annoys me in this whole saga is Ronaldo's claims that United owe him a transfer. Rubbish. United picked him from obscurity at Sporting and have turned him into the best player in the world, not to mention one of the highest payed too, with Champions League, Premiership, and FA Cup winners medals. They owe him nothing. He owes them everything.

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  • 6. At 11:29am on 11 Jul 2008, LondonMadHead wrote:

    i am an arsenal fan and do not hold much love for united.
    we all seem to forget that united are in a serious amount of debt and their owners are not likely to inject endless amounts of money like abramovitch has at chelsea withoug seeing a return onthe investment.
    united should turn around to madrid and say
    "fine, you want him? £85m. take it or leave it"
    madrid have said they are willing to pay anything to get him so make them!

    its not like united have never done the same thing!!!

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  • 7. At 11:32am on 11 Jul 2008, truebluefrmbirth wrote:

    i rekcon the sooner he gos the better. Not only has he caused a tremendous amount of contriversy in his elusive plans to move from united - but as was seen again at the euros, hes not a world class player - not yet atleast. If united got 70 million for him theyd be laughing.

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  • 8. At 11:32am on 11 Jul 2008, Idlestu01 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 11:32am on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To equipe do som...Newcastle were the first club to make a bid for Rooney - but there was only one place he was ever going.

    Newcastle could make a bid for Ronaldo if they wished. He wouldn't go.

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  • 10. At 11:33am on 11 Jul 2008, sbb1979 wrote:

    £120m - you must be joking - if they can get £70m for him, they need to do it, and asap - as soon as he announces officially that he definitely wants to leave then his price will start drifting down because United won't want to keep the player that wants to go.

    I can't stand Ferguson or Utd, but Ronaldo's behaviour to this club is disgusting! People forgave him after the Rooney incident, but he shows again and again what he's really made of. Repulsive little man - how dare me feel sorry for Ferguson and Utd who although they've given well and truly as good as they're getting, went a long way to making this player into what he is!

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  • 11. At 11:36am on 11 Jul 2008, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    Good Article Phil, I hope he leaves for a couple of reasons.

    1. It will give us a better chance of winning the league as Arbeloa said.

    And

    2. It will be nice to see Utd get the same treatment as they've given other clubs over previous years as you say Phil.

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  • 12. At 11:36am on 11 Jul 2008, Oneway86 wrote:

    Ronaldo isn't stupid as some modern day footballers are classed as because I agree with what Phil said, Ronaldo is being very clever in playing the media. You are all being suckers for it. David Gill and SAF will know the truth. Also, United didn't fade out when Cantona left, we never faded out when Schmeichel left either, and the likes of Beckham, Keane, RVN ect. However, for the record, i believe Ronaldo will still be at Old Trafford come the end of the transfer window whether i like it or not.

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  • 13. At 11:36am on 11 Jul 2008, sbb1979 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 11:37am on 11 Jul 2008, cyber wrote:

    Time for United to be rid of this ungratefull little player. No player is bigger than the club, and there are plenty who careers sank after leaving united (Butt, Beckam, Stam, Heinze etc. etc.). I disagree with the price tho - United should milk Madrid to the max and demand no less than 82 million! If Real can't pay they should go away.

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  • 15. At 11:38am on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    bingleyperson - I agree, he should be sold for a lot more than that with regards to his on field performances over the past two seasons. However, due to the fact that he wants to leave , the knockback regarding the complaint and the interference of Platini and Blatter have really not helped with his valuation. Calderon's attitude as well leaves a bitter taste in the mouth also. The fact that United should be 'pleased' to be involved in such a transfer? hmmmm, guess some of Franco's traits are still alive and kicking in Real Madrid today.

    At the end of the day other fans of Premier League clubs are probably (falsely) reveling in this transfer saga - but what they fail to realise is that many great players have played at Old Trafford and done more for the club than Ronaldo has. United have a very bright future - probably even more so without Ronaldo.

    Phil - Tapping up in football happens every day, although United have never shown the arrogance that Calderon has shown on a daily basis talking to Marca. It's getting quite tedious now that every day he has to comment on everything. I think United paid a fair price for near enough all of the player that they were suppose to have 'unsettled' - so I don't subscribe to your United double standards theory.

    Real Madrid could have signed Ronaldo from Lisbon, but they didn't, so they'll have to cough up whatever United ask - I think you could get £120Million for the player. The only problem is that the blimp sized ego Ronaldo has acquired - which indicates that he believes he is bigger than the club. No player is bigger than their club - so Ronaldo, just go.

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  • 16. At 11:38am on 11 Jul 2008, Rocky wrote:

    The great news is the boy has had complications with his surgery. So sell him to Madrid for 70 Million and let them see he how good he is for them on one foot.

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  • 17. At 11:39am on 11 Jul 2008, SA-EAGLE wrote:

    If I was Sir Alex I would sell Ronaldo now! He has become a nuisance and will not top the last season anyhow?!
    70 Million is stupid money and Sir Alex and his crew can guaranteed buy 3 top quality players for that kind of cash. That said squeeze Real Madrid out of as much as possible and laugh all the way to the bank!
    It will be sad if Ronaldo left the Premiership, although after a few games at the start of the season he will be in Spain and more or less forgotten in the top European League namely - The Premiership!
    Roll on the new season without a cry-baby!!

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  • 18. At 11:39am on 11 Jul 2008, ronaldoeatmyshorts wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 11:40am on 11 Jul 2008, allinwhite wrote:

    As a Real Madrid fan, I would much prefer for CR to stay at United. Doubtless he is a very talented individual (whether the best in the World I leave to others to decide, if such a title makes any sense), but I think his transfer would spell trouble for Real.

    I thought Real Madrid had left behind the whole galactico approach to team building - how wrong I was - and we know where that ended up the first time they tried it - three years of big fat zeros.

    I suspect Cristiano, if he moves for a record breaking fee, has the kind of personality that will expect the team to work for him, rather than the other way round. If this is the case, there are players in the squad who will make his life a misery, and I dont think he can adapt to that. Better for all parties concerned (except perhaps the Glazers) if he stays in Manchester, but I fear he has pushed his luck too far and if the whole thing falls through he will not be welcomed back.

    http://allinwhite.blogspot.com

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  • 20. At 11:40am on 11 Jul 2008, papperoo wrote:

    "Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the start of the new season after undergoing complex surgery to remove the foot firmly jammed in his mouth."

    He'll be removing a foot from somewhere else if he carries on like this. And that really will be complex surgery...

    I've been defending Ronnie for two years, ever since the whole country blamed him for Rooney standing on Carvalho's childmaker. I've defended him all summer. I even defended him down the pub last weekend.

    I'm bored of defending him. Sick of defending somebody who doesn't deserve any respect whatsoever as a human being. Great footballer - horrible person.

    Blatter is so far out of order he could rival a Glastonbury portaloo.

    The only thing more ridiculous than Blatter's words are that Ronaldo agrees with him.

    Go to Spain Ronnie. Live your dream. Our team may be slightly weaker, but we'll all be much happier without your rubbish.

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  • 21. At 11:40am on 11 Jul 2008, wildpjb150 wrote:

    Recent suggestions have been made by Platini that he is trying to address the level of debts in football, the focus clearly being pointed at certain premiership teams. In Madrid's attempt to sign Ronaldo I read somewhere that they would be taking out a loan from Santander to pay for the transfer. Where does this fit within the scheme of footballing debts? Platini seems to be backing Real Madrids interests in Ronaldo. I just can't understand the contradictions made at the top of the sports controlling bodies. Maybe past sportsmen shouldn't be elected into these positions? It does feel that there is becoming a predjudice against the premier league in general.

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  • 22. At 11:41am on 11 Jul 2008, baseballjohnbrooks wrote:

    Pretty simple really.

    No written transfer request from Ronaldo or no written bid from Real Madrid means no transfer therefore nothing to debate.

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  • 23. At 11:44am on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To ronaldoeatmyshorts...as I said in the blog, we need to be a little careful because Ronaldo did not call himself "a slave."

    He was responding to questions about Blatter's remarks on "modern slavery.

    What Ronaldo has failed to do is make his intentions clear. He has been very vague about his future, creating the furore that has continued all summer.

    We have not had a clear "I want to stay" or a definitive "I want to go" - although we all suspect he wants out.

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  • 24. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, No.27 - E-Dub The Legend (Cult Of Eboue) Direct Decendent Of E-Dub! wrote:

    I am Also an arsenal fan and don't car much for Man u, BUT!!!! I show respect where respect is due and Sir Alex has a lot of respect from me! So who does Ronaldo think he is? A.F stuck by him through the bust ups with Van Nistlerooy and then sold Van Nistlerooy (not all to do with the Ronaldo bust ups.) Sir A.F stuck by him when the whole country hated him after his ridiculous winking antics at the 06 world cup and he has always shown faith in the boy who could have been a professional diver and won gold in the olympics!!! and thi sis the thanks he gets, this is the price of loyalty? It's sickening!!!
    Ronaldo has done all he can do in England this is a fact but, he should have been a man and said he was thinking about leaving rather than publically commiting his future to United after the C.L Final and then going back on a statement he had made infront of the whole world!!! the question is

    Does anyone care about class in sport anymore? Because Ronaldo has not shown any class at all!!! Let the BOY go and fulfill his dreams. I only want class in the Premiership!

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  • 25. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, Andy Thelwell wrote:

    Mr. McNulty, you have taken the words right out of my mouth, and I also agree with many of the comments above.

    I'm a Lifelong Manchester United fan, have loved watching Ronaldo play for us over the last few seasons and am thankful for his excellent contribution...

    ...but the way he has acted over this whole charade has been terrible. He's made it fairly clear he's had enough at Man U and wants to go. Personally, I think he should have kept his mouth shut and been a bit more professional about the whole thing, but what's done is done.

    Regarding Blatter's comments... what on EARTH is he doing making such a blatant comment on the private dealings of two clubs? KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT, MR. BLATTER! And "modern slavery"... WHAT?!?!? Did slaves voluntarily sign contracts that would make them international superstars and multi-millionaires? I THINK NOT. And don't people realise what a CONTRACT is? It's a legally-binding document... Isn't that the same kind of BINDING agreement we all enter when we buy a house, get a loan, sign up for a mobile phone, or whatever?

    In summary, I'm sad that it's all come to this, but I won't be sad to see Ronaldo go. If he doesn't want to play for us, fine... let him go. There's no benefit (apart from one of principle) in keeping a player NO player, as Ferguson has always made clear, is bigger than Manchester United, so I say we put a fat price in front of Real Madrid (somewhere in the region of 70 to 80 million pounds), tell them to get their wallets out, and the boy can go live his dream.

    Off you go, Ronny. It was nice while it lasted, but you're not the be all and end all. Life will go on without you, son.

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  • 26. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, chemical brother wrote:

    "This is for United fans to debate..."

    Really?

    A prime, if unrequired, example of the concept of arrogance at Old Trafford being not exclusively a player trait.

    The ridiculously emotive 'slave' talk is both a huge insult to any descendants of slaves and yet not untypical of Blatter.

    Having said that Ronaldo is showing himself to be equally moronic in agreeing with him. Are Portugal making a bid for The World Cup?

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  • 27. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, nhlamont wrote:

    As a Man Utd fan, it would be sad to see him leave. However, again as a fan I don't want to see a player at the club who does not want to be there.

    Because another player, Ronaldinho, did not really want to join United we bought CR.

    He should be sold and we should look for further young talent to replace him, established players of that calibre no longer seem to have any club loyalty due to the huge financial gains they get and the interference of agents whose pockets will swell with each transfer or signing.

    A shame but that's the business that football now masquerades as.

    Same feelings I had for Heinze last year, great player but obviously had no great love for the club. A shame but we must not be so naive and hanker for the old days. I wonder how much he has had to do with this saga being such a close friend of CR's.

    It would be nice to have this over and settle in for what I hope will be a great season for Utd where Rooney and Tevez will hopefully have more of a scoring input with team.

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  • 28. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, Mzunguru wrote:

    Does anyone else find it unbelievable and reprehensible that the President of FIFA could refer to a Footballer like Ronaldo as a "modern day slave"?! This is both shameful and ridiculous. Ronaldo is under a FIFA-approved contract that he signed. Does anyone else agree that this should mean something? Both FIFA and UEFA have shown there disdain towards the huge sucess of the Premier League teams in Europe this year. By tacitly supporting the Ronaldo move to Real Madrid and by calling for a limit on the number of foreignors allowed per team, FIFA and UEFA are unabashadly trying to dampen the potency and success of the elite UK clubs.

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  • 29. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, sebastj wrote:

    Take the £70 million and pack him off to the Bernabeu. We could use that money to stock up our squad, probably a striker (Villa/Huntelaar) and a right back (Richards/Lahm). Sure we'll miss the 'slave' if he does leave but Fergie has shown in the past that Man Utd have never been a one man club. Just like Keane,Beckham and RVN were transferred off, Ronaldo's departure will also be compensated with other players. Plus we've got players like Nani and Anderson who I'm sure will come on leaps and bounds this season.

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  • 30. At 11:46am on 11 Jul 2008, Mikewsa wrote:

    I agree that he has outstayed his welcome. Take a huge whack of cash of Real, and let him leave.
    I guarantee that, whatever team he is playing for, this will not be another season like the last.
    Who wants to see him suffer in poverty (cant expect anyone to survive on his slave wages) and be mistreated and brutally abused under the EPL slavery laws !!!
    Take pity on him, and save him from the cruel and unusual punishment he has had to endure for so long !!

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  • 31. At 11:47am on 11 Jul 2008, cryin' white tears wrote:

    Sepp does it again, winds everyone in England up needlessly! The man is a buffoon. How did he get the job?

    As for Ronaldo, you can slightly forgive him (just) because he is young and closeted from reality.

    But you are right to conclude Ronnie is leaving, now just settle the terms and lets all move on.

    It's getting silly now.

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  • 32. At 11:48am on 11 Jul 2008, mightyducks wrote:

    My problem isn't with Real Madrid but with Ronaldo. he is loving the attention, which just shows that he has got no respect for anyone.

    I think that United would be better of without him but I dont think Sir Alex will wont to lose what has now become a bit of a battle with Ronaldo, Madrid and now FIFA.

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  • 33. At 11:48am on 11 Jul 2008, beto1960 wrote:

    Ronaldo was not "plucked from obscuity" from Sporting Lisbon, he had an outstanding season in Portugal the previous year as a 17 year old.
    He even tore Man Utd apart in a pre-season friendly while at Sporting.
    Most big clubs were eyeing him up , but Utd were lucky that Queroz had strong connections with Sporting which secured the deal ahead of all the rivals.

    In my opinion Man Utd should sell him to Real Madrid, I honestly dont think they will miss him. Tevez and Rooney were also playing well, if not as well as Ronaldo last year.

    Also as we saw in Euro 2008 there are many excellent players out there for a much cheaper price. I am sure with the money for Ronaldo Utd could buy 3 replacements as good.

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  • 34. At 11:49am on 11 Jul 2008, eurotour07 wrote:

    What I find interesting is that Blatter raised this notion of players being held against their will when it concerned a player leaving England. He didn't condemn Aston Villa for holding up Gareth Barry's transfer.

    I wonder why that was? Oh, I know why because the beneficiary would have been an English club, and far be it from FIFA to help any English team.

    Real Madrid are the golden team of FIFA and UEFA and if it happens to be at the expense of an English team, those institutions will back the Spaniards to the hilt.

    Surely, I can't be the only one who thinks there is some sort of prejudice here?

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  • 35. At 11:50am on 11 Jul 2008, Olearyforengland wrote:

    The pain and suffering endured by Ronaldo is too awful to witness. If he were an animal he would have been put down by now. Please someone fetch me a rifle...

    Yet I agree with Blatter, Ronaldo is a slave... but only to his own ego.

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  • 36. At 11:50am on 11 Jul 2008, abc wrote:

    Phil

    What cut will you get from the transfer fee from Real as a result of this "neutral BBC" advice?

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  • 37. At 11:50am on 11 Jul 2008, omegaSoodaBondai wrote:


    70 Million

    The would get them

    Benzema 20 mill

    Quaresma 16 mill

    Daniel Alves 20 mill

    Downing maybe? Lennon?

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  • 38. At 11:51am on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To thellers...you know what the great sadness of this is?

    It is the fact that a player who has been brilliant for United, once Ferguson brought his footballing excesses under control, will leave with his reputation tarnished.

    Ronaldo could have been an Old Trafford legend, but even if he stays he will now be treated with some suspicion by supporters who should offer him unconditional adoration.

    Men like David Beckham, Jaap Stam and Ruud van Nistelrooy would - in my opinion - be given a great reception if they came back to Old Trafford in future.

    Do you think the same would apply to Ronaldo? I don't.

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  • 39. At 11:51am on 11 Jul 2008, ro32xx wrote:

    I dont support Man Utd, but if any player wants to leave you have to let them go, he joined man utd in 2003, thats 5 YEARS !! great service, and now alot of manU fans are having a go at him for wanting to try something new, he's been fantastic for you so appreciate his long service, and now he's getting a hard time about having ambitions, if torres played 5 great years for liverpool then joined real madrid, i'd say thanks and good luck, and the slave comment it true... why would you want to force a player to stay when he obviously wants a new challenge?

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  • 40. At 11:52am on 11 Jul 2008, Ally Dick wrote:

    Phil, you've gotta use spell check. It drives me mad when there is bad misspelling in an article.

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  • 41. At 11:52am on 11 Jul 2008, Douglas Lee wrote:

    'Jimmy' McNulty's blog is spot on. Manchester United is far bigger than any one individual, even the elusive Ronaldo. Ferguson should show his customary ruthlessness and sell CR for the highest price he can get, then carry on without him. As 'Jimmy' says, United were champions before Ronaldo arrived and they'll be champions after he's gone.

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  • 42. At 11:53am on 11 Jul 2008, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    23. At 11:44am on 11 Jul 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:
    To ronaldoeatmyshorts...as I said in the blog, we need to be a little careful because Ronaldo did not call himself "a slave."

    He was responding to questions about Blatter's remarks on "modern slavery.

    What Ronaldo has failed to do is make his intentions clear. He has been very vague about his future, creating the furore that has continued all summer.

    We have not had a clear "I want to stay" or a definitive "I want to go" - although we all suspect he wants out.
    ___________________________________

    I think the reason he hasn't given a definitive answer is because he likes the speculation and likes people talking about him as it does his ego a world of good.

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  • 43. At 11:54am on 11 Jul 2008, M Charlton wrote:

    Oh the poor delicate slave, my heart goes out to such a person that is held by his own signature. He signed the deal to better himself at a club that seems to drag the best out of every player it signs. Maybe just maybe he will not be the player he has been without the rest of the squad of Man utd around him helping him look good. Let Sir Alex be upset and play along with it right up to the highest amount they can get for him and maybe just maybe Sir Alex would be able to sign some decent English players and bring them on. I'll bet Ronaldo will not be the same player once he leaves and will turn out to be a flop,after all it was the rest of Utd players that fed him the balls that made him look good.
    Bye Bye spoilt slave and maybe one day Rooney can get his own back playing against him, revenge is sweet Rooney.

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  • 44. At 11:55am on 11 Jul 2008, bigphil4chel wrote:

    i don1t know why anyone listens to the idiot blatter,everyone must know that this guys hates anything to do with english football.as for that utd player well i hate man u but they should tell him to go,

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  • 45. At 11:55am on 11 Jul 2008, iJaz wrote:

    will ronaldo be the next henry ?

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  • 46. At 11:55am on 11 Jul 2008, MrBlueBurns wrote:

    Good article Phil.

    It think you are right to say that Man U, or specifically Fergie, should get hold of Ronaldo and get him to publicly, and clearly, state his position.

    However, do you think Man U are afraid of the answer they will get from Ronaldo? Do you think Fergie is playing a game to flush out Ronaldo and Real Madrid or is he just being stubborn because he doesn't like having done to him what he has done to others?

    The situation is getting silly and ultimately no-one will come out of this with much credit, only money. Still, why should that surprise me.

    Finally, can you avoid all references and links to the Champions League Final please. Still a sore point for me. :-(

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  • 47. At 11:56am on 11 Jul 2008, papperoo wrote:

    I'd personally take £50m plus Sergio Ramos for him.

    Then in a couple of years sell Ramos back to them for £50m plus Robinho.

    Then in a couple of years... you get the picture...

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  • 48. At 11:57am on 11 Jul 2008, Englands66team wrote:

    I find the Ronaldo situation similar to the Gareth Barry one. We all know they are going to end up at new clubs before the new season kicks off. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later as I'm sick of reading about it to be honest.

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  • 49. At 11:57am on 11 Jul 2008, Johnny10es wrote:

    I am a United fan, and I am a huge fan of Ronaldo, but I say I say sell him,
    no one is bigger than the team. If he wants to go let him

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  • 50. At 11:59am on 11 Jul 2008, Stokerambo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 51. At 11:59am on 11 Jul 2008, MeTheDaddy wrote:

    Can't believe this. I am actually feeling some sympathy for United fans over this nonsense. Why should some overpaid, over-rated primadona hold them to ransom after they welcomed him back following the Rooney incident? Does he think he's bigger than the club? Sell, sell, sell and good riddance. One less diving oik in the Premier next season....and Messi is a far better player anyway.

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  • 52. At 12:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    ro32xx - Look at Maldini, Baresi, Giggs or even your own Ian Callaghan stayed at one club for many years and have been successful - I don't see 5 years as being an excessive time for someone to be at a club.

    United were in a transition period when he signed along with the disappointing Bellion, Kleberson and Djemba Djemba and he took time to adapt to the Premier League and Fergie, as Phil mentioned, needed to control that extraordinary talent that was more about individualism than the team. He came on leaps and bounds, providing a superb cross for VanNistelrooy in the 4-3 victory over Everton. My point being is that United invested time and effort into the player, and yes I agree he quite clearly doesn't want to be there - but maybe he should have though about that before signing a £120,000 a week deal, and therefore aren't under any obligation (as much as it pains Platini and Blatter to see English clubs do well in Europe) to sell the player - although I'm quite excited by the sale as I want to see who we will bring in.

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  • 53. At 12:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, Czechmate wrote:

    Completley agree with you Man UTD deserve this treatment for once. Man U fans always say there transfers have been carreid out respectfully and different to this. But they Have not. Hargreaves Saha and Rooney but to name a few. Ronaldo is an idiot aswell so he should feel at home at UTD. Man UTD should sell him they will certainly get over 50 million and no player (except Gerrard and Torres of course) is worth that.

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  • 54. At 12:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, thirdwheel wrote:

    The "loss of face" issue is the key thing for me. As a United fan, my respect for Ronaldo has declined so much that I no longer want him to play for the club, despite his staggering ability as a footballer. I simply can't imagine singing his name next season. I don't begrudge him his dream of playing for Madrid, but the whole thing could have been handled with so much more dignity. Please Fergie; take the money, paint it as a victory, and lets move on.

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  • 55. At 12:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, dirtymeister wrote:

    Scary! Phil, did you ever think that you would grow-up to become 'the voice of reason'?
    It is about time that football took a long hard look at itself; starting at the grass-roots and going all the way to the top.
    As for Sepp Blatter, his FIFA and UEFA cronies; what is to be said that hasn't already been said?
    There are far too many men in this beautiful game that shouldn't be allowed anyway near it. These are the men who are making it difficult to enjoy supporting your team and simply enjoying football. It's our game, financed for the most part by football supporters; so let''s get ready to grumble - better still - let's get proactive.

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  • 56. At 12:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, JudgedRed wrote:

    If he wants to go, let him go. United should take the money and invest it in another five potential world beaters.

    I think the boy is seriously deluded if he thinks a move from the reigning European champions to a team which seems to favour personal glories over collective ones, will enhance his career.

    One can only hope that United meet Real next season and they remind Ronaldo of what he left behind.

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  • 57. At 12:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, shandoza wrote:

    Football has gone mad, surely there must be some arbitration regarding player contracts. Is it time to do away with transfers and fees and leave it down to the players themselves to tout there abilities, adhering to their contract playing for a set period then either re-negotiate or move on or simply not playing at all, or will this see these eliteist morons wages spiral out of control, further out of touch with the real world than they are already.
    United should get rid of Ronaldo, the sulking fool doesn't appreciate his position in life, but this will surely herald the end of the players contract as we know it. FIFA should enforce the completion of player contracts, not condem them. Football has gone mad.

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  • 58. At 12:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, ledleysdodgyknees wrote:

    I, for one, am sick of Christiano Ronaldo winging

    This whole situation smacks of this exact time two years ago, when the fancy-dan set out on a personal mission to get Wayne Rooney sent off in World Cup 2006. There wasn't much club loyalty on display that day!

    He tried to engineer a move away then, and is doing the exact same thing now. He will never be a team player, and will always look to bask in his own glory rather than that of his team as a whole

    I am no fan of United, but his treatment of the club and the manager that made him a superstar is shameful.

    If I was Sir Alex, i would send him on his way, there surely can be no space in the Manchester United squad for such a disruptive influence. Take the £100m from Real and invest it in someone who shows some passion for the badge on the shirt!

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  • 59. At 12:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To beto1960...you are right to say Ronaldo was not plucked from obscurity. He was already a star in the making at Sporting Lisbon, as United's willingness to pay such a large fee proved.

    But there can be no argument that he has been nurtured by, and matured under, Ferguson.

    Ronaldo was too much of a show pony, too fond of the tricks, flicks and step-overs, when he first came to Old Trafford.

    He still does the tricks, but there is an end product. Lots of it.

    The natural gifts were there, but Ferguson has shaped them into the world-class talent we see today.

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  • 60. At 12:04pm on 11 Jul 2008, Barry L wrote:

    I think it is a dangerous precedent to set. Consider a few years down the line Nani decides he wants to follow his countryman to spain. He may figure that the same actions would get him the same result.

    So despite agreeing that he should be fired out for as much cash as possible it is still a bad move. Since he can't be kept in the reserves,(it would cost united big if he could get out of his contract for free) there is no real alternative.

    The only thing is if he could be made go to Barca for less money just to screw over Madrid.

    For once I feel sorry for Utd fans, strange feeling for me. But the same thing is happening with Adebayor and it ain't nice.

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  • 61. At 12:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, 27 wrote:

    Much as I dislike Blatter's analogy and as much as CR7 is being a plonker, I think he should be sold now. United won't collapse because he's gone. Nani is virtually at the same stage of development as Ronaldo 3 seasons ago. He may not be the finished article yet, but I think he can provide the right wing outlet we need given time.


    If Ronaldo does stay, that's good, but if not; someone else will take the shirt and we move on as always. And the transfer fund will be £70m up. Nani won't get 42 goals for us, but he may get 10, and a new top drawer striker could expect to get 30 in this team right now.

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  • 62. At 12:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, shandoza wrote:

    Sell Ronaldo for £70 million and buy Messi for £50 million and sign Aguero with the other £20 milion, problem solved.

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  • 63. At 12:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, donagbagbladza wrote:

    Well said about how much Real should pay for Ronaldo. Personally, I don't think he is worth that much - £70M, you're joking. A critical look at all matches he had featured in shows clearly that he is not a big performer on the bigger stages. He runs around the defence of weak teams. On the big stages he is non-exitent. I won't even pay £35M for him.

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  • 64. At 12:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, gogoginger wrote:

    Surely Mr Blatter should be encoraging Ronaldo to move back to a Portugese club given his views on foreigners in domestic leagues?!?

    Surely for FIFA, old Sepp has now well and truly overstepped the mark?? His anti English sentiment is so thinly veiled it's not true. United should lobby FIFA for his removal from office. Then we can put to bed the ridiculous (and illegal) rule on restricting foreign players.

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  • 65. At 12:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    Phil - the 'no end product' and 'one trick pony' remarks were over hyped. Ronaldo was a mere boy who needed to improve and expand his game. United invested in potential rather than the finished article. Back in 2003, United were far more rigid in their tactical setup. The versatility that United now have up top allows Ronaldo to venture into more space due to the movement of the 'front four'.

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  • 66. At 12:08pm on 11 Jul 2008, ro32xx wrote:

    yo [football-crazy-dude] yeah i get you're point 5 years is not excessive, and he was the king of stepovers for the first 2 years, his last 2 seasons were the most productive and he's got manU to thank for the improvments, on the contract signed..... i think i'd find i hard to turn down an offer that much, and he always new the worst that could happen would be a great club comes in and offers him even more, dont know who else could fill his gap, nobody really, there are so little midfielders who score like him, i think you should get a goal machine, not torres please :)

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  • 67. At 12:09pm on 11 Jul 2008, newyorkrovers wrote:

    yeah am i united fan and everything. Love Ronaldo and that, but if he wants to go to Madrid an ruin his carrear just like Beckham did. Fair do's, get the money; around 80m or sumat like that and buy a few players such as a new right back, striker and goalkeeper. such as micah richards, huntelarr and igor akinfeev. Then im more than happy an most of the Man u fans will be aswell!
    who agrees with me?

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  • 68. At 12:11pm on 11 Jul 2008, Wonderkind wrote:

    Fergie said that he wants to buy only one player - i bet he meant the replacement for ronaldo!

    he knows already that ronaldo will leave, and i think it could be good for united if their "star-player" will leave... thats a huge chance for the likes of rooney, tevez etc...

    as a replacement i would love to see bentley, lennon or benzema arriving at OT (maybe SAF decides to buy two of them?)...

    by the way: please sell nani as well...

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  • 69. At 12:11pm on 11 Jul 2008, ruffeydog wrote:

    It would appear obivous to all now that Ronaldo does not want to play for Man Utd any more. We should sell him now while he is at the top of his worth. Big names have left before ......and the team lives on. Nobody is bigger than the club. Alex Ferguson has been astute over the last few years in pinpointing the right players (with the exception of Veron) and £70 million would buy a lot of talent. The only danger would be setting a precedent allowing other players to think that signing a contract means nothing and they can leave whenever they want.

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  • 70. At 12:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, ForestMark wrote:

    Take the money and run. He showed exactly what he's about when Portugal got knocked out of Euro2008 - having been made captain he simply carried on with his selfish and petulant approach to the game, leaving it to Deco (not even born Portuguese) to try and bring his team back into it. He's simply not a team player.

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  • 71. At 12:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, newyorkrovers wrote:

    AND FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE THAT ARE SAYING TO BUY DANIEL ALVES WITH THE MONEY. HE HAS ALLREADY GONE TO BARCELONA FOR AROUND 35MILLION EUROS! THORGHT I WOULD LET YOU PEOPLE KNOW BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY NOT ACKNOWLEDGING WHATS GOING ON AROUND YOU!

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  • 72. At 12:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, RobVilla wrote:

    Completely - yes completely agree with this post. There is a first, Phil

    Blatter should keep his nose out of this though his comments are indicative of the way those at top end of the game have lost all semblance of reality.
    Shed no tears for United as they have done it to others and are so arrogant to not recognise this.
    They will be better of (under these circumstances) without him as him staying will only impact team spirit
    £70m is a stupid price - double his actual worth.

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  • 73. At 12:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, Dave I wrote:

    I am annoyed that so many people have picked up on the word "slave". I should think everybody has heard or used the phrase "wage slave". Without actually reading what Blatter said, I would presume this was the intended context. It probably, also, refers to the fact that players have to sign contracts for years, and that the average person does not have to make that commitment. Yes, it does work both ways but it is still a commitment.
    What I think Blatter is really attempting to do, is decrease the power of the richest clubs, which just happen to be English. He doesn't want one country to dominate, especially the ECL. Like he tried with his foreigners rule.
    Finally, nobody should think Blatter is an idiot!

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  • 74. At 12:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Neosabin wrote:

    Let the poor "slave" traitor go,if he cannot understand what united has done for him.

    we have already seen what he is without united in euro.

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  • 75. At 12:17pm on 11 Jul 2008, Dave wrote:

    Ronaldo says that it is his dream to play for Real - but not that much of a dream that he has officially asked for a transfer.

    That will cost him and his advisors lots of money so if he is leaving anyway - make him put in a transfer request.

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  • 76. At 12:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, Alex wrote:

    I totally see Blatter's point, but he used completely the wrong terminology. "Slave" is wrong.

    However, I agree with his trying to get football players to work under the same kind of terms as ordinary workers. i.e - you sign a contract with an employer and have a notice period should you choose to move elsewhere, perhaps with a spell of 'gardening leave' attached before you begin working for a new employer. I think transfer fees should be scrapped entirely.

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  • 77. At 12:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, LeeMarritt wrote:

    Man Utd fans shouldnt be surprised at this behavior from Ronaldo after what happened in the world cup yet they were happy to chant his name ...until now anyway.

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  • 78. At 12:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, leslierock wrote:

    Don't we all wish for the old times? Where is the loyalty in football anymore! So Blatter reckons Ronaldo is a slave, He's a card, is that blatter. Can i be a slave for £100.000 a week?!? The young children out there whom worship Ronaldo, what message does this give them? Its a disgusting way to act, he's acting like a spoilt child. Its a slap in the face to all the young children who cherish there prized utd shirts with his name and number on it. Above all, Ronaldo thinks about one thing....Ronaldo!! Go now Ronaldo, Leave the club i love and pursue "your dream" If things go sour will "your dream" then be AC milan!?! Cantona, Best, Law,Charlton,Keane,Foulkes,Stiles will always be legends to us but you young man never will!!!

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  • 79. At 12:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, SmilySpook wrote:

    At the end of the day I would like to see Utd do the same thing as My club Villa should do with Gareth Barry. Get a totally rediculous amount of money 70 million and 17 million respectively otherwise let them languish in the reserve team. I know this is completely unrealistic given the players wages but it would show a clear message to the football world that certain clubs are not to be messed with.

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  • 80. At 12:22pm on 11 Jul 2008, BoringBoringFootball wrote:

    Great article. Can;t believe that Blatter is still in his job after so many ill judged remarks over the years, but can't say my heart bleeds for United.

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  • 81. At 12:22pm on 11 Jul 2008, typerstu wrote:

    I'm a Man Utd fan and it sickens to me that Ronaldo thinks of himself as a Slave. Ronaldo you should have reality check and come work in an office for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week slaving over a computer earning a quarter a year of what you earn in a week. To be honest, he has become too big for his boots at United since the end of the season, and they should sell him, but for at least £100 million to Real. I can't see him gaining more at Real than at Man Utd as Man Utd are a more successful club than Real Madrid in my eyes.

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  • 82. At 12:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, HarrytheHawk wrote:

    I found Blatter's comments re "modern slavery" totally distasteful and also send out a terrible message to players who are under contract.

    Having said that I believe if the player wants to go let him and get as much dosh as possible.

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  • 83. At 12:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, SeanieGilbo wrote:

    Post 22 is the best of the day.

    I think ultimately it wouldnt be in Man Utd's best interests to keep Ronaldo now and I cant understand the United fans praying for him to stay - The bloke obviously wants to leave United so no point in keeping him.

    However, United should just hold a simple press conference and play it with a straight bat...

    "We haven't had an offer from Real Madrid and Ronaldo hasnt asked for transfer... we don't understand what all the fuss is about!?"

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  • 84. At 12:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, hermannredux wrote:

    Agree with many comments here and feel it's right for Ronaldo to go.

    One point I feel is worth mentioning is I personally don't believe Ronaldo will make Real a better team. Over the years Real have made an unfortunate habit of signing superstars who turn into misfits, and I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be more of the same.

    Of Madrid's astronomical signings, only Zidane has truly shone over the last few years and he was a playmaker, which Ronaldo isn't.

    Real would have been better advised to focus on someone like Villa or Arshavin - in fact they could have got both for the price of one Ronaldo, and far better value.

    Ronaldo was brilliant at United - but do Madrid have a Scholes or a Rooney? They don't.

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  • 85. At 12:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, Simoncfc1 wrote:

    Ronaldo should stay!!!

    But omegaSoodaBondai btw Daniel Alves just signed for Barca fo £23million so I don't think he is coming to England

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  • 86. At 12:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, LeeMarritt wrote:

    Blatter obviously doesnt understand how football works. If contracts are to be meaningless then clubs should also be allowed to let players go at short notice. The players should have less security too. What happens when a player gets injured and the club says thats yer lot we will stop paying you next month?

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  • 87. At 12:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Pantryboy wrote:

    Quite frankly, Blatter is an idiot and it is embarrassing that this man is the figurehead for world football.

    Not only is the 'slavery' statement noxious itself, it is an insult to all those who suffered (and continue to suffer) under human trafficking and genuine slavery.

    In any walk of life one should be careful of drawing such comparisons, but it is absurd to suggest that the modern footballer, who enjoys more riches and privileges than most could ever dream of, is akin to a slave.

    Ridiculous!

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  • 88. At 12:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Richard wrote:

    Utd season ticket holder perspective. Good article Phil. Although I have to say its quite funny reading in yours and others comments how you justify your loathing of united like "hate man utd but.." or hate Ferguson but.." before backing the clubs stance on this.
    However moving on basically my view is he should go but it was only yesterday I got bit irate yesterday after he backed that wally Blatter's ridiculous comments. He didnt need to do that. he clearly wants to go, Fergie, Glazer et al are digging their heels in. He scored a third of our goals last year so he would be a massive miss and although this makes a further folly of the contracts situation I think he just fancies the social there ie. sunny madrid compared to rainy manchester (even though of course we all know manc is much more magnificent!) Him sitting in the stands wont help our boys on the pitch at all next season. Get the money now I say although dont get too excited utd fans that money will just go further towards paying off the debts! thanks Malc.

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  • 89. At 12:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Zulu Warrior wrote:

    Mr McNulty
    For once I agree with your conclusion. More importantly SAF may not. ManU played a fluent attacking game this last season and it culminated in a tight but deserved title win. Ronaldo was obviously critical to that success and I think they may not have won it without him, despite the trojan work of Tevez, Rooney Rio et al. The real point is that he is now out for 3 months, would Real buy him for an massive sum while there is a question about his fitness? (Maybe Blatter will extend the window for him). This has a way to go yet. Most football fans read the body language of the game and it seems to be pretty evident from comments that the perceived wisdom is that Ronaldo is not a team player, nor does he work his socks off ala Tevez etc. In short while he is admired for his skill he is not loved by fans, maybe not even by ManU fans. Maybe that is part of his problem at ManU.
    Key question for SAF is can they beat Chelsea without Ronaldo, or SAF got a contingency plan already in place as part of his 'what if' scenarios. This could be a milestone in that all the other 'names' to leave left with SAF's approval.

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  • 90. At 12:27pm on 11 Jul 2008, homerjdarko wrote:

    it's my understanding that there's no 'sympathy' for united because they had unsettled those at goodison park, white hart lane, villa park, philips stadion.... ok, so why did those very people not report united? madrid are out of order, so united report them. it's barely united's fault that the aforementioned didn't do the same; the option was there and to use that as a reason to somehow dilute madrid's approach is quite bizzare.

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  • 91. At 12:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, Mike Neal wrote:

    As a Manchester United supporter of long standing, it pains me to see what is happening, especially to see it coming from a player we took as a callous youth, and helped develop into the talent he undoubtedly is today.

    My course of action when subjected to the kind of attacks and comments coming from Calderon, Blatter, Platini and now Ronadlo himself, is to come our fighting.

    I would never sell Ronaldo, especially not to Real Madrid because this would only reinforce their over inflated view of their importance. I would not play him either, he signed a 5 year contract less than 1 year ago, he wasn't a slave then was he?

    No I'd let him rot in the stands, let him watch his career disappear over the horizon as he misses at least 2 World Cups and Euro 2010.

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  • 92. At 12:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, Andy wrote:

    Aww bless, sell the arrogant idiot. Lets see how the manure cope with no recognised strikers. Relegation perhaps?

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  • 93. At 12:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, Kuca79 wrote:

    Let the kid go, someone said that it would help Rooney shine, and I could not agree more! I think 5 years is enough for both Ronaldo and MU, they are both winners, if he stays they both will Lose, its simple as this. I know Ferguson thought he found his golden pot, to explore and help him wining more Champins leagues, but life is not always what we wish. Mourinho when won in Porto in 3 years that he stayed there he thought it would be easy at Chelsea with the money and player. but as I said life is not always what we want, we need to consider that we not leave in this world alone and in close doors

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  • 94. At 12:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, dazg34 wrote:

    Well world class footballers are now classed as slaves. Hes 23 and not even reached his best yet i would say he still has a lot to learn. He earns shed loads of money and is highly valued by man united and their fans. To me thats not the way a slave would be treated. if he was 27 and getting on i would see why there would be a fuss but hes not. Man United are the best club in Europe and thats a fact. He would in my opinion do a Beckham he wont stand out for long in a team full of stars. I cant see why he needs to move but if he did i think the premier league would be in major trouble. it would loose its best league in the world tag because all the great players would go because clubs wouldn't be able to stop them from leaving.

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  • 95. At 12:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, dandanmanutd wrote:

    Football is turning into a joke.

    Get players on to 1 or 2 year contracts with an agreed price that has to be paid to the club at the end by the next club to sign them. This allows players more freedom and clubs to not get screwed over.

    Tell me if i am biased, but have Man utd not just bid for players, had these bids accepted and signed them? I can't remember Alex Ferguson repeatedly going to the press saying that he wants to sign someone when the club they play for are saying that they are not for sale.

    I do belive players should have freedom, but not if you are willing to sign a 5 year contract, i suppose a 5 year deal gives you and your agent a bigger singing on bonus though.

    Bye ronaldo, its been good while it lasted but your not man utd, and noone is bigger than the club they play for.

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  • 96. At 12:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, kitthehammer wrote:

    What seems to be ignored in this whole saga is that Sepp Blatter, Fifa President, has effectively been aiding Real Madrid to "tap up" a contracted player.
    He has been helping Real Madrid put pressure on Manchester United to let Ronaldo go and he helped add power to a high profile players' demands.

    Why is Blatter not being brought to book about this?
    To use an analogy, surely this is similar to a UK politician aiding illegal arms sales to the profit of British arms companies?

    I have no love for Man Utd and they can be accused of similar dealings to Real but I am more concerned by Sepp Blatters involvement. What next? He gets involved in Lampards transfer to Inter?

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  • 97. At 12:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, BeebwebsiteRiff wrote:

    He signed the contract. If he didn't want to be there he shouldn't have signed it. He's not a slave: he's a contract breaker. He has no honour.

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  • 98. At 12:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, Guns wrote:

    As a fan for more years than i care to mention, I've seen players go for more money every year. First time £100,00 for a player then £1,000,000 now 10s millions. I think the problem is that all the money in football is conectrtated in Champions League elite and even in that League the elite club is now Real Madrid.

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  • 99. At 12:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, Blue White Dynamite wrote:

    So what does a club get when they pay millions for a player?Ronaldo has signed a contract and should stick to it, like in any other job. If you give the players MORE freedom, then the wages will spiral even more out of control. Blatter is out of order making a comment like that, especially as he has ties with Real Madrid

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  • 100. At 12:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, Doktor_of_Physick wrote:

    Flog the slave! And before he's flogged give him 50 lashes! Make that 100. What the hell, throw in a keel-hauling as well. These celebrity slaves are giving real slavery a good name.

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  • 101. At 12:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, Parish87 wrote:

    So Phil, can I ask you why Sepp Blatter is only getting involved now?

    Why didn't he get involved last season when Utd didn't sell us Heinze? Or even the Barry saga? Why does he need to get involved now?

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  • 102. At 12:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, quiteRogerHunt wrote:

    Scenario 1: we have months and months of United saying "£75m, take it or leave it" and Real saying "OK, we'll move up form £51m to £52m, take it or leave it". United will be paying the huge wages of an injured player, it will be hugely unsettling to everyone else ... and they finally sell him for £60m.

    Scenario 2: United realise the above serves no purpose and sell him now for £60m.

    We are a long way into Scenario 1, on a smaller scale, with Gareth Barry.

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  • 103. At 12:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, sirstanleybowles wrote:

    I think it's clear cut.
    Ronaldo is going to go, for an outrageously large fee, and his career will diminish.

    Who will Ferguson sign as a replacement/with the funds?

    Any United fans know who the top targets are? The media circus surrounding CR has taken the focus off other issues.

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  • 104. At 12:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, MickS wrote:

    It would be interesting if the clubs stopped paying these 'slaves' when they were injured. I bet that they'd be all for the contracts they signed then. Its only when they restrict what they want to do that the contract is a problem.

    Fine. Have a clause in the contract that represents a buyout fee for the player. The player signs a contract for X amount a week and with a buyout cost of Y. If the player is able to pay Y to his current club then his contract is fulfilled.

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  • 105. At 12:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, spoonfull wrote:

    hmmm.... even if Man Utd do get 80 million, it'll only pay the owner's interest payment on the debt he's laid on the club for ONE year.

    I'm struggling to think how Ronaldo can be a slave - and not just because of the size of his wagepacket.

    He SIGNED a CONTRACT.

    Slaves don't sign contracts. presumably, keeping to a contract makes you a slave? How? is there one way in which he could possibly be classed as a slave?

    Blatter has made himself look a complete fool on this, I'm afraid. How did he get his job? Can I do it instead. Please.





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  • 106. At 12:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, alpeshcgujjar wrote:

    People dont realise that the language is the biggest problem,if someone doesnt know English(or any other) and he is famous then tht is a troubled life living in a place where everyone is only speaking English.
    If the famous guy wants to discribe something and he doesnt know the right word he would use whatever comes in his mouth to talk about it and MEDIA will add some spice and more spice and you know what even more spice to mix the whole thing,twist it,turn it,squeez it and from A it becomes Z..
    Watch,look and see all have the same meaning but are used where it is suited..and Non English speakers dont know that and Ronaldo is one of them..

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  • 107. At 12:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, rchrdav wrote:

    A couple of posts are a bit wrong - Blatter did not mean wage slave he described Ronaldo as a modern slave,
    liverpool_ andy-I'm Spain until July you say that like Arbeloa you think that this would give Liverpool a better chance of winning the title. It would have no affect whatsoever on your chances. They will stay at absolutely no chance at all, I dont think that it will have a detrimental effect on United, (First team talk - go out and show them that you are not a one man team) but if it did then surely it would improve the chances of title challengers of winning the title so Chelsea would be the ones that would benefit.
    Lastly if transfer fees are got rid of then this would only benefit the big clubs, when United got Rooney Everton got £30M, when we got Carrick Spurs got £18m.
    If there are no transfer fees then they still lose the player but dont get any money.

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  • 108. At 12:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Phil talks about Utd losing face in the football world but this is ok because of the price Ronaldo will generate.

    There are more important things than money. Ronaldo will not be signing for Madrid for money. It is his boyhood club and like it or not Madrid are the most successful club in the world. They have won even more trophies than Liverpool.

    70 million pounds to spend would be great and Ferguson would no doubt spend well. The reality is though is that Man Utd are beginning to look like a feeder club for Real Madrid. What price can you put on this astonishing loss of face.

    Utd nurture and develop a talent and then sell them on to Real.

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  • 109. At 12:41pm on 11 Jul 2008, bjthepundit wrote:

    Good article, I for one as a manu fan would love to see ronaldo go. The club at old trafford has always been bigger than any player and ferguson has proven that time and time again with his ruthless attitude towards players who got too big for their boots- think incey, stam, beckham. To be honest it irks me and i find it embarassing for a club of uniteds stature that ferguson has allowed this saga to go on for so long. Let Ronaldo go, he wont be half the player he is at united, why can no one see that? Ferguson has the ability to make a star of any rough diamond by shaping his teams play around that player, and without his teammates at old trafford and their support play ronaldo wont ever come close to having the season he did this last year. on top of which, the guy's not even a club man, in my eyes he plays only for himself, for his own glory. Am I the only one who doesnt want him in a red shirt anymore?
    Let him go, let Rooney thrive again, lets get 50 mil for him and get wesley sneijder in the number 7 jersey!!

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  • 110. At 12:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, liamessi wrote:

    Heck if this is slavery what are todays jobs ?

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  • 111. At 12:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, qprdaveb76 wrote:

    if Ronaldo wants to leave it is simple. he can get a piece of paper and a pen and write down a transfer request. Of course he won't do that as that would mean the Manchester Slave would not get his massive loyalty payment.

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  • 112. At 12:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, PANCHOWSKI wrote:

    Good Shout. I've been all up for Ronny staying, until his petulant behaviour starting at this summers Euro's. Real can't really be blamed, 'our' club (Utd) like many others have done this over the years, and I'm sure it will continue to take place in the future.

    The only unsavoury aspect of this is the underhand, ungratefulness of C. Ronaldo, who I feel owes Utd another year, after he has blossomed under Sir Alex and Carlos and the environment in general. He may, or may not have become the player he his today at another club but that is irrespective and cannot be commented upon now.

    Undoubtedly a great player, who's massive contribution last season was unrivalled and resulted in a glorious double. However, as others have said, more influential players have departed with little effect on Utd's potential to maintain the hunt for more trophies, which in the end comes from one man...or should I say Knight!!

    Sale the weasel, let Rooney, Anderson, Nani etc step up, along with some new signings who are proud to wear the most famous jersey in football.

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  • 113. At 12:44pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To sirstanleybowles...I agree that this has taken some of the sheen off United's summer.

    Ferguson should have been making his plans in peace, instead we have had daily bulletins on Ronaldo.

    And this was no media invention either - Ronaldo could have clarified this long ago.

    Is my memory playing tricks, or wasn't Ronaldo planning to make this clear two or three days after Portugal's defeat to Germany?

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  • 114. At 12:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, mathux wrote:

    Utd aren't stupid. They know exactly what they are doing and they intend 100% to sell.

    It's just a matter of how much and when!

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  • 115. At 12:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    Good article.
    The whole idea of signing long term contracts only exists in sport. If I want to change jobs I have no problem with resigning and working out my notice period. The whole transfer system is ridiculous and needs sorting out.
    On a frivolous level I'd be happy if, whatever the outcome of this is, Man Utd are affected badly. Their attitude to this is like the class room bully that someone stands up to, they start crying and saying it's not fair. Stam, Van Nistelrooy and Hargrieves are hardly shining examples of fair play. I suppose the best scenario would be Real pull out due to the ankle surgery and he stays a Man Utd causing all sorts of problems for morale as he sulks. Childish I know!!

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  • 116. At 12:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, anokha wrote:

    what i find really daft is....

    Before the Euro Championships Ronaldo was asked about his future when all this Real Madrid stuff started....

    He then said "i want to focus on the championships..i have no answer"...surely he could have said there and then what he wanted to do and got on with the Euros for his country (as i feel the speculation circus did effect his performances)...

    the fact he's led everyone on shwos he's milking the moment and he couldnt care less about the fans....It was interesting when we won the champions league Ronaldo was the only player NOT to go to Van Der Sar...instead he stayed so the camera would stay on him!!...

    Im afraid Ronaldo has dug himself a hole which i think SAF will love to put him in with the way he's mistreated all parties at OT.

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  • 117. At 12:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, pilsner_special wrote:

    I'm a Utd fan, and thouroughly sick of this saga. Who does Ronaldo think he is? Casillas and Ramos plus £60m will do very nicely thanks..

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  • 118. At 12:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, crofts11 wrote:

    In my opinion, Ronaldo is possibly the best player in the game at the moment. However this does not give him the right to think that he is bigger than the club, especially a club like Man Utd.

    Personally I wouldn't mind Ronaldo going to Real I'm a United supporter but feel that it would be for the best. However I would not let him go till the Jan transfer window, and not until I have made him play at least 1 champions league game. This would allow him to obtain his "dream" but at the same time would crush any thoughts he might have of playing for Real on the biggest stage of all.

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  • 119. At 12:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, BamBamZamorano wrote:

    Throw Cristiano to the lions!

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  • 120. At 12:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, wesbrownforengland wrote:

    This blog is obscure because you conveniantly miss out the fact that Real generate speculation because they have their own newspaper. United don't. How exactly are United on the same level as ruthlessness as Real Madrid??
    Fail.

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  • 121. At 12:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, remarkableRoland wrote:

    I think Ronaldo knew well in advance that his babysitter was going to take the Portugal job,and that is one of the reasons he decided to leave man u in January. He really is a sad big headed young man.But in saying that,he has been taught by ferguson.

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  • 122. At 12:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    Simple really. Publicly announce that United will accept a bid of £60m from any non-Premiership club in the world, apart from Real Madrid, who will need to pay £100m. Issue it as a take it or leave it, no time-wasting, no negotiation offer.

    Either we can sell him to one of Madrid's rivals, which would be brilliant; rip off Real Madrid; or get to turn around to Ronaldo and say "there you go son, no-one's willing to actually stump up the money for you, maybe you should reevaluate your view of yourself".

    Then if he goes, use the money to buy good players. NOT Lennon and Downing - please stop suggesting these players, they are not good enough and never will be. Players like David Villa, Phillipe Lahm, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Luis Fabiano.

    Result - a stronger United, Ronaldo someone else's problem, Real Madrid financially screwed and with an unbalanced team, and hopefully a meeting next year between United and Ronaldo where we can prove to him that he's very much a cog in a machine. We can replace him. He'll never be able to replace United.

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  • 123. At 12:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, tonywardred wrote:

    I agree with so many commemnts here.
    Ronaldo is clearly the bext footballer in the UK (at least) but I really believe Fergie should take the money and get shut of him.
    There are fantastic prospects coming to their best in Nani and Anderson, so get rid of him.
    He seems to forget that he reached his current level playing in a great team under a great Manager, dyuring which time he has been paid a fantastic wage.
    Loyalty and commitment has been the backbone at Old Trafford for many years, so get rid Fergie, and move on.

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  • 124. At 12:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, brentwoodhammer wrote:

    It's a nice diversion for the Summer when there's no actual footy being played tho.

    Obviously if the boy's lost interest in Man U they might as well sell him for hte world record fee that's apparently on offer - I reckon £50 Mill and Robhinio'd be a good deal - if SAF can get him properly motivated he'd be as good as CR anyway.

    As for Man U being a feeder club to Milan - rubbish - English club football's reigning supreme at the moment (even if it has drawn in a lot of foreign players to do it) and any claims to fame they have about what they did in the 1950's or any Chelskie'esque over spending don't make up for that.

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  • 125. At 12:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, united_robbie wrote:

    Not too sure what you mean when you say a case of the biter bit?

    I am not denying that united can be relentless in their pursuit for players like a lot of teams, but if you read and hear ferguson's comments its the PUBLIC pursuit of ronaldo from real madrid thats the real annoynace. Going through the media daily to make comments about the saga, which united have never done. They respect the clubs involved when they deal in transfers and keep all their transfers dealings as secret as possible until the deal is done.

    So I think you need to get your facts right before you start posting reports like this and influencing people

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  • 126. At 12:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, cuzzie86 wrote:

    I'm appalled by Ronaldo's behaviour really. He's enjoyed courting the world's media and the attention he has received as a result of this far too much.

    The guy has some serious growing up to do. I'm no man utd fan but i can appreciate how it must feel after all the support he received during the 2007/2007 season after his disgusting beahiour in the semi final against england in the world cup.

    It's a betrayal to be honest, he's only become the real talent he is in the last 12months after a number of years of nurturing at Old Trafford.

    This sort of ego is something the premiership doesn't need. Get rid of him i say, i'll even buy his plane ticket to madrid!

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  • 127. At 12:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, Nessun Dorma wrote:

    I think Phil has written what a lot of people are thinking.

    At first I thought the rumours were made up by the media to sell some papers to football fans outside the regular season, but it's clearly more than that.

    I don't think Ronaldo will ever be worth as much as he is right now. I think he has peaked in value and ability. It's time to cash in on a temperemental star.

    I would also like to suggest that Ronaldo is not the awesome force that he is in the Premiership in either the Champions League or, by this summer's evidence, internationally. Only time will tell if he can meet the expectations of Real fans in a league that is probably closer to the Champions League's style than the EPL.

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  • 128. At 12:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, Manc Royston66 (was a good year) wrote:

    This is a good article and many of the comments are indeed valid.

    The worst thing about CR7 Slaveworker Ronny is his cowardice. I am a die hard Utd fan and I now despise him for the yellow streaked cowardly, smarmy and arrogant way Ronaldo has behaved. All he had to do was hand in a transfer request.

    I too am grateful for his awesome displays put in for us and his contribution to our success. I too do not begrudge him the chance to move on.

    I just despise the way his sickeningly childish brat behaviour has cast a shadow over the best season in ages.

    That said, for anyone bemoaning the slave's departure, you might do worse than to read the following:

    United Better Off Without Ronaldo

    http://www.goal.com/en/articolo.aspx?contenutoid=754360

    Some excellent footballing comments in there and I agree with a fait bit. Do Madrid actually know what they're buying into?

    Adios Ronny...you are lacking in class and are an immature coward. YOu should hang your head in shame.

    You have a gift but the world of football will never quite see you in the same light again and with any luck, you too will soon learn you are not a footbal God but were rather a part of an excellent hardworking team...

    I think there's a good chance you'll flop in la liga tbh. and I sincerely hope you do ;o)

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  • 129. At 12:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, hill16 wrote:

    You know I'm sick of people who say "United are getting what they do to everyone else" So two wrongs make a right do they? When United want a player they approach the club and start egosiations. They don't get the two most powerful men in world football to come and bully the club into selling their player, do they? May I suggest that you leave your vomit inducing anti-United rantings off these blogs and stick to the subject. You know I am only suprised that these same people don't blame United on all thei ills in life. Idiots.

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  • 130. At 12:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, Bridgylegend wrote:

    I am disgusted by Sepp Blatter's comment comparing footballers to slaves. Footballers on the whole are some of the most privileged people in the world.
    Mr Blatter has no right to represent football, when he has such an influencial role in the game. He is making a mockery of what is a very serious subject, and obviously has no knowledge of what it really means to be enslaved. At the very least he should be relieved of his position and never be allowed to make any kind of public speech again.

    As for Ronaldo, I had a fair amount of respect for him, although he is sometimes a bit petty and has a tendancy to dive. His strength of character on the field always impressed me and is one of the best players I have ever seen........ off the field though he is obviously not got any class or loyalty. Get rid of him United and make sure you get a good price for him. He will suit Real Madrid, with all their show ponies. If he believes he is going to a better club, then he should just look at who won the champions league last year!

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  • 131. At 12:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, alpeshcgujjar wrote:

    MANUTDs time is OVER because only one player is making the whole club feel dizzy..
    It shows how dependent they are on only one player,i wonder why aren't they selling a player who will bring them about 75mils,with that amount United can buy atleast 3 topclass big name players,no one will miss Ronaldo.Holding him is also a humiliation for the other members of the United team,it shows that United dont realy trust other player,they think only Ronaldo is the reason why United is so successsfull,i hope other so called stars at United like Rooney,Tevez,Rio, will come forward and do what Ronaldo did..
    Real is all about civics,there are elections every few years for the new presdent and the new president promissed Ronaldos arival so i am not suprised that they want him even if they dont realy need him and if the current president wants to hold on to the sit longer he would have to fulfill his promises and Ronaldo was one of them,Real are definitely winning and this is only because for the first time a United star wants to leave the club for them..Becks,RVN never wished to go to Real when United were trying to sell them,but this time the player himself wishes to move on..and i think if United wants to keep things smooth they will have to sell Ronaldo and 75mil is the best business they will do till date..
    And you know what i am a United fan..

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  • 132. At 12:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, RVN_10 wrote:

    There's one crucial difference between the way United conduct themselves in the transfer market and the way Madrid behave.

    United contact the club involved and make an offer for the player at a relatively early stage.

    How much money have Real Madrid offered Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo? Nothing. They've offered 80 million Euros to the Spanish tabloid press but they've offered nothing to Manchester United.

    Why not?

    Real Madrid paid 10 million pounds for Ruud van Nistelrooy while he was still in his twenties, remember. Naive people.

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  • 133. At 12:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Ronaldo is a great player and BJ the pundit hit the nail on the head. Football is a team game but he is not a team player. He plays for himself and wants to succeed for himself.

    Remember he had his fried sent off when Portugal played England. No loyalty to him and now no loyalty to Utd.

    As a club Utd do what they want, recruit and sack. The boot is firmly on Ronaldo's foot now and it doesn't sit well for fergie. He is supposed to be the Boss but I am afraid Ronaldo has usurped him in this case.

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  • 134. At 12:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, bogsdollocks wrote:

    It seems to me that a number of people have come out of this very badly!

    Sepp Blatter has confirmed his anti English anti Premier League bias. What a bafoon – contracts are to protect both parties. If for some reason Ronaldo’s operation went wrong and he was unable to play, either again or for a long time Ronaldo would still be paid his generous wages.

    Sir Alex Ferguson – What goes around comes around. No matter how big and hard the bully is there is always a bigger one. As Phil stated in his article, Manchester United regularly unsettle players - Luis Saha (he he) Rooney et al and the clubs are forced to sell as a result. Last season we all remember as well that even when SAF did want to sell, he wouldn’t sell Heinze to Liverpool.

    SAF lost this battle right from the start - if Ronaldo is forced to stay he will give less effort than he would of, and in time (using the new legislation) he can buy himself out of the contract when there are two season remaining. Man U could end up with diddly squat. What SAF should have done was state in a press conference “we don’t want to sell Ronaldo to anybody, but if he wants to go the price is no less than £100 million pounds”. That way, it would have kept Ronaldo on side and kept Real away. But instead SAF has got all emotional like he has done over the years and indignant that there may be a bigger club than Man U and now he won’t be able to save face.

    Ronaldo - The bottom line is Ronaldo wants to play for his boyhood dream club and be nearer to his home / his mother. That does seem be a plausible reason for leaving, but despite being considered the best player in the world you can’t have your cake and eat it. He recently signed an extension on his contract to receive a pay rise which means that Man Utd can charge what they want for him and control Ronaldos destiny. You pays your money and takes your choice.

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  • 135. At 12:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, bigphil4chel wrote:

    rvn10 are u sure they did that with rooney and everton i don`t think so

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  • 136. At 12:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    RVN_10 is talking pants.

    Utd stalk players and use the clubs grand status to tease players then when the situsation becomes untenable put in a bid.

    Example of this - see Micahel carrick!!!

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  • 137. At 1:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, MikeParkin wrote:

    United should be looking for at least 100Million.

    Real will make that 70Mil back in less than 2 seasons....just look at what Beckham did -
    £25Mil from shirt sales alone.

    100Million also sets a hell of a bench-mark.

    Besides, Real can afford to pay whatever..the King of Spain will always help...being a Real fan.

    And if Ronaldo were to move and stay there til he's like 30, they'll make ½ a billion.

    I personally hope he doesn't go until after this coming season at least.

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  • 138. At 1:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, RVN_10 wrote:

    Michael Carrick?

    You're having a luagh.

    Google it. United made repeated bids for the player. The club are obliged to communicate those bids for the player.

    I'll ask the qestion again. What's Real Madrid''s current offer for Ronaldo?

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  • 139. At 1:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, Pete wrote:

    I'm a Liverpool fan and don't bear a whole lot of love for Man U.
    That said I have found it hard not to be awe-inspred by Ronaldo's form.
    My little brother (also a Liverpool fan), on the other hand, has always maintained that Ronaldo is a little **** who deserves no praise whatsoever.
    Looks like he was right all along.

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  • 140. At 1:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, thewestley wrote:

    i can understand everything that is said by most of the people here.

    as a united fan i dont think we play this game to teams that are equal to us.

    real madrid may be a little bigger than us in terms of history but we are current english and european champions so at the minute we are a bigger and better team (just)

    the teams that are talked about in the blog (eg evertons rooney deal) everton were better off selling wayne. wayne was better moving to a bigger club united are better with wayne.

    i think it comes down to loyalty or lack of in ronaldo's case. he is not a slave beacuse he signed a contact saying he was going to stay at united for 4 years. i dont blame ronaldo for comming out and saying he would like to play for real madrid one day. well thats a lie i do but i always knew this was going to happen cos he said the day he signed that "spain is better for me (figo told him) cos of the way i play but im happy to play for man utd" so we knew that one day he was going to leave.

    but he is 23 he owes united 3 more years of 40 goals a season. where were real madrid when he had that spat with the whole of england and he said that he wasnt going back to england and he was going to move to spain and then barcelona and real went no thanks and he stayed. 2 years on and he is the best player in the world all of sudden real want him.

    they should keep there nose out. real give him nothing that united cant.

    who is a better manager SAF or Bernd Schuster well at the minute its SAF. and looking back on the passed 20 years united have had 1 manager where as real treat managers like tramps.

    ronaldo has peed off a lot of united fans and i for 1 would like to think of ronaldo as the guy who scored 42 and got us messi with the transfer fee. than the player who messed us around and stayed 2 years when unhappy then moved to real madrid for 20 mill when we could have got 70 mill.

    goodbye ronaldo its been good hope it goes the way of pear

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  • 141. At 1:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    This is exactly what Real Madrid were hoping for. A huge backlash against Ronaldo from United fans.

    THIS WHOLE SITUATION HAS BEEN ENGINEERED TO REDUCE THE PRICE OF RONALDO.

    Real can not afford him - they havn't even put an offer in, and Ronaldo hasnt put in a transfer request (as this would result in him missing out on a bonus).

    They were hoping that SAF would bite at Blatters (honoury member of Real Madrid - see FIFA.com archives) comments. He hasn't.

    In fact, SAF's silence is deafening.

    Im sure SAF would happily sell him to Real for his true value (£75m), as would I, but its now obvious they can't afford him.

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  • 142. At 1:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, oisinos wrote:

    Ronaldo's words: "I'd like to play for Real Madrid but only if it's true they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them,"

    If Man Utd up their asking price to £200m, Real will not be willing to pay. Then it will not be true that "they are ready to pay what Manchester United ask of them".

    And if they call United's bluff, so what £200m is a nice transfer kitty... ;)

    "ONLY" is the operative word here. Ronaldo's statement was definitely conditional.

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  • 143. At 1:04pm on 11 Jul 2008, The Chelsea Fan wrote:

    As a Chelsea fan I see this as a win-win for us. In fact, I'd prefer it if Ronaldo stays. Such dissension in the ranks can only be good for Utd's opponents.

    Still, on the other hand Utd fans are fickle. There were rumblings they didn't want him after the Rooney affair.... but they all changed their mind sharpish when he started scoring goals for them....

    So basically, Utd fans will moan now, but will quickly get over it once the season starts.

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  • 144. At 1:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, arshavin101 wrote:

    great article phil.

    im a die hard united fan and i cannot stand ronaldo. he should be proud to play for us and he obviously isnt. i would be more than happy to cash in on him now while madrid want him cus in all seriousness he wont ever play as good as he did last season and with the young talent we have at united, the likes of nani, anderson, tevez and rooney(who i rate A LOT higher than ronaldo anyway) we would not miss the cry baby. also if ronaldo does leave hopefully that will give us a lot more respect where diving and playacting is concerned because watchin him play for portugal at euro 2008 its clear to see what he does, whereas i admit to watchin with a biased for when he plays for united.

    remember when beckham and van nistelrooy moved to madrid, everyone thought we would suffer and we clearly didnt. like you said phil, we were champions before and we will be champions after.

    the future is good for us and hopefully ronaldo will NOT be part of it as he does not deserve the privilege of playin for us and in the famous number 7 shirt.

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  • 145. At 1:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hughesie wrote:

    I am in agreement with alot of this article.

    The actions of Sepp Blatter once again confirm that the FIFA is being run by a man who has little understanding of the private affairs of club football and therefore an inept understanding of the fundamentals of PR management. This, in a position where you are supposed to be looked-up to, is incredible - and it also makes his stance untenable. The Ronaldo comments are not, alone, enough to have him ousted, but I am fed up of this man interfering in club football matters.

    Michel Platini is beginning to look like a similarly moulded individual - no direct disrespect to his illustrious playing career. The decisions regarding the awarding of EURO 2012 are baffling for everyone - Poland may be able to deal with it, the Ukraine clearly cannot - but regardless, we are giving showpiece football to nations that will seriously struggle to effectively represent them. Switzerland did extremely well to host EURO 2008 - it could have been a real fiasco (and at times it really was). The concept of UEFA's showpiece tournament being played in stadia no larger than 40,000 odd is remarkable to me.

    With regards to Ronaldo, this is exactly what I expected when he started to hit the heights during the season. Before Juan 'Come and let me make my comment about nothing to do with me' Calderon got involved or stated his interest, I expected Ronaldo to no longer grace the Premiership by the 2009/2010 season. Players like Ronaldo seem to gravitate to La Liga (and I'm a little confused as to why). I see no reason why players are so obsessed to play for club in a league where 2-3 poor matches results in serious verbal abuse by fans. The money may be better but we have all seen that the quality of football in the Premiership is better and the fans certainly know what the real meaning of loyalty and understanding is. As an Arsenal fan I am quite stunned we have not been forced over a table by Barca/Real for Cesc Fabregas. He has stated he would love to play in Spain one day, and everyone knows Hispanic players, if they their homelands early, want to return to play there. However, I see something quite Anglicised in Cesc. He joined as a 16 year old and all he knew was London and the UK and the Premiership - look at him now - he elected to take the 5th Penalty in a EURO semi-final for heaven's sake! He is what I hope future foreign stars follow in terms of loyalty. I am of no doubt we will lose him one day - but I would sincerely hope it would be towards the latter stages of his career (although some trophies will only prevent him leaving sooner!) but the man (not boy!) has class. He respects the club, the fans and he's honest. YES - Ronaldo admitted his 'dream' of playing for Real - but we know he's playing the media merrygoround in order to increase the inertia needed on him to fling him to Planet Galactico!

    I will not miss him. United will struggle a bit without him, based on the unfeasibly monumental contribution he made to their season last year - but there is no doubt in my mind they will move on.

    This country is graced with the best managers and, certainly to my mind, the best fans in world football. We are supported almost everywhere we go (except a winter break might be nice, eh?). We pay our players handsomely (some a little extravagantly *Chelsea*) but we are stable, we are strong and we are respected.

    Ronaldo - it's time to move on mate - you've spoiled your reputation, you're spoiling our league - we'd rather watch players who earn their money and respect the clubs that make them.

    Finally - I really hope Blatter never mentions contracts again. Football is literally wandering blindly through a more serious sequence of legal situations where contracts are being less and less enforced. Whilst no one wants to keep player that do not want to play for them anymore - players have to be responsible for THEIR desires to leave. Something has got to give with footballing contracts and fees. Paying anything about £40 million for Ronaldo is excessive (and even that, in the real world, is ridiculous) but the money being touted for him now really worries me. It sets a precedent, a benchmark for 'quality' - and if that is a benchmark value for a player of Ronaldo's 'quality' then I think we are all going to have a take a VERY hard look at ourselves, sit around a table and take world football into a direction away from financial meltdown.

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  • 146. At 1:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, kinglofthouse wrote:

    First off as a United fan I say let him go. The "boy" because that's what he is, is unhappy and that will be translated in to his performances.

    However I take issue with all these reckless valuations and overhype of a very good but not "great" player. The words "best in the world" are bandied about without any thought. He is NOT the best in the world, far from it. He is NOT worth 70m quid let alone stupid talk of 100m.

    He acts like a spolied brat. I hate his attitude which is an insult to his team mates and the club and fans who supported him. No going back now IMHO.

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  • 147. At 1:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, the_mighty_coop wrote:

    I agree with pretty much everything Phil says apart from the transfer fee.

    People have estimated that Ronaldo will bring in approx €240m in increased revenue for Madrid if he signs.

    United's transfer fee or compensation should reflect that. I hope United try to keep hold of some percentage of his image rights as Ronaldo has built his image on United's stage.

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  • 148. At 1:10pm on 11 Jul 2008, Thrawldo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 149. At 1:11pm on 11 Jul 2008, reasoneddebate wrote:

    bioChelseaW

    Actually it was England fans criticising Ronaldo after the World Cup. Most United fans recognised (correctly) that England always need a scapegoat for their lamentable international performances, and more often than not it turns out to be someong connected with United (Beckham, Phil Neville, Ronaldo/Rooney, McClaren).

    One of the many reasons why we feel Ronaldo owes us a little loyalty.

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  • 150. At 1:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    The greatest player in the world wants to play for the greatest club in the world.

    He wants to live in Madrid, not Manchester.

    He has no allegiance nor a second thought for Utd.

    Who can blame him?

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  • 151. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, kinglofthouse wrote:

    Hughsie
    Good post mate. Fabregas is a credit to his club and himself-a fine young man and an excellent player-still only 21 seems amazing saying that as he has been around for ages.

    I honestly feel that Ronaldo has already "been sold" and all this pontificating is just normal transfer business.

    One thing I will guarantee is that an English club will win the CL next year. Real will win squat in Europe. They are sh1ite.

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  • 152. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Rocky_Racoon wrote:

    If Ronaldo want's to leave he should put in a formal transfer request.

    If he doesn't put in a transfer request you would have to assume he doesn't want to leave.

    Also i don't ever recall Man Utd's Chairman making a comment a day in the papers about a player at another club, or saying the other club should be honored to sell their players to Man Utd.

    There is a difference in the way Madrid are behaving and the way a team would usually chase a player.

    You should really know that.

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  • 153. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Gerryneef wrote:

    Firstly.

    Blatter and Platini, obvious bias against the Premier league, leagues in their home nations are poor. Both have too many opinions on issues they needs to keep their noses out of. They are obviously out of their depth in these jobs. Both these guys got where they are by lobbying( a** licking).

    Now the real issue. Ronaldo. An excellent player, skilful, fast, mercurial and from recent comments a complete plonker, selfish, egotistical, disloyal.
    Sell him for a trunk load of money to Real Madrid and go and look for the next 'big thing'. He has burnt his bridges this time and lost respect from loyal fans who pay hard earned cash to pay his 'slave' wages.
    No player is bigger than the club (except if you are Barry Ferguson).

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  • 154. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, gers76 wrote:

    Ronaldo is behaving very clever with saying everything except I want to go if the move does not happen blame the media for twisting his words. Real Madrid while they are a wonderful club the way they do business is a disgrace just the same as they did with Ronaldo when he left internanazionale to join them in 2002. Agreeing with Mr. Blatter is stupid as the man is and has been a disgrace for many years plus Portugal were a very major contributor when slaves were brought into Europe from parts of Africa. The money that Sir Alex will get from Ronaldo sale to will help him find the next superstar and he can spend the last couple of years before his retirement nurturing that talent.

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  • 155. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Koftanaw wrote:

    We may all agree that Ronaldo is good player but he is no more good for ManUtd. He showed that he is not committed to the club and even is dragging them for controversy "disturbing" potential celebration of their Champions leage victory. He should not be allowed to stay at Untd because he has repeatedly said that he prefers the success of another club than Untd.
    He played excellent one season and he may think he is above any one. But we have to note that he was good at the expense of Rooney. There is no way and logic that a winger scores over 40 without a close assist from other players, mainly forwards. He scored more goals because Rooney allowed him to takeup his place - no way that he could have done that if the foreward was "selfish" and wated to score for himself. Rooney prefers victory for the club than score many and he usually tracks back to assist midfielders and defenders. Ronaldo rarely does that (during Champions league final was betterl), even does little to rectify his mistakes. That means that if Rooney is told to focus on attacking role and gets more of the ball from midfield, I don't see any reason why he can not score more than Ronaldo. Ronaldo was useless during Euro 2008 because there was no one like Rooney to allow roam around the box.
    Now that he made it clear that he is not interested in United and his teammates, means he should go. Let those guys pay for him, not less than 80 million and lets see when he changes he football in Spain.

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  • 156. At 1:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Last season Utd were a one man team - without him they would have won no trophies!

    Do they posess strikers who score goals or do they rely on Ronaldo to do it for them? Erm let me think...........

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  • 157. At 1:14pm on 11 Jul 2008, Butch Clown's villainous uncle Claude wrote:

    I completely disagree with Phil McN about the idea of letting Ronaldo go and indeed wish a football club would actually live up their threats to let a player rot in the reserves rather than let them go to another club.

    The power's all with the players, which makes Blatters comments all the more unbelievable, and if Man Utd actually did punish Christiano by simply letting him sit out the season (and he clearly doesn't have the club's interests at hearts, so why not?) it might actually help shift this balance, being such a high profile case. Leeds Utd had a chance to do this a few years ago when Harry Kewell joined Liverpool, but they pathetically caved in. I'm no Man Utd fan, but I'd 'love it' if they got tough with Ronaldo. Brilliant player, yes, but also a turncoat little oik.

    And as for Sepp Blatter? I can't decide whether he or Gordon Brown is the bigger liability...

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  • 158. At 1:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To forshaw1970...if it is all as simple as you suggest (he wants to live and play in Madrid), Ronaldo should come out and say this - and then put in a transfer request.

    Is it that difficult?

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  • 159. At 1:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Gers_76 is right. Spend it on a player and make him the best in the world. Then sell him on to Real AGAIN.

    Makes me laugh that Utd cannot hang on to their best players!!

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  • 160. At 1:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, bobbythehatter wrote:

    People seem to forget that in all this transfer chatter and gossip that Ronaldo is Portugese and he wants to go to a Spanish club...

    Many Spanish friends of mine can't stand him for that very reason, so sell him now for megabucks and let's see how he survives in Madrid !

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  • 161. At 1:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    To Nameonthetrophy:
    First of all I'll admit I'm not a United fan however I am critical of my club/manager when I believe they are wrong (M. Wenger's myopia for example)
    I am not saying that two wrongs make a right but the implications of what you're saying are that Fergie does it differently therefore it's not a problem. Fergie bullies smaller clubs and taps players up. Both are wrong and both must be stopped. This is not an anti-Man Utd opinion, I just believe in fair play.
    People are happy about the turmoil at Man Utd for 2 reasons.
    1. Because they don't like them.
    2. Because of the hypocracy of SAF in this.

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  • 162. At 1:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    forshaw1970 - ignorant view. Said the same after Best, Law, Hurd, Cole, Beckham, VanNistelrooy...e.t.c. Someone else will come in a replace him as history has proven.

    United still would have had a very good chance on both fronts. But I really don't understand these comments though? You could say that about anything.....

    'If Ferguson wasn't there....'
    'If you hadn't of signed Cantona....'
    'If Keane had of gone to Blackburn....'
    'If Robins hadn't scored in the FA Cup....'

    All if's and but's - fact is Fergie saw the potential and signed him - rest is history or the opinion of a bitter fan.

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  • 163. At 1:19pm on 11 Jul 2008, giggsservant wrote:

    As a lifelong Utd supporter i can understand the frustartion other fans have with the ronaldo situation - namely that it hurts that a utd player wants to leave our great club and in doing so shows that he doesnt share our love for utd.

    As a realist then i'm less inclined to chastise him as simply he loves another more. Our frustatration is that as much as we have enjoyed our relationship and took pleasure from it, Ronaldo always considered us a short term affair - as he embraced us, he looked over our shoulders at another.

    So what can we do? we have to say 'go' as we cant keep hold of one who wants another - besides who wants a relationship with someone who clearly regards you as a stop gap until he can be paired with his 'real' love?. To most, and to all utd fans, it is an insult, a betrayal.

    - How do we let him go? well first there has to be a declaration of love for the other and the other has to respond in kind. Publicly and privately this has happened with Ronaldo and Real openly courting - the world knows their secret!.

    In professional terms this needs to be equated with Ronaldo asking Utd for a transfer. If he does this then Utd will have no option but to let him go. Secondly there has to be takers - Real Madrid have to make an offer that is acceptable to Utd. In time this will happen, we cant hold him against his will and shouldnt want to - it is not any way for a club to remain healthy.

    So he goes and another comes, someone who may become a fan and share our love for utd - this is what all fans want, players who genuinely develop a love for the club and for us, the fans.

    Someone like Paul Scholes, a better player than ronaldo, a better professional than ronaldo and probably to us all, even a better man. A man who supports Oldham Athletic, who may even love them as much as we love utd. But a smaller club. So Scholesy played for us and won with us and we love him.

    Footballers are in the most mercenary - otherwise wouldnt they all play for the club they support? I Know as Utd fan that if i were good enough i would only want to play for Utd - if they wanted me that is.

    Our bad luck and Real Madrids good fortune is that Ronaldo is a fan of theirs.

    So we wont love Ronaldo like we love Sir Bobby, Robbo, Eric, Scholesy, Giggsy and Rooney. Does Ronaldo care? i dont think so, he loves another.

    And yes other players declare an interest in utd (when we're on top) and some may even be utd fans. Likewise when we want aplayer we do what we can to get them here - ask Jaap Stam. So Big fish eat little fish and so on.

    but no one is bigger than the club and the club goes on.


    Glory Glory Man utd.

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  • 164. At 1:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, cparsonstrucking wrote:

    I hate Man United, I really do. But I hate greedy footballers more. Ever since the Premier League started it's own money printing practice, the greed of the players has gotten worse. It would be a dream for Ronaldo to play for Madrid?.....why?. I thought players wanted to play for the best team(s) in the world? Right now, I would not place Madrid in the top 7 or 8 teams in the world. I would sign for Lyon before I signed for Madrid, but, I'm not a slave so I have freedom of choice, unlike CR who apparantly is being forced to play for United and has no choice but to sign for Madrid. But so goes the trend of modern footballers....Anelka has done it, Essien did it...I could go on and on about the players who gleefully sign the BIGGEST contract of their lives only to turn around a few years later and refuse to play, or whatever, until they get a transfer. As a Liverpool fan I take pleasure in Ferguson getting irate and puffing out his chest because another club is having the nerve to use United's recruiting tactics, but, having said that we all know Ferguson is no mug either. Nani arrived last summer....replacement for Giggs?.....or clairvoiance on Ferguson's part?. I personally think it's the latter. Ronaldo will not be the same player for United, the damage is done so let him go to Madrid and get out of them what you can. Let Nani come in and fill the hole and sit back and watch Ronaldo get kicked off the pitch in Spain. If there is one thing you can say about continental defenders it is that they have no qualms at all about bodychecking (or worse) a flair player in order to stop him. And when Ronaldo is laid up injured in Madrid maybe he can think of the likes of Ray Kennedy and other GREAT players of the past who did not get paid like today's players and sometimes have had to sell winners medals so thay can live.

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  • 165. At 1:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Phil,

    I do not have an answer for your question.

    Ronaldo is a very shrewd guy. No doubt he will have his reasons for not being honest to the Utd fans.

    However, the one thing he owes Utd is honesty and a little integrity. Is he capable of it I doubt it. The guy is an ego on very good footballing legs and only cares for himself.

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  • 166. At 1:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, TheBeautifulGameJustTurnedUgly wrote:

    It's a shame that just when he is on the verge of greatness, he is becoming too big for the game - all that at such a young age. Therefore, it is probably in Man Utd's best interest to sell him.

    If Real value him as highly as they do in terms of marketing income, etc, I think £70m plus Sneijder, Ramos and van Nistelrooy is a realistic deal Ferguson should push for.

    Otherwise I'm all for not offering him a pay rise and letting him rot in the reserves. If he does commit to the club, however, I feel he'll be just as good as he was last season.

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  • 167. At 1:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, tomio84 wrote:

    I'm so happy United have finally got a taste of their own medicine.

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  • 168. At 1:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, KrawhithamOwl wrote:

    In the short-term it would appear financially stupid for Manchester United to 'force' a sulky Ronaldo to stay, however they may consider it a Loss Leader to stick him in the reserves for 4 years as a message that they will not be held to ransome.

    It might be many millions lost on this particlar deal, but may protect their assets in the long-term.

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  • 169. At 1:22pm on 11 Jul 2008, JosephSco wrote:

    I think it is ridiculous to compare Ronaldos situation and that of other footballers as slavery. Did he not sign a contract binding him to Manchester United like every other player does with a club and even agree to an extension since he signed for them?

    If he really wants to leave he can wait until he meets the allowed remaining time to buy out his contract but not before.Serves him right for being greedy and takng so many wage rises tied to contract years.

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  • 170. At 1:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    I hope 2 things happen. Ronaldo sods off to Madrid as he is a disgrace to the game, regardless of whether he is a product of the system. The second thing I would love to see is Sepp Blatter thrown on a ship and sent to the Carribean to explain how Ronaldo's situation is the same as the plight suffered by their people on the sugar plantations. Hopefully he wouldn't return and we could get a FIFA president who actually understands football.

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  • 171. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, tweedlehumphrey wrote:

    I have also defended him all summer and did not think for one minute that he would go. He needs to go now though. Ferguson has showed time and time again that he wont take this sort of crap from any player. I do agree that we would lose a lot of revenue in terms of shirt sales and the other endorsments he brings to the club, but Beckham was even bigger than this and we have done all right since he left!! Nani is the future, he has all the same attributes but just needs to mature a bit. With Ronaldo gone we could see him blossom into such a similar player(once his head is in the right place!!)

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  • 172. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, poleaxed100 wrote:

    Big Phil (McNut not Scolari) says Manu were champions without Runaldo and wont be also-rans without him. He fails to mention that if you deduct all the goals he scored for them last year Chelsea would be Champions and Manu would be........also rans!
    Personally I would love to see the cheating, disingenuous little twerp go away and let Chelsea get on with winning everything. Mind you with £70m burning a hole in his breeks old rednose SAF will surely be looking at the likes of Torres, Villa, Huntelaar, in fact he could probably afford all three and still be left with change for a case of his favourite red plonk......

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  • 173. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Nick wrote:

    Like some others have stated, he should be released for far more than 70 mil. Ronaldo is a marketing dream for Real Madrid and will recuperate that 70 mil in Shirt sales alone. 70 mil for Ronaldo is a bargain.

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  • 174. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    To RVN_10:
    You are just saying that the devious tactics used by Man Utd are different and therefore allowable. Well maybe you're right and they are different but they are still illegal. Tapping up Stam? Saying in the press about a player you admire to unsettle him? Hardly credible ethics .

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  • 175. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Razlah wrote:

    I would like to counter the tide of ignorance being directed at Sepp Blatter. I completely agree that if Christiano is forced to remain at Man Utd, regardless of what wage he will earn, that makes him a slave! If someone is forced to provide their labour, no matter what they receive in return, that person is a slave!

    I want to make it clear that I believe the average wage of the premiership footballer is beyond abhorent, but that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I completely support the liberty of any player to move where and when they wish, because this is a freedom that any other person, in any other line of work, would expect as a basic human right.

    The truth is that when a player signs a contract that should only be expected to provide financial compensation to a club in the event that the player in question wishes to leave. And this is a truth that 'sir' Alex is certainly aware of! You could ask any chairman or manager, and they would all tell you the same thing, that they do not expect the majority of their players to see out their contracts. What's more is that they probably don't even want them to! How many clubs try and shift players that they know will not sign new contracts, before the old contract expires so as to make some cash.

    Both players and clubs know the situation in regards to contracts and it is a situation that works in the favour of both parties. Man Utd's actions in this case once again exhibit their bullish tactics in regards to players and transfers and their petulant anger whenever they don't get their own way.

    I don't like Ronaldo and I think that his willingness to leave shows how little honour and integrity he has, but that does not mean that he should not be allowed to do what he wishes with his own labour.

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  • 176. At 1:27pm on 11 Jul 2008, uptownavondale wrote:

    I don't know why everyone is so outraged - Blatter and Ronaldo are perfectly right.

    It is only natural for talented players to want to develop their careers like anyone else. The same thinking should apply as in any other industry - all employees naturally want to move on and up, it is the natural way of the world.

    Just because an employer values an employee it doesn't mean they should have to stay there out of duty or be forced to be happy somewhere when they have greater ambitions (although I am sure SAF does not believe this).

    Ronaldo isn't breaking the law and if a transfer goes through it will all be through the legal means and Utd will be well compensated.

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  • 177. At 1:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, RONALDOMILESAHEAD wrote:

    Though i am a huge ronaldo fan.. Man Utd is always my no1 ! I think its time for roanldo to go he has done his bit for the club and lifted the champions trophy, fergie should just let go off him . as phil told we shod get 70-80m and sell him. Anyways this when beckham left we got ronaldo i am sure fergie will replace ronaldo with another superstar. Manutd no7 will always be the world's best!!!

    and blatter should stuff a shoe down his throat!!

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  • 178. At 1:29pm on 11 Jul 2008, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    Much as I love and admire the Portuguese lad, I can honestly say that I don't see him having the same impact for Madrid as he does for United.

    It's all a question of accomadation really. United's team is set up in such a way that Ronaldo can roam free and play with a great deal of autonomy. At Madrid, I believe he will NOT get the same amount of freedom to perform. This coupled with the other planet-sized egos in the Bernabeu dressing room will make Ronaldo's time at Madrid more miss than hit.

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  • 179. At 1:29pm on 11 Jul 2008, geoben wrote:

    Perhaps MU should let him go, but try to get over 80m for him, as Real Madrid will get that back in new shirt sales.

    But this will encourage RM to continue this method of player hunting, as MU did with Hargreaves.

    We will soon be in the position where players will want multiple moves every season to maximise their earning potential.

    Once they start challenging UEFA rules in EU courts, saying that they should be able to move more freely, and play in any competition for as many clubs as they want in each season.

    They will end up playing celebrity matches as one off money spinners, and it will descend into farce as 'circus coming to town'.

    Through the years players have been spending less and less time at each club, going on loan, and this trend will continue until the ultimate where they play a couple of matches before moving on.

    The Harlem Globetrotters would be the end result.

    Until UEFA and FIFA can bring in rules that can not be touched by EU, then this is where it will end up.

    Has Sepp Blatter ever had an opinion on anything that has ever made sense? The day I agree with him on any issue, I'll know it is time to call in medical assistance.

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  • 180. At 1:29pm on 11 Jul 2008, DT1901 wrote:

    To describe Ronaldo as a slave is an insult to the poor people through history dragged away in chains from their homes and also the people out there now that are kept as slaves.

    What Ronaldo has done is entered a legally binding contract which United are holding him to. If he did not want to be bound by a longer contract, he should have entered a lesser contract and excepted lesser personal terms.

    I am currently serving 12 weeks notive at work and i am having to come to work everyday and in return i get paid a nominal sum compared to Ronaldo, Should i call the police as i am being held in slavery!!

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  • 181. At 1:30pm on 11 Jul 2008, forshaw1970 wrote:

    Football is a mercenary sport, normally and certainly historically it has been the club who has had control. Let us remember some of the great players that Utd and Alex have weilded the axe on.

    It is somewhat an unusual circumstance that Utd find themselves in currently. I have always believed that no player is bigger than any club.

    Somehow Utd and more partuicularly Alex have become of victim of their own success. They have created this monster into the footballing genius he is and instilled in him that Utd attitude. That attitude that lacks any level of self-effacement that everybody despises.


    Time for Alex to let it go, have a wee dram and head into the transfer market with a pocket full of cash.

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  • 182. At 1:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To tomio84....this a recurring theme about Manchester United finally getting a taste of their own medicine.

    As I said, there may be one or two clubs and their supporters enjoying seeing United suffer like this.

    You cannot blame them for putting up a fight though - I just question whether he is actually worth the trouble any more given that he appears reluctant to commit himself to United.

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  • 183. At 1:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, canadianneil wrote:

    Let me get this straight, Blatter decides he'll use Ronaldo to take a stand on slavery. Where was he on the Tevez and Mascherano issue? However, United ought to make the deal. We hear what a business football has become, but too often managers sell low and buy high. Ronaldo will never have a better season; sell now.

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  • 184. At 1:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, BigNevsTache wrote:

    This is a good article. My only issue is with all the outraged responses. Is anyone actually surprised by the conduct of any party here?

    Real have a history of doing things like this. It's how they've set about geting all their top players (galactico's really, not ALL their top players) in recent years. It's not honourable and it wins you no fans but it does seem to work.

    Cristiano Ronaldo has always been supremely arrogant and it doesn't surprise me one bit that he's angling for this transfer (or an improved contract at utd). He's alienating himself at old trafford but, I sense, as long as he gets what he wants I don't think he'll care one bit.

    Sepp Blatter, well he's quite simply an idiot. The only surprise is that it's taken him so long to stick his oar in and make an idiot of himself. He really should be reprimanded for this. It is outstndingly bad behaviour.

    And, going back to the example of 'the biter bit' (in the main article) I agree with this totally. I'm an Everton fan and don't particularly hold up the example of Rooney as evidence in this case. It's true that Newcastle started that bid off and, understandably, Utd entered the race for the hottest young english talent around (though I disagree with the early post from equipe do som. Whether the money received by the club benefits that club is totally irrelevant. If i stole a car and the person from whom i stole it received more form the insurance than the car was worth, would that make the theft acceptable? Of course not). The case that does spring to mind is that of Dwight yorke. Although it was a bit more subtle, Utd blatantly unsetttled a player who was up to that point happy with his club and his role. Utd do this. Accept it. They're just a bit more subtle. For United to now come out as this poor injured party, I guess you reap what you sow.

    bottom line is that, unfortunately, there is little honour or loyalty these days in football. Hopefully, ronaldo will go for a massive fee and Real will embark on their usual course of managerial sackings and upheaval and Ronaldo will always look back with regret on leaving Utd.

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  • 185. At 1:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, greatnorth69 wrote:

    Re. 42 - the reason Ronaldo hasn't clearly said he wants to leave is that would cost him the millions of euros that he would get as part of the transfer if he doesn't initiate it. Just another sign that the guy ( like most modern footballers ) are motivated purely and simply by the money.

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  • 186. At 1:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, Gunning for the top wrote:

    5. At 11:29am on 11 Jul 2008, sarge98 wrote:

    What really annoys me in this whole saga is Ronaldo's claims that United owe him a transfer. Rubbish. United picked him from obscurity at Sporting
    ---------------------------------------

    Rubbish, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona all knew about him.

    The only reason he ended up at Man Utd was the fact that Man Utd had a first option on Sportings players.

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  • 187. At 1:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    There's an interesting theory from canadianneil....Ronaldo has hit his peak and will never have a better season and United should make the deal?


    Has he got a point?

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  • 188. At 1:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, steveg101 wrote:

    I find this whole subject sickening...
    That Blatter can make alike slavery and the career of a modern footbal disgusts me.

    Ronaldo, with his fifa respresentative and his agent, was able to negotiate a substantial salary and who knows what other demands in his contract.
    This does not sound too much like the sort of slavery I'm familiar with.

    Steve G

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  • 189. At 1:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, brengunthered wrote:

    The only thing that Ron is a slave to is that monumental ego of his, fed by the inane mutterings of some of our more well known commentators, one of which has the initials CT, and the usual floating Man Yoo fan base. And by the way no, Ron is not the best player in the world, the Euros blew that myth wide open once and for all, heck on those performances he isnt even the best player in Europe!

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  • 190. At 1:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, ILoveTheNHS wrote:

    He doesn't want to play for United any more, so I think Ferguson has got to sell him.

    I actually think it could be a blessing in disguise for United. I'd like to see them get Robinho as part of the deal as well as cash. Robinho, for me, is a better player. And, as Real seem to be willing to pull out all the stops to sign Ronaldo, how about Roysten Drenthe as part of the deal too?

    However, Blatter getting involved is appalling. For the president of Fifa to say players should be allowed to move whenever they wish is worrying for football. It is completely devaluing contracts - and club loyalty.

    But, it's time for Ronaldo to go. He isn't irreplaceable.

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  • 191. At 1:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, owls_going_up wrote:

    Such a shame he ahs turned out like this. I was a massive supporter of his for the way he appeared to grow up over the last few years. now this. What a little **** he is.

    Will be glad to see the back of him.

    But of equally big concern is Mr Blatter. Is it jsut me or does he take every available opportunity to take a swipe at this country or our clubs? I dont follow other countries closely enough to know, but does he do this to others as well. Or do him and Platini just have a vendetta against us?

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  • 192. At 1:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, Red Nosed Burglar wrote:

    As an England and United fan, one thing for sure... it will be so much easier to detest him now.

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  • 193. At 1:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, RVN_10 wrote:

    You are just saying that the devious tactics used by Man Utd are different and therefore allowable.
    __________________________

    United's devious tactics are over-stated. Sure, United are no angels, few clubs are, but by and large United play the game by the rules.

    The contact the club involved. They express their interest. They make a bid.

    The club then contacts the player and informs him of the bid. Sure papers will report on it, and maybe players will talk krap about dream moves, but there's no rule breaking in that.

    Buying players is allowed. There's a procedure. One aspect of that procedure is making an offer of money for the player.

    Madrid have been talking about Ronaldo for over a year. I'll ask the question for a third time. What is Madrid's current offer for Ronaldo?

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  • 194. At 1:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    If i stole a car and the person from whom i stole it received more form the insurance than the car was worth, would that make the theft acceptable? Of course not)

    BigNevsTache
    ____________________

    What a muppet! No-one "stole" anybody. United offered Everton a shed load of money for Rooney, and they took it. No crime took place.

    Bear in mind that Madrid haven't actually offered United one penny for Ronaldo - preferring instead to conduct their shabby business through their shabby newspaper.

    Always remember that this is the club that got General Franco to annul Alfredo Di Stefano's transfer to Barcelona so that they could get him instead! Dishonesty is woven into the very fabric of Real Madrid.

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  • 195. At 1:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    172. At 1:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, poleaxed100 wrote:

    Big Phil (McNut not Scolari) says Manu were champions without Runaldo and wont be also-rans without him. He fails to mention that if you deduct all the goals he scored for them last year Chelsea would be Champions and Manu would be........also rans!
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Sure, but thats assuming united went the entire season using only 10 players! Why would they do that?

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  • 196. At 1:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, gunnerluc wrote:

    Man U should sell the arrogant prat and I don't say that coz I'm a gooner but because as said in the article a bitter ronaldo at united will be a liability! the funniest thing is as the real player already stated ronaldo moving to madrid will just unsettle the team as he will earn much more than any other than them and is he really mch better than sneider, ramos, raul,...? I don't thing so and therefore they won't play for him as man U player did so he may be a rich slave in madrid but not a happy one and surely he won't score as many goal as he did last season!! Madrid will be the losing side of the bargain financially and sportingly!!

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  • 197. At 1:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, ronaldoeatmyshorts wrote:

    Both Blatter and "potentially" Ronaldo (just for you Phil) should be ashamed of themselves for likening footballers to slaves. Perhaps they should try being forced to do a job they don't want to do for a pittance to give themselves some perspective on just how obscene their comment is!

    Yeah, I'll miss Ronaldo tearing down the wing. But, then again, I worried that United wouldn't win a thing atfer Cantona announced his retirement. And Cantona was a bigger loss to us than Ronaldo will be. A top notch striker and a quality midfielder should more than compensate for the loss of our questionably "best" player. Though, on that score I'd put a lot more of our success last season down to the form of Ferdinand and Vidic.

    As said elsewhere in this thread. He has no respect for United. He has no respect for Ferguson. He has no respect for the iconic number 7 shirt we gave him. Time to go.

    I'm just hoping that Spain play Portugal in the next world cup and Ronaldo uses some of his sportsmanship on one of his Real team mates. Let's just see if the Real fans are as forgiving as the United ones!

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  • 198. At 1:44pm on 11 Jul 2008, maccarelly wrote:

    So a contract is not worth anything nowadays? If united were to stand up against this 'evil' they would be surely be left a little out of pocket, an unhappy player and Blatter threatening to break him out.

    Makes sense to sell him, he doesn't want to play for United, give Madrid a take it or leave it quote. It's the barry transfer saga just on the european scale.

    Anyways with the £70 million, I would buy Sergio Ramos, Huntelaar and Messi (I can dream!)

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  • 199. At 1:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, cjlkeating wrote:

    As an employee I, like the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom, am bound by a contract which prevents me from upping and leaving whenever I choose. Like everyone else I have obligations to fulfil and a notice period to abide by and would never dream of comparing a situation where I undertake a job of my choice, am paid an agreed salary and am protected from unfair treatment by various bodies as well as domestic and European law to the known horrors of slavery. It is clear that neither Ronaldo nor football's governing bodies have found nothing onerous or unreasonable in his current contract and he was fully aware of the terms when signing the agreement

    It is difficult under normal circumstances to sympathise with a man who receives a far greater wage per year than most people can hope to earn in a lifetime in addition to numerous benefits, privelages and preferrential working hours, in light of his continued bleating it is impossible.

    Ronaldo's behaviour and Blatter's comments are disrespectful not only to victims of slavery both past and present but also to the millions of fans who pay out a large percentage of their weekly wage to watch him play. I for one can't wait to see the back of him, I only hope that Manchester United milk Real for all he's worth.

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  • 200. At 1:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    It is disgusting the amount of Liverpool fans on here saying United deserve this treatment for the way they have behaved in the transfer market in the past.

    I think Rafa has attempted to unsettle two players this summer, possibly more, with his revealing targets to the press.

    Mind you he is right out of the Madrid academy. Fergie tends not to ever speak to the press about targets unless bids have been rejected or accepted.

    The hypocrasy of Liverpool fans is ridiculous especially the day after Rafa has attempted to destabilize Robbie Keane.

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  • 201. At 1:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    Also everyone talking about his amazing contributions, his assists fell from a good 23 in 2006/07 season to 7 in 2007/08.

    Perhaps he had already become selfish and everyone else was working towards the Ronaldo show.

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  • 202. At 1:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, Things were better under Harold Wilson wrote:

    One thing that, I feel, has been over-looked is whether Real really need Ronaldo.

    It is now an article of faith amongst the senior figures at the club to decry the 'galacticos' era. The utter failure of Barca when - for reasons best known to themselves - they adopted the discredited policy with Ronaldinho, Henry, Eto, Deco et al - of their rivals seems to show to the Spanish that packing a team with hugely expensive foreign signings is not the way.

    Raul is a given at Real. Robinho is not safe - obviously. They will need to buy.

    Why they are not going for players who brought Spain the European Champioship - like David Villa, like Senna, like Torres (and I know he played for Atletico before somebody accuses me of stupidity; they've signed Barca players before) - is a mystery to me.

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  • 203. At 1:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, jezzygooner wrote:

    The slavery comment just shows that football is divorced from the real world and that it seems to engender selfishness rather than integrity. But perhaps that's just the sad state of society any way!! It wouold be funny if there was a backlash to the increasingly obscene amounts of money at the higher levels by people staying away or demonstrating (just as they have been doing over fuel prices) but the clubs and players have us by the proverbials because we love the game.

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  • 204. At 1:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, jonny25green wrote:

    Football nowadays has gone loopy. Hopefully there will be a correction soon like that currently afflicting the housing market. The sums of money currently washing around in football have become obscene and what really grates is the knowledge that it's going into the pockets of some pretty awful spoilt brats - even the older ones who should know better. What happened to the "beautiful game" - it got hijacked by the unscrupulous. Time to blow the whistle methinks, cancel the Sky subs, stop buying the paraphenalia proprogated by the clubs to rip off their fans and find something else to do on a Saturday afternoon - if only!! Things can't go on like this surely!?

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  • 205. At 1:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    To : RVN_10
    Surely you can sustitute the words in "Madrid have been talking about Ronaldo for over a year" with Man Utd and Hargrieves.

    I agree with you that a lot of clubs do it however I don't think that United's are over-stated. SAF has a bad track record, however he has been hard done by with this one. I for one will not be shedding any crocodile tears (mainly as I can't stand Man Utd ) . However I do feel that Ronaldo is a being a ****.
    UEFA/FIFA/FA need to clear up this mess of a transfer system. In no other work do you sign a contract to 5 years and cannot get out of it. The Bosman ruling was a good one, maybe we need another. Though my faith in any of the above three organisations to fix it is limited.

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  • 206. At 1:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, Dave wrote:

    The fist thing should be that blatter should make a full apology to all the family's of people whose life was affected by slavery and the next thing sack him on the spot

    as suspected a little man with no moral and no brain

    next sell cr for 100 mill which should be payed in full so madrid go into massif debt
    so platini plans will be scraped

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  • 207. At 1:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, jmurf27 wrote:

    I agree united should get rid of him but i would rather see him go on a free transfer to barca than 120 million or whatever to real, Just to prove a point.

    United have just won the champions league and preimer league, they DONT need the money. With the prize money and tv money ect. they could probably afford any player in the world thats available (except mabey Messi and Kaka). Debt or no debt they are a global organisation and are not going anywhere.

    Why not spend more money scouting the next Ronaldo minus the ego.

    And as for Sepp Blatter he's like the George Bush of football. How do such idiots get to such positions???

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  • 208. At 1:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, GBH4UTD wrote:

    I am a long-standing season ticket holder at united and whilst I have enjoyed watching Ronaldo play it is time to get rid.

    United should offer him to Barcelona at a fee significantly less than anything they are prepared to accept from Real and then lets see how Mr Calderon appreciates that.

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  • 209. At 1:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    The utter failure of Barca when - for reasons best known to themselves - they adopted the discredited policy with Ronaldinho, Henry, Eto, Deco et al - of their rivals seems to show to the Spanish that packing a team with hugely expensive foreign signings is not the way.


    Interspur
    ___________________________


    Utter failure?

    They won the league and champions league double with Ronaldinho et al. Ok, it went a bit wrong this season, but yours is still a pretty daft statement by any standards.

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  • 210. At 1:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    If you deduct all of Ronaldo's goals? What sort of an argument is that?

    You could go through every top team in Europe playing that game - utterly pointless.

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  • 211. At 1:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, RVN_10 wrote:

    Surely you can sustitute the words in "Madrid have been talking about Ronaldo for over a year" with Man Utd and Hargrieves.

    ___________________________

    But Manchester United made repeated bids for the player. Just as in the Liverpoool/Barry saga. As I recall, all of the hoo-haa was subsequent to United's bids.

    Look, United are no angels, I'm sure Carrick was sounded out etc.

    But there IS a difference here. Madrid have talked, talked and talked about Ronaldo, but haven't offered a sausage for him.

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  • 212. At 1:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, i_am_mikewedderburn wrote:

    How does Mr Blatter keep his job. This isn't the first time he's gone on the record with damaging ill-thought comments.

    As Phil rightly points out what kind of message do his comments out coming in the current climate of disproportionate player power and murky agents, bungs, worthless contracts.

    The President of the worlds footballing body must surely be a little more tactful. What is he doing to correct this or does he beleives its correct??? ...."footballers do what you want, sign a contract today and demand a transfer tomorrow and if your club won't let you go you'll have my full support..."

    Phil the world already has gone mad.

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  • 213. At 1:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, nanaloa2001 wrote:

    I'd love for him to stay but then again his staying might not augur well for team morale.The difference between great footballers and great humans is crystal clear.Totti is one of the best ever but he neva went back on Roma despite the huge amounts he was tempted with.Even Essien pledged his loyalty to Chelsea after Inter signed Mourinho.Goodbye Ronaldo.Your departure would be good for us as others would be spurned to achieve more to prove not United is bigger than u.100 million plus Robinho.

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  • 214. At 1:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, wonderfulwollongong wrote:

    You're right on the money Phil ! The club / team is always bigger than the player !

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  • 215. At 1:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, Matt wrote:

    I am quite worried about the fact Sepp Blatter seems to have some chip on his shoulder about the English game.

    He needs to stop intefering with matters that don't concern him and do his job.

    I am a Newcastle fan by the way and even I'm rather annoyed by his actions. Of course I hope Ronaldo leaves, for one it will dampen my brother's ridiculous notion that Man Utd can win the premiership next season, (everyone knows it's King Kev's turn) and for two, it would allow spiderman to become the midfielder in the country.

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  • 216. At 1:57pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    205. At 1:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, TonyByers wrote:
    To : RVN_10
    Surely you can sustitute the words in "Madrid have been talking about Ronaldo for over a year" with Man Utd and Hargrieves.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    But United actually made the club an offer for Hargreaves. This is the point RVN_10 has been trying to make.

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  • 217. At 1:57pm on 11 Jul 2008, CannuckMackem wrote:

    Let's just make this crystal clear.

    Ronaldo is a spoiled brat who clearly does not believe that when you make a promise you're supposed to keep it.

    Blatter thinks the same way. So how on earth he got to be where he is today with those values is probably a story worth hearing! Which no doubt we will - some day.

    And as for Calderon, he's exactly the same as the other two but with a heavy dose of self-serving mischief. Does he really believe that throwing daily quotes to the press about player he covets but who is under contract to another club is not "tampering"? Does he think we're all idiots? No - he knows exactly what he's doing, and he's probably going to get away with it - because of Blatter.

    Ronaldo is not a modern day slave (what an insult to real slaves). He's had full control of his destiny and has been paid handsomely for every free decision he's made along the way. Show me a slave who signed a contract!

    I wouldn't trust Ronaldo, Blatter or Calderon as far as I could throw them.

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  • 218. At 1:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, Republik of Mancunia wrote:

    Its definately time to let him go, we dont need someone who doesnt want to be at United. We've recovered from bigger losses and we'll bounce back from this too.

    Im not even bothered if we dont get any cash, i'll take Sneijder, Ramos and Casillas in exchange please. Oh, but if it is a cash deal, lets have it all up front, none of this £x million after x games nonsense.

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  • 219. At 1:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, Scholes = God wrote:

    "2. It will be nice to see Utd get the same treatment as they've given other clubs over previous years as you say Phil."


    Typical Liverpool fan having a dig at United wherever possible. You're acting like United are the only club that prize away players for money.

    Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal do it to. The difference is we have another attraction. Trophies.

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  • 220. At 1:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, dacious wrote:

    I agree entirely, just get rid and fleece Madrid, if he doesnt want to be at Old Trafford, i dont want him in my team

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  • 221. At 2:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    Also Phil would it not be worth a mention that Blatter is an honorary member of Real Madrid in this article. Does this not throw light on to quite how corrupt the president of FIFA actually is

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  • 222. At 2:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    'If you deduct all of Ronaldo's goals? What sort of an argument is that?

    You could go through every top team in Europe playing that game - utterly pointless.'

    Totally never understand these comments. I used to hear people say it about Henry when he was at Arsenal - it made the Gooners potty, and rightfully so - utterly moronic.

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  • 223. At 2:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    Sorry meant to say 'totally agree'.

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  • 224. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    RVN_10:
    Ok, I can see your point about talking and not offering.
    I suppose what I'd like to see is a properly enforced law to prevent clubs unsettling players (Real, Man Utd and even my beloved Arsenal who I'll admit are no angels either). Actually the rules are probably already there but the big clubs are more powerful than the FA/UEFA/FIFA so they get away with it.

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  • 225. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, catfastic wrote:

    2 probables to sort out 1. have real got the cash they brag about being able to pay? probably NOT they are relying on sponsorship and payments in lieu 2 As they want to play Ronnie in the European cup he has to be registered before end SAugust as he is injured do they want to risk him Probably not
    Suggest Man U himt em for 80 Mill CASH up front they will argue and should lose job sorted

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  • 226. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, slavekingronaldo wrote:

    i have just had a vision real madrid are coming for slave king ronaldo who shackled
    alongside his other slaves of manchester utd
    sit on a hill defeated after a long season
    emperor calderon calls out for ronaldo

    I AM RONALDO A VOICE CRIES

    the real ronaldo steps forward signs a
    mega contract waves his fellow slaves to there deaths and rides of into the sunset

    i think we can make a movie out of this

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  • 227. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, Daddo9 wrote:

    All as boring as The Tevez affair. Why don't they all get back in their boxes during summer.

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  • 228. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, Imagine Reason wrote:

    Remember how you took Benitez's public valuation for Crouch at face value? You're doing the same with ManU's valuation of Ronaldo.

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  • 229. At 2:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Scholes = God...fair point about other clubs doing this - United are certainly not alone when it comes to the transfer market.

    But there seems a lot of pleasure around that they are on the receiving end this time.

    Is this fair or hypocrisy?

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  • 230. At 2:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, ronaldoeatmyshorts wrote:

    He plays on the left,
    He plays on the right,
    That boy Ronaldo,
    His morals are sh**e!

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  • 231. At 2:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, palmer77 wrote:

    Boo Hoo poor ronnie some spat his toys out and run off with his dolly, let him go he was a good player know he is another premadona along with all the other Real team.
    I loved to watch this boy play and chanted his name with thousands of other at OT, but as far as I am concerned the little 'slave boy can go back to the slums where United and Sporting picked him up from.
    My only concern is if we do get £70m ? for him then who could we by to replace him, Nani as good as he has the potential to be isn't there yet, Giggsy and this pains me is past it (ow that hurt) Park? we would need a Messi, Augero, dare I be bold Bentley to replace the child that claims to be a man Ronaldo. RIP you big girls blouse, or rot on the benches at Real which ever comes first.

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  • 232. At 2:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, Rimbo2006 wrote:

    For me, he is the epitome of everything that is wrong with football and many football players at the moment. He has been blessed with obvious talent, but chooses to spend as much time falling over and complaining as he does using it. The man obviously isn’t educated, if he agrees with the distasteful comments on “slavery” from Blatter and he apparently has absolutely no allegiance or commitment to any club, other than the one that is paying his huge wage at the time. I would sell him and invest the money in some home grown young talent that might show a bit more gratitude. I’m not a united fan though, so maybe they feel differently?

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  • 233. At 2:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, benjiknowsbest wrote:

    Im so sick of this whole saga, ronaldo, well, i as a united fan think the contribution over the last 2 seasons from him has been immense, however, i cannot stand him, long gone are the days when players play for the love of the sport, and take pride in the shirt they wear, very few examples exist today, giggs, scholes, carragher, maldini, these players are shining examples of what football is missing.

    The facts are ronaldo is not worth £70 million, no player is, ronaldo least of all because his is incapable of performing against big teams, referring to games against barcelona and AC Milan in recent years, where has ronaldo been? Messi was a constant thorn in the semis of the year just past, and kaka destroyed us single handedly the year previous, there are alot better players out there.

    Let the ungrateful boy leave, he has been sculpted into the player he is by manchester united, many teams would have grown tired of his bust ups with other team mates, and his constant media stunts, for a long time he has been hated by all except united fans, he has been a t****r, but he has been our t****r, now however he is no longer welcome, i hope he gets booed by each and every fan in his inevitable return to old trafford for a different team.

    I cannot stand Calderon for the way it has been handled, united are no saints, te way we handled the hargreaves transfer was shameful, yet, there were not comments in the sun daily about his future, unlike calderon and the bathroom toilertry the marca. Blatter and FIFA and UEFA in general are a disgrace, for many years they have discriminated againt english teams, these sorts of comments where not coming from the 2 governing bodies when the spanish league or the italian leagues where reigning over europe, they are quite simply a disgrace.

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  • 234. At 2:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, FedererisMartin wrote:

    Let's for a moment just forget this is football (hard to do I know); So, there you are at work when someone from an amazing company comes in and offers you a job there paying 20% more than your current contract. What do you do? You hand your notice in and a month or so later you move. Your old company doesn't get any compensation, and nobody thinks bad of you - you'd have been a fool not to take the new job. We all have notice periods in our contracts, other companies don't have to buy us out. Football is weird because of the transfer fees but worker rights must still exist. It's just football is now so international and fluid that gone are they days were most players have grown up with their hometown team. So is it right that we expect them to have any loyalty to their employers, after all, how many of us do?

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  • 235. At 2:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, norniron_pete wrote:

    It's amazing how fickle people are. Three months ago everyone was singing Ronaldo's praises, now United fans seem to hate him, but you can guarantee if he scores a hattrick in his first match this season the boards will be awash with comments about how great he is.

    No one involved in this is doing themselves any favours. Ronaldo's acting like a 5 year old, Ferguson cements his reputation as a two faced hypocrite, and Sepp Blatter sounds stupider every time he opens his mouth.

    Gives you a lot of confidence about the future of football, doesn't it?

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  • 236. At 2:08pm on 11 Jul 2008, christowndrow wrote:

    Utd should sell him, 70m is ridiculous, wenger could probably buy a whole teams for that. he bought Adebayor for 3m(supposedly) and 1 and a half years later is worth almost 10 times that! with that kind of money, utd could buy 3 or 4 class players, even though they're not lacking in good players to take his place.
    I hated ronaldo as soon as he came to utd, with his dives, step-overs and general manner on the pitch, now i hate him even more. if you sign a contract you should be able to honor it, no one held a gun to his head when he was signing it. it goes to show the players today have no integrity and no respect for a club that has treated them so well.

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  • 237. At 2:09pm on 11 Jul 2008, Bebe Face wrote:

    Phil how can you compare this Real saga with us signing Rooney and Carrick (I assume thats what you meant when you referenced White Hart Lane and Goodison)

    The difference is when we are interested in a player which actually make a decent offer for them!!

    All Real have done is try to cause a rift between player and club and yet still no concrete offer on the table.

    If you wanna look at a big club that pull fast ones on clubs look at Arsenal. They let poorer European clubs develop players then take them for peanuts at 16! At least with the likes of Nani and Anderson, the clubs in question got a fair few quid!

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  • 238. At 2:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    228. At 2:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, Knowledge, Reason wrote

    Remember how you took Benitez's public valuation for Crouch at face value? You're doing the same with ManU's valuation of Ronaldo.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Utd have never put a value on Ronaldo.
    The only figures have come from MARCA and AS (spanish newspapers)


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  • 239. At 2:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, tarquin wrote:

    For me Blatter has proven once again he has no right being in his position - who is he to comment on individual cases? Not only is he barking, but it's grossly unprofessional, but just like the FA, FIFA can do whatever they like to whoever they like without fear

    I have little sympathy for MU or fergie, naturally, Ronaldo has been a little git saying these things and it's likely his position is untenable now anyway because he doesn't want to be there - or he can stay, play well, but begrudgingly and be even more arrogant, which will annoy the rest of the team

    Sell him and make Real pay for every penny of the four years left on that contract, and hope that foot is never quite right again - i don't even know how much Ronaldo will bring financially, he probably hasn't got the commercial power of Beckham and it's not like they don't already win trophies - is he actually worth 70+million to Real?

    Still no sympathy with hard-done-by Alex, a taste of your own medicine methinks

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  • 240. At 2:17pm on 11 Jul 2008, robin_van_bergkamp wrote:

    Yeah, good article.

    Looks eerily similar to the one I wrote yesterday that 606 suspiciously banned from publication (it did have the word 'bl***y' in it, truth be told)

    Can it possibly be true? When someone writes a decent article it is 'poached' (Real Madrid-style) by the BBC?

    I guess I'll know for sure if this comment is banned as well.

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  • 241. At 2:19pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To robin_van_bergkamp...sorry Robin, this article is all my own work - so I'll have to take the blame I'm afraid.

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  • 242. At 2:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, Sal wrote:

    It is simply not about money anymore. It is not even about Ronaldo now. This is now a battle of prestige. Between arguably the 2 biggest clubs in the world; Manchester United and Real Madrid.

    To lose their jewel player to Madrid would be a massive humilation to Utd and a real slap in the face to their assertions that they are the biggest club in the world.This would affect their prestige and standing in affluent markets such as the Far East and the rest of the globe.

    When 2 lions face off, the one that loses is always diminished in the eyes of the watching pride.

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  • 243. At 2:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, tomdelone wrote:

    Excellent article. I have been saying for weeks that Ronaldo has no respect for what United have done for him and that I don't want him at my beloved United next season.

    I think with 60 - 70 million we can buy a word class striker and a world class winger with some change left over for the Glazers to pocket.

    That way everybody wins. :)

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  • 244. At 2:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hassaman wrote:

    I think you are missing the point about the slavery analogy. In every other field of work, if you fall out with your boss or want to change employer, you can. The Courts will not force anyone to work for someone who they do not want to work for. If you have a fixed term contract, you might be required to pay compensation to your employer for not serving out the contract. The very maximum you could be forced to pay is your salary for the remaining period of your contract. It is only in football that your employer can make it impossible for you to work for someone else by fixing an entirely arbitrary "transfer fee". The whole system of clubs fixing the value of players and requiring this sum to be paid in order to "buy" the player is certainly akin to slavary. Remember Jaap Stam waking up one morning to find that AF had sold him to Lazio. No one asked him or his wife and kids if they wanted to be moved to Italy overnight because he pissed AF off. He said at the time he was treated like a piece of meat and he surely was. Similarly, it is not reasonable to force Ronaldo to play for MU unless someone is prepared to pay £70M or £100M. These figures bear no relationship to his value and are just Man U's way of saying, we own him and will continue to for as long as we want to. That to my mind is slavery. Other sports survive just fine without transfer fees and footy would as well. But it is not in the intersts of the wealthy clubs who control the game to allow this.

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  • 245. At 2:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    This is exactly what Real Madrid were hoping for. A huge backlash against Ronaldo from United fans.

    THIS WHOLE SITUATION HAS BEEN ENGINEERED TO REDUCE THE PRICE OF RONALDO.

    Real can not afford him - they havn't even put an offer in.

    They were hoping that SAF would bite at Blatters (honoury member of Real Madrid - see FIFA.com archives) comments. He hasn't.

    In fact, SAF's silence is deafening.

    Im sure SAF would happily sell him to Real for his true value (?75m), as would most utd fans, but its now obvious they can't afford him at that price.

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  • 246. At 2:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, alsodevil4life wrote:

    Was a HUGE ronaldo fan, but enough with his greed and disloyalty already. Throw the bum out , we 'll still be champions.

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  • 247. At 2:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, thepurplecrayon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 248. At 2:27pm on 11 Jul 2008, wayne185 wrote:

    Just sell him! the premiership will be all the better without whingers like him. He would be more at home in the ballet than on the football field, his dying swan routine every time he gets near the opposition penalty box is pitiful.

    That's probably one of the reasons he wants to go, after last season the referee's have now rumbled his game as he sits on the floor arms up in the air in dismay expecting the decision. "Get a life slave"

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  • 249. At 2:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, SummersIron wrote:

    I'm worried about the precedent that a £70million or even, as some of you suggest, £120million transfer will set. It is a ridiculous amount of money, yet we bandy these figures about on this forum as if they are perfectly sensible.
    For example, Torres went to Liverpool for £21million, though he's probably worth £30million now, a huge sum of money by ordinary standards. However, if Rafa were to contemplate selling him, he might think, 'hang on, is Torres really only a quarter as good a player as (a potentially £120million) Ronaldo? A mere £30million for Torres is absurd. He should be at least £65million.' That's fair enough isn't it? Torres scored more than half as many goals in all competetions as Ron and probably created an equal amount, so should therefore be worth more than half the price. Before you know it, every young promising player in the premiership will be being valued at over £30million and no-one will be able to afford to buy anyone of even half-decent quality apart from Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Man United.
    I therefore hope, for the sake of European football, that if Ronaldo is sold, he goes for the bare minimum amount and nowhere near the £120million figure that many of you seem to think is a viable option.

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  • 250. At 2:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, soccerlifer wrote:

    Whether Ronaldo goes or stays, the matter doesn't really concern Sepp Blatter. The FIFA president needs to learn that there are times when it's better to put a sock in it rather than make inane comments on every little matter.

    No one forced Ronaldo to sign his last contract so I have little sympathy for him, and Man U - regardless of their past antics - have every right to squeeze whatever they can out of Real Madrid.

    Sir Alex should stop bleating like some innocent victim though. We know better.

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  • 251. At 2:29pm on 11 Jul 2008, sports1fan wrote:

    While i expect the argument about Ronaldo staying or leaving to rage on why not focus on the insipid and down right arrogance of Sepp Blatter who is so vehemently opposed to anything marginal in English football. He of the fame who said that the English are so arrogant why should our football governing body be called the FA (and not as he would like the English FA) as opposed to other countries that have to stipulate whether it's the Italian, French or Spanish FA? This a man that pokes his nose in private affairs between club and player yet has said nothing about the fact the Barcelona will not release Roanldinho for the Olympics to represent Brazil. I bet if Ronnie played for Man U or Chelski or ant english club for that matter he'd be vocal about it. the man's a Nazi!

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  • 252. At 2:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, Jasper wrote:

    Im fed up with the whole Saga at this stage. I just wish he would state clearly one way or the other his intentions, although its pretty clear he wants out. I do think he is happy for this to drag on all summer, as i believe he simply likes the attention, no football been played at the moment so he found a new way of making the news every day.

    I would not be too disapointed if United do sell him, he has been great especially the last 2 season, but if his heart is not in it, then he is better off living his dream as he put it, in Madrid.

    He will be replaced and united can continue with real footballers like Rooney who seem to understand how lucky they are to play at such a club and clearly want to be there.

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  • 253. At 2:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, SYSTEM-J wrote:

    I'd sell him to Madrid, but I'd take Wesley Sneijder and a cool £50mil off them in return.

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  • 254. At 2:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, josh7uk wrote:

    The biggest c*ck in all this is Blatter. Comparing multi-millionaire footballers to slaves was error No. 1. Secondly the footballers themselves are pushing for longer contracts to protect themselves and ensure a pay-off if the clubs don’t want them anymore (i.e. Lampard). Yet when a club doesn’t want to sell and decide they’ll make sure they get adequate compensation for losing such a player (i.e. Ronaldo, Barry) they whinge about it. Can’t have it two ways. A contract protects the player and the club – just like everyone else who works. Ronaldo signed his new 5 year deal recently using a FIFA registered agent – and could have not signed it. But he did because he knew he would have the security of a longer, improved contract. If Blatter thinks this is wrong, then maybe he should look at the agents on FIFA’s books.

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  • 255. At 2:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, kerbside wrote:

    I think Mr.Blatter is trying to distroy the premier league ! He did not mention the brittish fans who pay through the nose to watch these super stars !!

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  • 256. At 2:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, putitinthepost wrote:

    I fully agree Tony, Ronaldo is the type of player who, if not inj the right mood, wont play well. During some games last season it was bvious he wasnt really trying. If hes stil at United next year when he doesnt actually wan to be it could be more of a hinderance to the team.
    Plus if Real want Ronaldo as much as we are led to believe United could dmand almost anything....Snieder, Ramo, Robinho etc on top of a nice pile of money???
    With 70 Million United could afford 3 or 4 world class players and Ronaldo would be a distant memory.

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  • 257. At 2:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, ronaldoeatmyshorts wrote:

    His contract says he can walk away if he doesn't play a certain number of games in a season.

    Does playing reserve games count towards that total? If it does, and I was SAF, I'd play him in reserve games only for a season. Then sell him to Real.

    That's two fingers up to both him and Real. United would come out with their pride intact, plus £70m better off.

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  • 258. At 2:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, JStandgiveusasong wrote:

    Good article! As a die hard red, we should take this on the chin and move on. Personally, as Madrid have less Euros than United, I'd personally go for a couple of players, Sergio Ramos and Sneijder, come to mind, plus cash. That would enable United to break the bank for another striker, how good would that squad be? As Fergie has stated, Madrid have no morals, pot kettle black possibly, but Calderon is manipulating the Spanish press to his benefit, and Rony has swallowed the bait. Like I said, take the players, cash and run...see you Rome Rony, don't think you'd enjoy that welcome...? As for the Gooner, you we do have a sustantial debt, even though it hurts me to admit it, our board has backed the manager, and won the European Cup along the way, Paris must look a million miles away now...

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  • 259. At 2:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, supergunner07 wrote:

    Ronaldo is worth between 50m-55m not 70m, no player in the world is worth 70m, that price is pure extortion.

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  • 260. At 2:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, marvin wrote:

    poor Ronaldo eh on £120 000 a week being talked about and only playing 90 mins of footie a week my heart bleeds NOT he obviously does not no what a slave is cos slaves dont get that much money and work 90 mins a week. I mean wake up get to the real world insted of his luxury life get him to see a shanty town or see africa hes got easy and if he finds it hard hes a pathetic c##p bag and should jus retire if its to hard for him. really he jus needs a good punch on the beak and told to act like a pro and stop being a little cry baby stand up to his manager if he wants to go and be quick about it cos am losing Patients with this fool

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  • 261. At 2:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, legendaryJB1977 wrote:

    Given Blatter seems so intent on taking a view on United's internal affairs it seems only fair that United should refuse to play in any FIFA tournaments until Blatter steps down i.e. the World Club Cup.

    Would be interesting to see how much money would line the FIFA pockets without the Champions League winners and most supported club in the world taking part in their tournament...

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  • 262. At 2:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, JStandgiveusasong wrote:

    Looks like Sneijder is popular amongst us reds, what do you think Phil?

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  • 263. At 2:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To supergunner07...I know what you mean, but it still sounds insane to rate a player at £55m.

    And if that is the going rate for Ronaldo, Torres would not be too far behind.

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  • 264. At 2:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, dismus wrote:

    Personally I think Ronaldo will be forced to stay at least untill January.
    But will he go on strike?
    And will that be a first in the history of man, for a slave to actually go on strike?
    Or if United do agree to sell, will Madrid decline to take him, as his teeth are not quite as white and strong as they appear?
    Wait for the next few weeks exciting installments?
    I'm Ronaldo! No, I'm Ronaldo! No, tis I, I'm Ronaldo!

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  • 265. At 2:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, BeijingBull wrote:

    Ronaldo has once again demonstrated his immaturity by wingeing and bleating publicly about his dreadful treatment at OT. It will be entertaining to see how, over the next couple of weeks, Foxy Fergie makes life even more difficult for him, while forcing Real to dig right down into the dust of their coffers to secure his 'services'.

    Fergie must be smiling to himself at the whole affair. He is able to dispose of a high value player who might easily develop a permanent problem with the ankle recently operated on (remember Freddie Flintoff's ongoing problems) while at the same time provide his squad (particularly Ferdinand) with a fantastic incentive to meet RM in Europe next year and show the little oik just how short of world class he really is.

    Finally, in once again demonstrating national prejudice -and partiality, surely Sepp Blabber, must have given FIFA sufficient cause to dump him?

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  • 266. At 2:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, football-crazy-dude wrote:

    tomdelone - why should the Glazer's pocket anything? And how does everybody win? Someone mentioned the fact that Blatter failed to mention the 60 70 quid fans fork out week in week out to go and watch these players - how are the fans winning? Ticket prices will be the same - we don't even get a chance to see the European Cup and Premier League (unless you want to go and watch a friendly against Juventus when the trophies will be paraded).

    The issues are:

    - Ronaldo is out of order
    - Real Madrid are out of order
    - People are confused with these 'double standard' acquisitions
    - His transfer value will decrease due to the fact he wants to move
    - Fergie will fight tooth and nail to keep him
    - Most United fans want him to leave
    - Great player but shown a distinct lack of loyalty and integrity
    - Also, Real Madrid's arrogance is based upon the winning of a European Trophy when, lets be honest, was a lot easier to win. Di Stefano had signed for Barcelona before Franco got involved and combined with Gento and Puskas went on to win 6 European Cups (5 in a row). I suppose the government could always but their training ground if they want to help funding the transfer (ohh yes, they've already done that!)

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  • 267. At 2:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, EdMack wrote:

    So Ronaldo thinks he's a slave, because he's expected to honor his contract! Amazing. If he has a problem with keeping his word, why should Real Madrid trust him?

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  • 268. At 2:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, waterboylegend wrote:

    People seem to be forgetting the fact that Ronaldo is a brilliant player, and there does not exist a footballer (except perhaps Messi) who could replace him.

    This 'modern day' slavery schtick is laughable.

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  • 269. At 2:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, luke1976 wrote:

    As a United I am fully of the tactics employed by all the top clubs around the world for luring the top talents to their clubs.
    I don't feel that Real Madrid have used any tactics that haven't been used by United or any other top club to get the player they want.
    I do think that Ronaldo is a very ungreatful person and shows a complete lack of loyalty to anybody. The manner in which he has tried to orchestrate his move away from Old Trafford is despicable and he will now be forever hated by United fans across the globe. I will be surprised if there isn't a player reaction towards him for agreeing with the stupid and biased towards English teams as ever Sepp Blatter. Ronaldo could've easily secured a move without annoying the club and fans by simply stating that he's won all the top honours in English football and would like to try the same thing in another country. I think most fans and Old Trafford staff would have accepted that.
    United will not crumble without the services of Ronaldo. They did not crumble after losing influential players and top goal scorers in the past like, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes, Bryan Robson, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and the list goes on.
    I feel United should cash in on him and get on with a life without Ronaldo. He doesn't want to play for United anymore and that's it. He won't give 100% effort and therefore would be a hindrance to the teams performance and motivation.
    And finally, contracts to a footballer are worthless, it isn't worth the paper it's written on. What is the point in drawing up these contracts if a player can just decide today or tomorrow that he no longer wants to play for the club to which he is contracted.
    Anyway, that's my rant over and in summary, Ronaldo should go, Real Madrid shoul pay a fair whack for him, all teams use the tactics employed by Real Madrid to get their man Contracts are worthless and so is Sepp Blatter and his pathetic biased view against English football.

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  • 270. At 2:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, Blueboygrunt wrote:

    The way Ronaldo has gone about this businessis disgraceful.
    However, to quote many United fans from the recent past, "It is understandable that he should want to play for a bigger club."

    Let the whinger go and grab as much as you can get for him.

    Nice one cousin Phil.

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  • 271. At 2:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, random50 wrote:

    I don't know where Ronaldo and Blatter have got this nonsense about "modern day slavery". He is not *forced* by Manchester United to play football. He can quit the club tomorrow.

    If you think you'll want to quit the club *and* continue playing football for a living, then you *don't sign a long term contract tying you into that club*. It's really very simple. In the real world, people are expected to honour their contractual commitments, and should they decide not to then there are associated penalties.

    The arrogance/stupidity of Ronaldo's attitude is remarkable.

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  • 272. At 2:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, 7Bestie7 wrote:

    You, Mr McNulty, have seemed to jump onto the Anti-United bandwagon as quickly and as violently as anyone else. I shouldn't be surprised really, but I am disappointed.

    Let's clear a few things up, shall we?

    Tapping up is against the rules, and honestly I can understand why. However, "speaking to other prospective employees" certainly happens outside of football and so there is always a shrug of the shoulders about it. The people who complain about one of their players being "tapped" up is generally self-righteous in regards to how they do dealings in the transfer market.

    No one believes for an instant that "a friend of a friend of a player" doesn't make contact between potential new manager and player. In certain respects it HAS to happen or else people won't know if someone is interested in signing for them.

    *The Robben incident was brought to light by PSV.
    *Ruud v.N was already going to come to us, which meant that it "made sense" for him to be treated by his future club. I don't see you mentioning the fact that we paid MORE for Ruud than was agreed upon.
    *We paid over the odds on Rooney, and only bought him due to Newcastle trying to sneak in and grab him.

    Look, no one says that United is squeaky clean. No one believes that any club is squeaky clean, even the media's darling over at North London. However the issue in this case isn't that Real Madrid tap up the player and then go to United looking for a cheap deal. The issue is that Real Madrid have spat in United's face and done the entire messy saga through the papers.

    Most of the quotes aren't leaked by sources. Most of what has been said is Madrid using their media centre to completely destroy United's position in this matter. They done it with Figo, the Brazilian Ronaldo, and Vieira. This isn't tapping up, Mr McNulty, this is down-right manipulation of the media to destroy any strength the potential selling club might have.

    And it's only used against Madrid's big rivals. It is used against those with enough strength (financially and mental) to say "NO" to the great Madrid Machine. It's not professional, it's not ethical, and it sure as heck is more political than football.

    This is something which United do not do. We do not go on a huge campaign in the media trying to unsettle a player. I wouldn't try to deny that comments are made about players (Hargreaves the one which really stands out) but they are for the most part reactionary. Never on the scale of Madrid this, or any other, season.

    No, the truth is Mr McNulty, is just like almost everyone else non-affiliated with United, this article decides that United deserve to have their face spat in just because of who we are. The club, and the Manager especially, are more focused on winning than being nice to the media. The club was in a financial position (pre-Glaziers mostly) to bring in the player they needed even if the price was "United-fixed".

    Do us the good grace in admitting that you really couldn't care less about the ramifications of what this summer is going to mean for football. UEFA and FIFA have admitted that (probably as long as you're not an English club) that you can do your dealings in the press to the point where the other club is forced to just give you the player you want. Real Madrid, with their political standings in Spain, are able to walk over anyone they want for the player they desire. And the governing bodies of Football, as well as the media, don't seem to give one iota about it.

    Perhaps because it's happening to United?

    We're not the greatest ever club in history, records wise. We still have Liverpool's records to beat and Madrid's in Europe to conquer. But we are one of, if not the, biggest club in the modern world. We are a club built upon the ideals and legacy of looking to be the best and play the best football.

    You may not love us, but it would be nice for you to respect us. Especially during this summer.

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  • 273. At 2:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To waterboylegend...you don't necessarily replace the player. Ferguson may bring in other players and improve the team.

    For instance, would Ferguson happily lose Ronaldo if he thought he could use the money to buy Fernando Torres?

    And before you all start Liverpool fans, that is a purely hypothetical question!

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  • 274. At 2:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, kayzay wrote:

    On Feb 1, 2008 Sepp Blatter was raging with fury because players and their agents refuse to honor contracts condeming CAS(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/scotland/article3285825.ece)
    but now he is so quick to jump into the Ronaldo saga, insisting United should let him go. Why should such a shameless, inconsistent person with selective amnesia be calling the shots on the game we love?
    I think Madrid should put theie money where their heart/mouth is. Let's see what they want to offer! Then everyone will no what the deal is.
    I strongly believe Ronaldo will be a united player next season and then will be sold afterwards. He should suck it up and I want to be a slave who makes as much on and off the field.

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  • 275. At 2:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, cautiousman wrote:

    I for one will be donating some of my wages, and also some food and clothes etc to Ronaldo until this alwful situation is resolved.

    That poor poor boy.

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  • 276. At 2:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, eldeano wrote:

    Calderón knows that he'll get his money back through shirt sales and the like as, if it was purely on what he can give on the pitch, Madrid would have to win the CL for several seasons to recoup their outlay.

    I'm happy to see him go, as I'm sure he will, but wonder whether all this waiting for 70 million is affecting United's ability to strengthen the squad.

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  • 277. At 2:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, TFCBob wrote:

    Come on. ManU win the title on the last day with Ronaldo scoring the lions share of their goals last season and you think they cold have done it without him? I dont think so. MU don't need 70mill and if they get that loot anyone they attempt to buy will be at hugely inflated prices - if they can get anyone. The message that they are prepared to let Ronaldo go will be if they sign a replacement first. But I dont think he will go. Remember the fracas with him and Rooney a coulpe of seasnos ago. All settled. Ronaldo will be back at his best next season in Manchester.

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  • 278. At 3:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To 7Bestie7 ...Where does this come from? "this article decides that United deserve to have their face spat in just because of who we are..."

    Absolutely out of order.

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  • 279. At 3:09pm on 11 Jul 2008, RedIsaac wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan, I would normally have no sympathy whatsoever for SAF and Man. United. However, Ronaldo is being extraordinarily selfish, greedy and ungrateful to the club and manager who contributed what he is. A few points:

    1. United cannot complain about Real's attitude, they have done the same many times. However the fans have every right to be bitter about the attitude of this spoiled brat. (BTW I hope he has the same "success" as two of our own that tried their luck at Madrid-and I don't want to hear any sympathy for any of them either)

    2. If I was SAF I would cash in on him for the maximum amount of cash possible. I guarantee you they'll survive without him and that he will not have another season matching the one he already had in the EPL. We have all seen evidence of that in his (non-) performance in Euro 2008.

    3. Blatter has once more said something stupid. Slavery in modern football? Should I really say more? The real question is "why is this man still in his position?"

    4. It's about time we had a salary cap. These obscene sums of money being floated around are insulting to all hard-working people who have real jobs. The Yanks did it for MLB. Why can't FIFA do something useful for a change?

    I have had my rant. Hope I haven't upset the mods.

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  • 280. At 3:10pm on 11 Jul 2008, beto1960 wrote:

    Phil Mcnulty

    I agree that Ronaldo had a good season last year and has improved, but that is the same as all players between the age of 17 and 22.
    I think you overestimate the Man Utd influence , Ronaldo would have been just as good if he had moved to AC Milan instead of Utd.
    Most of the credit must go to Sporting , I think Ronaldo joined them at 11 years old. They have a wonderful academy system, over the last 15 years , Figo, Simão, Quaresma, Ronaldo , to name just a few, have all come through.
    The Sporting academy takes in boys from the age 5 years old and are coached professionally until they are old enough to sign a contract for the club.
    The latest talents are Jõao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso and Peirinha, I cant believe that they have not been snapped up by now !!

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  • 281. At 3:14pm on 11 Jul 2008, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    To 7Bestie7 ...Where does this come from? "this article decides that United deserve to have their face spat in just because of who we are..."

    Absolutely out of order.

    Phil McNulty
    __________________________


    Out of order why exactly? Because he/she wasn't alone in detecting the overpowering whiff of 'serves em right' permeating your entire article?

    What Blatter said completely changes the rules for the entire game of football, contract-wise. This in itself is a HUGE story. Yet you seem to have ignored this fascinating angle to concentrate solely on United and why they are getting some of their own medicine.

    In fact, reading yours and 7bestie7's article, it becomes hard to determine who is the professional journalist and who is the fan.

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  • 282. At 3:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, alexsmith91 wrote:

    If Real will "pay anything" as they say they will, milk it for all it's worth - I'm a United fan and, while it would be a shame to see such a great player leave, with that kind of money coming in, Fergie would build a team to be even better without Ronaldo.
    As for Blatter, well he and Michel Platini are always making comments against English teams - remember his comments that England didn't deserve a place at the Euros because they weren't good enough - no mention of Austria there then Michel? Nice one!
    Ronaldo is a quality player, but he'll only go downhill if he moves to Spain - the Premiership is just so much better and stronger at the moment.

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  • 283. At 3:15pm on 11 Jul 2008, I am Wengers Optician wrote:

    I completely agree with everything you have to say in this article, especially with the latest news that Ronaldo will be out for 3 months.

    Look at it this way - even if he stays, he's not going to stop wanting his 'dream' move to Madrid, and he's not going to sign another contract. Before long we'll have a Lampard situation on our hands, where we have to either sell at a very much reduced price, or risk losing him on a free.

    On top of this, if he's out for 3 months starting roughly from the beginning of July, he may not be back until October-time. We all know that coming back from surgery is not always as straight forward as this, and it's highly possible that he could have an injury-interrupted season. He may therefore have a season nowhere near the glorious heights of the last two seasons, added to the fact that he would not truly have his heart in the club any longer.
    The risk therefore is that at the end of the coming season, we are once again faced with a Ronaldo who still very much has ambitions to leave for Real Madrid, but at a much-reduced price.

    The solution therefore, is simply to cash in now, get the £70-80m that is being touted for Ronaldo (plus possibly one or two of Real's players in an exchange, I would set my sights on Ramos as an ideal long term replacement for Gary Neville), and keep the players that truly want to play for United for the rest of their careers (Scholes, Rooney, Ferdinand et al). One man doesn't make a club, and we've seen this before with the likes of Beckham and Van Nistelrooy, only to see ourselves become stronger as a result.

    Besides, who are the only club that would buy a player who has just had complex surgery, is out for 3 months, and cannot prove his fitness? Real Madrid.

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  • 284. At 3:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, GreenTeaBags wrote:

    "He has played everyone like a priceless Stradivarius since the last penalty was taken in the Champions League final."

    Phil (obvious anti-Liverpool bias) Mc Nulty, with all due respect, I find the above sentence to be somewhat ridiculous. Perhaps the very least that you could do is qualify it with a IMHO. Even if you did that, it's still rubbish. I could be wrong, but I wasn't aware that Ronaldo even played a musical instrument? I give up! Your blogs should come with a "switch your brain into neutral" warning!

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  • 285. At 3:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, fairground wrote:

    when man utd do it they do indeed put an actual offer in but they put a joke offer in of about a third of what the player is actually worth then just keeping upping the offer little by little just to make sure the player gets unsettled.

    whats the difference between putting a joke offer in and putting no offer in

    i would love it if real madrid put in a bid of say 1 million euros for him just so manutd could stop moaning about madrid tapping him up

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  • 286. At 3:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, RSF85 wrote:

    Phil, here's one for you:

    In terms of commercial value, how much did the transfer of David Beckham boost Real Madrid's profitability?

    Of course, it's impossible to determine whether or not Ronaldo could match (or even go beyond such a figure), but my instincts tell me, considering his age and quality (i.e. head and shoulders above everyone else), that it's a distinct possibility.

    On that basis, and taking into account such things as inflation, current global popularity of the game, and so on, what would you consider the likely commercial value to Madrid in landing Ronaldo?

    Based on that figure, would you accept that £70m may, in fact, be fairly nominal?

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  • 287. At 3:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tony Byers wrote:

    To 7Bestie7:
    That's a bit of a strange rant.
    Why should we respect you? Respect the achievements yes I do. Respect the club on an ethical basis? No chance. I don't respect my clubs ethics sometimes either.
    Man Utd are more focused on winning than being nice to the media. However this is done at the expense of integrity. I don't like Man Utd, not because of their football which is at times sublime, but at their paranoid-no-one-likes-us-schoolyard-bullying.

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  • 288. At 3:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To RicardoSF85...it is just the concept of a player costing £70m that I find a real mind-boggler.

    If United can get it, and I suspect they have a real chance, then good luck to them.

    Real must feel the can claw their investment back.

    But £70m?

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  • 289. At 3:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, Ricko wrote:

    There seems to be a general consensus that there has been no communication between United, SAF, Ronaldo, REAL and all parties concerned...
    Now I am not a conspiracy theorist here, but I find it extremely hard to believe that there has been no communication between SAF and Ronaldo and anyone else at United - this is 2008, he is still OUR player - this is not tapping up anyone - it is talking to our own player, holiday or no holiday. If SAF phones Ronaldo is CR going to put the phone down on him? Get real.. there are so many things going on behind the scenes that even the might Phil (cough) doesn't have privvy too... a deal has already probably been done, and a lot of people are being led a merry dance... by THE MEDIA...

    It will all come out in the end.

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  • 290. At 3:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, emekaisyourfriend wrote:

    To suggest that Manchester United would be fine without Ronaldo, in my humble opinion, is up for debate.

    Sir Alex has let countless star performers in their prime leave - Paul Ince, Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy and David Beckham all high profile examples.

    Ferguson's sanguinary belligerence in holding onto a player that clearly wants to leave suggests that he knows that Ronaldo is the difference.

    Ronaldo offers more to Manchester United than just the goals of van Nistelrooy and the assists and set piece ability of Beckham.

    It is folly to suggest that Manchester United are a one-man team - the defence is formidable and the central midfield pairings always add steel and cohesiveness to their natural flair, and in Rooney and Tevez, they have some excellent young strikers.

    However, in Ronaldo, Manchester United possess a player that has single-handedly dragged them through games. He is the difference.

    We know this, Ronaldo knows this, and judging by Sir Alex's reticence, so does he.

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  • 291. At 3:30pm on 11 Jul 2008, TheSlackBapper wrote:

    At £120,000 plus a year, that's some slave.
    Football has gone nuts, from Blatter downwards they just don't live in the real world.

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  • 292. At 3:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, AncientNLoyal wrote:

    Either get £70million plus or sit him in the stands week in week out. He said Manchester was his home not too long since. He does not care about Manchester United or the clubs fans.

    What Ronaldo is forgetting is that it was Manchester United who took the gamble on him when he was 18/19 when we signed him from Sporting Lisbon. It was Manchester United that have turned him in to the player he is today. It was Manchester United who helped him through the tragedy of loseing his father. It was Manchester United and the fans who stood by him after the Rooney sending off at the world cup.

    He has no loyalty and deserves to rot in the stands for the next four years of his contract. When his contract runs out he will have played no football, not be match fit, lost his skill and his career will be in ruins. Well done Fergie for standing up to him and Real Madrid.

    IF Ronaldo was to turn round and say i want to stay then i will appologise for these words but it is obvious he wants to go.

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  • 293. At 3:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    288. At 3:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:

    To RicardoSF85...it is just the concept of a player costing £70m that I find a real mind-boggler.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Why is it so mind boggling?

    Bearing in mind Real paid £49m for Zidane at the age of 29yrs 5-6 years ago.

    Ronaldo is only 23. If they sold him in 5yrs they would get a large chunck of that money back, unlike Zidane.

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  • 294. At 3:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, Sean wrote:

    Ronaldo is football's version of Prince. Maybe he should play next season with one of those symbols tattooed on his cheek.

    As far as Blatter's comments - is this man accountable to anyone? That's what gets me about Platini and Blatter, it seems they can say and do whatever they want, whether or not it's offensive, race-biased or whatever. Football is a beautiful game run by dumb iijits and there doesn't seem to be anyone to take them to task.
    Modern slavery still exists, but it's not in the world of top flight football.

    And as for Ronaldo's own views, the rest of the 'agreement' interview seemed to confirm his wish to leave. I don't think you have to be careful about pointing that out.
    As a fan of the Premiership and in the interests of football as a whole, I say don't sell him, let him sit in the stands or play the odd cup game. Otherwise, where does this end? Someone has to buck the trend.

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  • 295. At 3:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, ucheuzo wrote:

    My fear is this saga could affect the whole squad adversely in the new season.

    DEAL WITH 'IT' DON'T DRAG IT.

    If Ronaldo is hell bent on leaving, then that reminds one of the old adage - you can take a horse to the stream but you can't force it to drink water -
    I've never believed in a 'one player team', and Ronaldo's talents won't change my position.
    I grew up in Cheetham Hill living UNITED...Before Ro' there were other greats ...likewise...after him others will come.UP MANU!!

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  • 296. At 3:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, ucheuzo wrote:

    Oooops! I forgot, bleed Real Madrid dry!!

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  • 297. At 3:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, mellomagic wrote:

    I think you're all missing the point. Its not about Man U or the fact they are purported to do the same thing, its the fact that hes under contract. A contract is not only a one way promise, if he's out through injury, who pays his wages, the club does, if hes not picked to play he still gets paid. I would like to see any player have the nuts to say I only get paid if I play, then give them the freedom to go from club to club. None of them would have it, too spineless.

    They have to realise that contracts are a good thing for them when things arent going their way, you cant just forget that and plead "contracts are slavery"

    Two faced hypocritical self centered primadonna's.....

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  • 298. At 3:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, RSF85 wrote:

    Phil,

    It is claimed that Beckham's four-year stint in Madrid heavily aided the club in earning profit of £350m during that time, with a 137% increase within merchandising.

    One million 'Beckham' shirts were sold within the first six months - easily replicable by Ronaldo, don't you think?

    The fact that Ronaldo is young enough to have a resale value attached to himself must also inflate the fee.

    Looking at Ronaldo purely as a commercial product, I would suggest that even an initial cost of £100m for securing his services wouldn't be, in the long term, outrageous.

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  • 299. At 3:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, ChrisWhyattSnr wrote:

    The use of the word 'slave' by anyone is offensive; just ask the 'pop star' and former record company 'slave' Prince.

    Anyone who knows their history (black or white) will know what a 'slave' really was, and still is in may countries.

    No 'slave' has ever earned £100,000 in their (probably short and painful) lifetime, no matter in a week.

    Goodbye Cristiano, enjoy your 'freedom' from 'slavery'.

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  • 300. At 3:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To emekaisyourfriend...Ronaldo would be a loss to United, of course he would.

    But great managers will find solutions to such problems, either from within their squad or by bringing new players in.

    If he lost Ronaldo, I would imagine Ferguson would attempt to bring in another superstar to take his place.

    Any suggestions from you as to who Ferguson might try to bring in if Ronaldo goes?

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  • 301. At 3:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, Saheedospur wrote:

    While I also get pretty upset when important personality come out to say we should tear up the current rules on player contracts without offering any viable alternatives....... we still have to remember that being a footballer is just as much a profession as being a sports analyst or a programmer.

    Must of us change jobs as and when we see fit, so why should we deny others the same right.

    Yes being a footballer is a unique career but is a career nonetheless and in reality player should have that choice.

    In fact its only a matter of time!


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  • 302. At 3:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    Phil McNulty, I really hope you read this and I really hope you take the time to respond. I disagree with you saying that Utd have done this to many a club so you aren't shedding a tear. Utd has indeed bought many top players from clubs with lesser statures thean theirs but they have NEVER gone about it in the underhanded way that RM is. There are transfer saga goinf on between Inetr and Chelsea, Liverppol and Aston Villa, AC Milan and Arsenal, and Barcelona and Zenit but none smell as foul as this one which we're discussing. All the dealings above have one thing in common, the player wants to leave and an offer has been made and rejected (maybe Milan haven't made an official offer yet, I'm not sure). Where is Real Madrids official offer? When and where have they approached Man Utd? What RM has effectively done is gone ahead neotiate with Christiano Ronaldo through the media, hoping he'll accept these informal terms and then put in a transfer request. They are trying to get the player to mastermind his own transfer rather than approaching Utd directly. When have Utd done this to any club? Real Madrid have thrown prospective wages and incentives about as bait, trying to lure CR into their web, and that Phil is the fundamental difference between what Real are doing and what every other club who has identified players they hope to sign are doing. Sir Alex isn't stupid, if Real make the right offer and the player indicates he wants to go he will but trust me it will be ar a figure that Utd is happy with so Real must be prepared to pay and no one should dare say that Utd should lower and asking price so as to do Ronaldo a favour and facilitate his dream. He will be priced based on his perceived value to the club just as with Barry.

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  • 303. At 3:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    Any suggestions from you as to who Ferguson might try to bring in if Ronaldo goes?
    ------------------------------------------------------

    Give Nani more of a run on the wing, and buy Berbatov or Huntelaar

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  • 304. At 3:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, ahumphrey79 wrote:

    At this point he's a huge distraction to the team. Sell him for 70m or 85m or whatever. Just get it done with enough time left in the transfer window to go pry Ribery away from Bayern as his replacement.

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  • 305. At 3:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, ArturoDiStefano wrote:

    ManU are just showing that they really are One-Man team. If they can't cope without just one player, how can they be champions?

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  • 306. At 3:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, tricky wrote:

    And people used to think Becks was daft for moving to the MLS. OK, he was, but this prat wins the Premier League and the Champions League and wants to play for football's biggest underachievers? This is not a bright kid. I say let him go and rot in Madrid. Take the cash and snag Ronaldinho for a song.

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  • 307. At 3:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, RSF85 wrote:

    Reddevilyardie - I'm a United fan myself, but I do have to disagree slightly.

    Our pursuit of Hargreaves has similarities in Real's of Ronaldo.

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  • 308. At 3:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, soccerinteg wrote:

    Ronaldo presence on the field enhance the performance of the other teammates. I'm recalling all the comments made esp. by SAF

    Will his departure result in the the negative spotlight on the likes of Rooney?

    RVN's departure allowed the other players to flourish and MU to win titles. Will Ronaldo's?

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  • 309. At 3:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    307. At 3:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, RicardoSF85 wrote:
    Reddevilyardie - I'm a United fan myself, but I do have to disagree slightly.

    Our pursuit of Hargreaves has similarities in Real's of Ronaldo.
    -------------------------------------------------------

    so you think Real will back off, and they will buy Hargreaves next summer?

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  • 310. At 3:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    *Hargreaves

    I meant Ronaldo

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  • 311. At 3:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, robin_van_bergkamp wrote:

    So do articles get banned for using the word bl**dy?

    All I said was that Sepp Blatter is a bl**dy idiot.

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  • 312. At 3:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, kokoma777 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 313. At 3:52pm on 11 Jul 2008, Paton4023 wrote:

    Unfortunately people like Ronaldo start to believe their own hype. He is a fantastic footballer, probably the best in the world at the moment, but to some extent that is because he is playing in the best club side in europe.
    At the European championships he looked ordinary, and frustrated when things didnt go his way.
    If United sell hopefully they will go out and buy a strong replacement, or do they need one? Anderson and Nani came through well last year, Rooneys due another good season, if they get one of the strikers that are being touted around they will be even stronger. If they do buy to replace him they should be able to get a world class player who wouldnt give them as much grief (Kaka??)

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  • 314. At 3:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, papadomingos wrote:

    If Ronaldo, his solicitor and FIFA agent signed a contract to be in Manchester United, then it would be a serious misconduct not to fulfil his part of the bargain because they are bound under the law to obey it in principle. I am of the opinion that FIFA’s president is setting a bad precedent through his utterance. I believe strongly that the law favours Manchester United. So if Ronaldo wants to leave, then he should be made to pay for a breach of contract. I feel that 100 Million pounds is not too much. Papadomingos, Lisbon

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  • 315. At 3:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    There's No way on earth Ronaldo will cost £70million. No player on earth in Europe is £70million, What is he gonna score with his teeth? Or is he gonna save every penalty? Maybe he will become the Chairman/Manager/First Coach/Assistant Coaches/Captain/Players/Mascot/Sponsors/Everything... Madrid will not pay £70million for Ronaldo. They could do £55-60million, you know why? because no player that we know of now is able to generate as much cash in returns for any club as David Beckham. Even he wasn't the highest signing for Real.
    As for United "fighting" to keep Ronaldo, who's the biggest club now eh? Big clubs don't fight, they just play big. And I think if Ronaldo goes, Nani has his potential, maybe not as good, because I kid you not, Ronaldo is Special, but he will be more effective than he is now.
    In modern times, slavery doesn't have to be you working in McDonalds, it could be anything. Slavery is "FORCING" someone either by trick or crook to work for you when he/she wants to go somewhere else. It is stated in the International Labour Organisation. Slavery isn't about money, its about an abuse of one's right to make a choice. Press please stop using "Money" as a factor. Mr Phil McCulty or so, if you get offered £500,000 to go work for CNN, regardless of what you think this job holds for you, you'll probably consider it. Hell most of the Bosses in the BBC have switched "offices", no?

    Please let have a new topic...Thank you.

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  • 316. At 3:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Reddevilyardie (they say I'm a glory hunter)...I have read your post and I accept many of the points you make.

    We do not know the ins and outs of United's transfer dealings, but the point I am making is that fans of other clubs will not sympathise with United because they have had players taken away from theirs to Old Trafford.

    I have quoted the Arjen Robben incident from 2004, and I well recall Sunderland being upset United's attempts to sign David Bellion.

    And feel free to cut and paste this story from the Owen Hargreaves transfer saga.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/5273386.stm

    I have accepted that this is the law of the football jungle and all the top clubs will do what they need to acquire the best players.

    On the question of Ronaldo's price tag, I have actually said United - if they accept he is leaving - shoud prise every penny they can out of Real.




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  • 317. At 3:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hughesaldinho wrote:

    Mcnulty u fool,when has Feguson ever gone into the media and publically declared that he was after a player and tried to hound the club into selling that player???United have never acted in such public way of contempt for other clubs...Im not saying United are whiter than whiter but to say the biter being bitten just shows ur anti United...I think u maybe should have had a think about what u were writing and at least read it before u posted it....lazy journalism with no facts, but from reading most of ur posts that quite normal.

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  • 318. At 3:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, Brian Walsh wrote:

    Here's my list of United's recent great right wingers:
    1 Andre Kanchelskis
    2 David Beckaham
    3 Christiano Ronaldo

    Point One: The first two left and, guess what? United survived and prospered.

    Point Two: I'm always a bit wary of the number of goals credited to the penalty taker in a team anyway so let's not get too carried away by the raw data.

    Point Three: He's good but he ain't great and he's not a team man (probably even less of one since 'Madridgate' exploded)

    Finally, two words - Eric Cantona. If United can go on to even greater things like they did after the loss of football's greatest talismanic character then they'll miss Ronaldo like...well, not much really.

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  • 319. At 3:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, soccerinteg wrote:

    emekaisyourfriend your comments IMHO are very apt.

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  • 320. At 3:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, junkers wrote:

    Reading news reports about Owen Hargreaves transfer from Bayern Munich to Man U, it looks to me that Ronaldo may have had a few tips after training from Owen about how to leave a club.

    It is interesting reading the postings from Man U fans on message boards relating to that transfer about how Bayern had no right to deny Hargreaves a transfer even though he was tied into a contract. Phrases such as, players time in game being limited, Owen should be allowed to follow his childhood ambition, Bayern should not be allowed to stop Owen better his career, If Bayern got someone better they would transfer him, contract only gives Bayern right to negotiate a transfer fee, etc.

    People who attack Ronaldo's morals and loyalty should have the honesty to condemn Owen Hargreaves. His motives, tactics and loyalty do not look any different to Ronaldo's.

    Finally, to quote a Man U fan's posting when referring to Bayern's stance reqarding Hargreaves 'Those who live by the sword can expect to die by the sword'.

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  • 321. At 4:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hargo A Go Go wrote:

    Reddevilyardie - I'm a United fan myself, but I do have to disagree slightly.

    Our pursuit of Hargreaves has similarities in Real's of Ronaldo.
    ======================================================
    To be honest I don't see the similarity. What Utd were, was persistent not underhanded. We made official bids for the player which were rejected and we kept on bidding. To this point Real Madrid have not done the same. I can't remember Utd telling Hargreaves "we'll pay you X amount per month if you sign"; RM have already started to mention salaries when they haven't even made and approach. Isn't that illegal (in football)?

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  • 322. At 4:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    The only reason United is peeing in their pants is because they know what Ronaldo (bless him) is worth...and what he will be worth.

    Trust me, that kid is SPECIAL.. The closest thing to George Best (R.I.P).

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  • 323. At 4:09pm on 11 Jul 2008, myfuriousspleen wrote:

    I haven't read all the comments, but in those i did read there was curiously little mention of the fact that Blatter is an honourary member of Real Madrid, and so he was it was hardly an impartial act on his behalf making those comments (for which he no doubt receives a little something for).

    I'm fed up with Ronaldo and don't want him back at Utd, but only if Madrid break the bank to sign him. We mustn't let him go on the cheap.

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  • 324. At 4:11pm on 11 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To myfuriousspleen...has anyone actually got any concrete evidence that Blatter is an honorary member of Real Madrid?

    If not we must be careful about making these allegations?

    Just a thought though? What does being an honorary member of Real Madrid actually mean?

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  • 325. At 4:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Scenicjoker wrote:

    I agree with most of your points Phil - although it is boring in the extreme the suggestion that Man U are getting come uppance....

    Only a few days ago you wrote an article about Barry and Crouch and it always surprises me how other clubs seem to escape criticism about tapping up. If looneypool have not tapped up Gareth Barry then I'm a scouser's uncle ( a fate pretty much as gruesome as anything one can imagine).

    All clubs including your arsewipes, Chelski, Looneypool et al do this. If not how would they ever know if a player wanted to sign for them.


    The main difference that Man U fans continually moan about is that Man U have never been as arrogant as what Madrid have done in this case. In some ways you can applaud Madrid's honesty but whilst I would be happy to see Ronaldo go for £85 million there is something irritating about having that ridiculous club rub our faces in it.

    Sell him- and whilst I understand his reasons for wanting to go it's the way he and Barry orchestrate their moves that is so annoying. Blaming their clubs (Rooney did this too). If you want to go then go but don't bleat to us that some how you are treated badly. Barry stating his manager has not spoken to him was just embarrasing - likewise Blabber mouth and Ronaldo arguing slavery is just a joke.

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  • 326. At 4:13pm on 11 Jul 2008, Arsenal21 wrote:

    It is interesting listening to some Man U fan's talking about that how Ronaldo owe's Utd and that they made him.

    I have never heard so much nonesense, Ronaldo was well know to everyone in Europe that keeps any tabs on up and coming talent, most Man U fan's seem to think this was some great find by SAF but he was not.

    He was a huge talent and the only reason Man U only paid £13m for him is they have a relationship with Sporting. He was always going to be a star and now that he is Man U fan's think they deserve something more from him what do you want blood?

    He almost single handedly won you the title 2 seasons running and scored in the CL final as well as 42 others times this season.

    What more can he achieve?

    Are Man U getting a hard deal if they make £50m profit from him?

    Would you not want to play in the sun rather than the rain?

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  • 327. At 4:14pm on 11 Jul 2008, coccamocca wrote:

    Good article from Liverpool fan Phil McNulty.

    "If United can prise £70m out of Real for Ronaldo"
    "It would actually provide the ultimate proof that football has finally gone mad"
    ----
    I dont agree on that.

    1. Is Phil aware that the Cristiano Ronaldo is the new kid on the block when it comes to commercial valuable footballers? He generates huge amount of revenues for Man Utd.

    2. Is Phil aware that in terms of a sporting prospective there just arent no-one that could replace cristiano ronaldo? Ronaldinho and messi maybe, given 6-12 months in the Premiership? Two others that comes to mind are Robinho and Sneijder, but they are already at Real Madrid. I dont see anyone of them used as a makeweight to secure a deal between clubs. Do Phil? Is Phil aware that it took Man Utd 2-3 years to shape cristiano ronaldo into being an effective wing-replacement for Beckham?

    3. Did Phil know that after the Beckham transfer, Real Madrid announced shortly after, that they had earned the entire transfer fee back, by just selling Beckham shirts? It gives you an insight to how much extra revenues a cristiano ronaldo transfer would give a club like Real Madrid.

    4. Is Phil aware that the record transfers of Zidane and Figo to Real Madrid from the clubs Barcelona and Juventus respectively, was done at the ages of 28 and 29. It gives us another insight on how much cristiano ronaldo is REALLY worth. He is only 23 years old. A transfer now would give Real Madrid 10-12 years to earn back their money. In the end, they will be making huge amount of money. I would say a transfer fee of £150m is justifiable. Is Phil aware that players like Messi and Ronaldinho had in the year 2006, £100m buyout-clauses in their contracts at Barcelona? Phil should also take notice that a player like Seydou Keita, that was sold from Sevilla to Barcelona this summer has a buy-out clause of €90 million ~ £72m. If you dont belive me Phil, visit the official Barcelona website.

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  • 328. At 4:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, The_Only_Way_Is_Up wrote:

    Personally I feel that Blatter should be made to pay for these comments. There has always been a crazy person with no clue running things throughout the history of this world but this is modern day. I would like to see a proper footballing panel of world stars running FIFA not a crazy mad man that hates England and English football clubs.

    I totally agree with Phil McNulty... Blatter has basically said that a contract means nothing now. How can this form of statement be any good at any level of football? With all these clauses players can have in the contracts, Ronaldo and his agent should have put one in at Man Utd or simply never have signed for the club in the first place.

    One part of me thinks... Man Utd let him go, he's no good to you now anyway but this would only show that players now have total power especially with mad pratter, I mean Blatter being at the helms for FIFA.

    I think there should be a contract clause that a player cannot talk about a transfer to another club through the press unless his club have given permission. Fifa should back this up by giving the player a heavy fine which is paid to his current club.

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  • 329. At 4:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, Brian Walsh wrote:

    Sackeyprince, I don't know how old you are or whether you ever saw Best in real life but
    Ronaldo is not good enough to lace Bestie's Stylo Matchmakers (remember them? I had a pair!) Best wasn't a whinger, he didn't stand with his hands on his hips sulking every time he got tackled (which wasn't that often) and he was a great tackler himself. Best walked away from United in his prime and he was missed, this one won't be.No son, don't believe the hype...

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  • 330. At 4:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, man_united19 wrote:

    I agree with most of the points in the article - and i think the saga's gone too far for Ronaldo to return to OT. But i do take exception to the whole "United getting a taste of their own treatment" idea. Tell me one such transfer where United have acted as classlessly as Real and enagaged in such blatant tapping up. Real haven't even put an official bid in....

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  • 331. At 4:19pm on 11 Jul 2008, emekaisyourfriend wrote:

    As I said before Phil, Manchester United are not a one-man team, and in Ronaldo's absence, they will still be challengers for the title.

    But that's just it. Arsenal finished five points behind Manchester United, Chelsea two points. I think those three teams are very much equal.

    Ferguson's disinclination to sell lies in the fact that Ronaldo is the most devastatingly effective player in the game today.

    That said, I'm sure Anderson would relish emancipation from the shackles of his central midfield berth, and in Luis Nani, they have a player capable of becoming an excellent replacement for the big man.

    But for now, Ronaldo is the difference between the top three, and there is no player in the world, in my humble opinion, that can replace what he offers, which I hope answers your question.

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  • 332. At 4:21pm on 11 Jul 2008, dwade009 wrote:

    Blatter has no right to make any comment on any player that is under contract.

    To call one a slave in modern society is pure stupidity.

    This is not the first time that he has embarressed himself and his colleagues.

    It makes me wonder whether Real madrid officials and FIFA are working in conjunction because FIFA have repeatedly ignored Real`s unsettling comments about a Manchester United player.

    T

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  • 333. At 4:22pm on 11 Jul 2008, man_united19 wrote:

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention Blatter. Mind you everyone's covered his idiocy already.

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  • 334. At 4:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    Phil. Dont know if this has been posted already. Heres the proof of Blatters an Honoury member of Real. Its from the official FIFA.com website:





    http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/releases/newsid=107760.html

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  • 335. At 4:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    Ronaldo CaN NOT and would not be able to raise as much commercial value as Beckham, and this is why:

    - He does not have a wife that was part of the most successful girl band in the 20th century.

    - He is not English and as such can not generate the degree of overwhelming press coverage that David, Victoria and even their associates do.

    - He is NOT BECKHAM.

    You all underestimate the power of the brand-Beckham. C. Ronaldo earns £150,000-a-week, that is including endorsements, Beckham rakes in up to £450,000-a-week.

    Every industry has its pros and cons...

    Everyone here trying to tell him how to live his life...Let him live people...let him live...

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  • 336. At 4:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Brian Martin wrote:

    He sort of like Mandela in many ways.

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  • 337. At 4:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, RedorDead wrote:

    Blatter’s credibility diminishes every time he opens his mouth to the point now where I no longer take him seriously.

    He is clearly upset at the success and financial muscle of the England’s top teams and I find it quite amusing how he is desperately trying to move the goalposts to put us at a disadvantage.

    Our continued success will drive this man insane and I for one relish him losing the last of his dull odd shaped marbles over the next few years of English club dominance.

    He said that he and his UEFA counterpart Platini are 'investigating' how to implement the 6 and 5 rule within the current laws when he knows full well that it is impossible. Given he has already done this and the EU told him to forget it, he seems to think there might be some way of changing the impossible whereby the EU put football above human rights and the freedom of trade act.

    His comments regard Ronaldo are even more absurd given FIFA’s own rules prohibit a players movement by restricting the number of clubs they can play for in one season, to two.

    He is contradicting his own rules very publicly showing the whole world what a fool he really is.

    Mr Blatter should resign now before he is remembered for being a laughing stock rather than the hater of everything English he is now.

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  • 338. At 4:29pm on 11 Jul 2008, G_is_God wrote:

    70 million is too much for that pathetic excuse of a human being. If I was Fergie, I wouldnt take the money, I would swap him for a couple of better players: Sneijder, Robinho, Drenthe, Ramos.


    But if he does stay, I dont think this saga would effect him at all. He is that arrogant.

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  • 339. At 4:30pm on 11 Jul 2008, maxdolly wrote:

    Yawwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnn all we read about is ronaldo ronaldo ranaldo i thought he was fantastic last season now, for me he has ruined that with his silly antics....get rid and then watch man u beat real madrid next season.....ronaldo is only as good as the team he is playing in hence his poor shows for portugal
    he wont have another season like last year but if he fancies a pay cut we will have him at leicester or ill swop my 40hr week job for his

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  • 340. At 4:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, tgbutd wrote:

    It's a pity that ageing exposes a great deal about an individual's inward and outward character. I have always had my suspicions of Blatter's envy towards the EPL's great success. This reckless and flawed "slavery" statement has just vindicated some of my arguments i have always held against him, such as being biased towards .........
    SHAME ON YOU Sepp Blatter.

    I vehemently disagree with these insinuations that Man Utd are holding Ronaldo at Ransom.It is his obscurity that's agitating all Man Utd supporters.
    We thank him for what he has contributed to the club thus far(which was brilliant) but He will never be bigger than the club. so Can Sir Alex Ferguson sell him before he tarnishes Man Utd's image further. What he doesnot realise is that Attention seeking is a "deadly disease" which can cannot only steal his dream but can also rob him of his talent.It is sad that such a promising young man might end up having a premature exit to his footballing career just because of his antics.

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  • 341. At 4:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, emekaisyourfriend wrote:

    Also, for fear of appearing to be a brown-nosing sycophant, may I jump to Mr McNulty's defence.

    Those who suggest that Mr McNulty is anti-Manchester United are myopic. He doesn't just pull these ideas of Manchester United's own bad behaviour out of his arse.

    He even kindly inserted hyperlinks to back up his point, and I can think of a few more than just Robben, Stam and van Nistelrooy.

    That said, I do think Mr McNulty should have condemned Real Madrid's behaviour. To suggest that it is the law of the jungle doesn't make it right. An eye for an eye, and the world would be blind.

    I'm an Arsenal fan, and as such have to deal with the perennial summer-long transfer sagas involving our own wantaway players, so I will admit due to my biased antipathy of Manchester United that I'm loving every minute of this.

    However, I believe in the integrity of football first and as such, will condemn Real Madrid for their shocking behaviour.

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  • 342. At 4:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:




    "FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today received the title of honorary member of Real Madrid and a gold and diamond club badge from Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón at a ceremony held at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium in Madrid. "




    Link:


    http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/federation/releases/newsid=107760.html












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  • 343. At 4:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, ignavi wrote:

    Real Madrid are intelligent, instead of paying 100 millions pounds for Ronaldo, they prefer bribe Blatter with something less. Who can actually believe that Blatter slavery comment came from the heart?

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  • 344. At 4:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, SAVEssex wrote:

    Well, all you true reds! Remember that moment that Terry slipped and seconds later our wonderful keeper saved from the le Sulk?
    I went home that night believing that it had not sunk in and tomorrow would be even better!

    It would have been had it not been for our very own (or maybe not!?) Le Brat. (C.R.)

    I cannot believe that his own ego has completely destroyed the entire Summers Gloating session, after such a wonderful achievement.

    And the true irony? It was he our very own Christiano, who almost destroyed a seasons work for the Manager, the Club and, all his "supposed" team mates.

    I cannot wait for Rooney and hehe meet face to face.

    Yes, he is the most gifted footballer of a Generation, but the love and adulation bestowed upon him by the Fans throughout the World should haunt him forever, wherever he goes.

    United will go on Forever.
    He has taken for granted, the service he has been given and assumed he can do it all.
    Not without a team of the current calibre.
    not without Sir Alex, and definately not without us, the Fans.
    (I was going to say "the Real Fans" but that would have been a bullit in the foot!
    Ronaldo will fall on his sword in the not too distant future.
    Let's take the money and run!

    Good Riddence

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  • 345. At 4:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, MW13 wrote:

    Please, God, let him go. He's still a whinging, moaning little git and I for one think English football will be better and more competitive without him.

    Also I am absolutely delighted to see Man Utd getting a taste of their own medicine. All the glory hunters are finally going to realise what it is like to be a 'real' football fan and see your best player leaving for another club.

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  • 346. At 4:39pm on 11 Jul 2008, SAVEssex wrote:

    Well, all you true reds! Remember that moment that Terry slipped and seconds later our wonderful keeper saved from the le Sulk?
    I went home that night believing that it had not sunk in and tomorrow would be even better!

    It would have been had it not been for our very own (or maybe not!?) Le Brat. (C.R.)

    I cannot believe that his own ego has completely destroyed the entire Summers Gloating session, after such a wonderful achievement.

    And the true irony? It was he our very own Christiano, who almost destroyed a seasons work for the Manager, the Club and, all his "supposed" team mates.

    I cannot wait for Rooney and he to meet face to face.

    Yes, he is the most gifted footballer of a Generation, but the love and adulation bestowed upon him by the Fans throughout the World should haunt him forever, wherever he goes.

    United will go on Forever.
    He has taken for granted, the service he has been given and assumed he can do it all.
    Not without a team of the current calibre.
    not without Sir Alex, and definately not without us, the Fans.
    (I was going to say "the Real Fans" but that would have been a bullit in the foot!)
    Ronaldo will fall on his sword in the not too distant future.
    Let's take the money and run!

    Good Riddence

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  • 347. At 4:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, welltaken wrote:

    Let Ronaldo go to Madrid!
    I honestly believe that the moment a player betrays his club and makes noises to the media about going elsewhere that they should be shown the exit.

    I am an Arsenal supporter - we are putting up with the same petulant rubbish from Adebayor, Hleb and so on. (Not that I place these chaps in the same class as Ronaldo).

    I honestly believe that United will continue to prosper without Ronaldo. I accept he is an extraordinary player, but - dare I say it! -I think United play as well, if not better, as a team without Ronaldo. They have played many matches without him and have performed just fine. A controversial view I know.

    Why would club want to retain someone who has publicly declared a desire to leave. Surely the number one attribute of a player, ahead of skill, technique etc., is the motivation and desire to play well for his team.

    I hope we see a premiership without Ronaldo, Adebayor, Hleb, Lampard, Drogba and every other 'slave' who has expressed a desire to jump ship.

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  • 348. At 4:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, cparsonstrucking wrote:

    Why does anyone listen to Blatter? It's sad that the biggest crook in football is in charge of the world governing body. He talks about slavery like he has morals

    This guy paid 50,000 a vote to buy the presidency

    He halted an internal investigation into FIFA corruption in which he was one of the main targets.

    Went back on promises to step down after two terms in office.

    Commented that female footballers need to wear tighter shorts....and WORSE of all...

    he was elected president of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders, an organisation formed to protest at "women replacing suspender belts with pantyhose".

    This is the guy running football....sad thing is that guy likely to replace him is Jack Warner, another crook.

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  • 349. At 4:44pm on 11 Jul 2008, sanchezthesniper wrote:

    I am MANUTD fan but I have heard all Iwant to hear on this subject. Let the ungrateful cretin leave and see if he manages to do better than the single title that David Beckaham managed after his move to Madrid. There is nothing worse than someone that is to stupid to undertsand when they have got it good. Isn't that right Ruud?

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  • 350. At 4:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, vertigo_timbo wrote:

    I disagree with some of the comments. Not surprising as I'm a united fan.
    Unfortuantely the players now seem to dominate, and blatter is right if he's stating the fact that contracts arent worth the paper there written on.
    Fergie has done it in the past, however what worries me is the way that Real actively pursue their transfer targets so aggressively. We hear a new spin on the story almost every day - recently Calderon telling Rafa Nadal that Ronaldo has already signed which I could well believe. the two most worrying things is Real seem to do what they want in public and no-one does anything about it. Secondly if every footballer took blatter at his word there would be utter chaos. not only seems real do what they want but they have everyone in their pocket. Zidane ok, no-one should really comment but zidane was one of those players. Blatter and Platini should keep their mouths shut - they're supposed to be keepers of the game and as head of football in europe and all the world should they really be saying - yes rules are rules but in this case it's real so it's alright - makes me wonder if real have leaned on either of them and what power they actually have. We know now who has the power and who are just puppets. In every other other walk of life they'd be uproar and they'd be forced to resign yet no-one's really said anything other than lame statement from United, again how can real just do what they want and everyone else behave like a lap dog?

    Manchester United are not Real Madrid, they're better than that - the tragedy of Munich means that United will ultimately always be bigger than any other club on the planet no matter what, unless the same tragedy besets them. I think you have to be a united fan to understand this. Football isn't life or death because it never actually gets nowhere near to that! well for real United fans it does and it is every second of the day.

    Ultimately when ronaldo stops spitting his dummy out as he did after the world cup he'll realise he's better of at united, they look after him properly. There's total stability at united. Ultimately he's in a team that can create modern footballing history whereas at real he won't know who his managers gonna be next season.

    Lastly as all i think would state us United fans aren't considered the best. However were not as fickle the average fan neither aer we led. For us the club is everything and little else matters in comparison. So if ronaldo feels he can continue his histreonics and that were not going to led him know exactly what we feel about that he's gravely mistaken.

    If ronaldo goes I'll bet one thing - van nistleroy will be out the door - the two can't stomach each other.

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  • 351. At 4:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, tenpinthirsty wrote:

    Blatter 's comments are hardly suprising given the tactics employed by real madrid and the fact Blatter was made honorary member of Real Madrid in nov 2006 !!!

    It seems the financial clout of the premiership and the success of english clubs in the champions league has upset Blatter and Platini

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  • 352. At 4:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, HarryLondon wrote:

    If Ronaldo does stay he will be booed by not only the other Premier fans but it seems by Utd supporters as well, Let the Lad go, he won United two titles and though it was only on penalties, he won a Champions league title as well.

    The boy never bottled it once, when the rest of what I think is an average utd team were sluggish he carried on and his goal record speaks for it self, Arrogant and petulant sometimes I know, but boy, what a player.

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  • 353. At 4:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, 7Bestie7 wrote:

    Mr McNulty,

    Perhaps the term was a bit strong, but the general feeling of this article (and many reports I've heard/read) amount to just what I stated. That because Manchester United are a huge club, because we've been complained about by other owners/managers/club representatives (I am surprised that you didn't link the Hargreaves/Bayern issues) that what Real Madrid is doing to us is deserved.

    And I quote:
    "Let me make one thing clear - I shed not a single tear for Manchester United or Sir Alex Ferguson as they make their complaints about Real Madrid's campaign to sign Ronaldo.

    United and Ferguson have relentlessly and ruthlessly pursued players from home and abroad in recent years - and plenty of clubs have tried and failed to keep their stars in the face of their attentions."

    In essence, "what goes around, comes around" is what you're saying. My point was this; that United have never gone to the levels that Real Madrid go to in order to get another player. We may not be innocent, be we are not as guilty as some would make out.

    TonyByers:
    The entire no-one-likes-us-we-don't-care attitude comes about through a winning attitude. I understand that this is partly why many people dislike United. My point about respect comes only about the club trying to stand up against Real Madrid in this matter. As far as I'm aware, Madrid didn't even take it to this extreme with Vieira. We've had comments and counter-comments (all from Madrid's side) for days on end. It's only in the last couple of weeks that they have slowed down their press campaign.

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  • 354. At 4:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, ShackyTauro wrote:

    I've been out all day, so apologies if my points have already been better made by others in earlier responses (no time to read them all).

    As a Man United fan I would just like to say thatI have rarely agreed more with a Phil McNulty blog, on all the points he raises - including those detrimental to United, he is totally spot on.

    Ronaldo needs to learn that neither he, nor any player before or after, is bigger than United, and his attitude over the past weeks in sullying last season's triumphs has removed any affection I (we?) have previously felt for him.

    As I am now thoroughly tired of comtemplating this embodiment of the modern, self-obsesessed, spoilt footballer that Ronaldo sadly personifies, please can we move on to the more interesting question of who should United buy with the money and how it will affect our future.

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  • 355. At 4:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, SpiderpigAfty wrote:

    It is Blatters job to said fair and balanced suggestions and ideas towards improving football and had he merely stated that keeping a player against their will could be bad for both the player and the club then I would have no argument with his statement. However, to comment on specific transfers and making ludacris quotes about "slavery" completely loses any argument or sensible point that he has. He contradicts himself and his own rules and by saying that modern day contracts between player and club are meaningless he gives more power to so called agents looking for their huge bonuses.

    If Ronaldo did not intend to see out his long-term contract with United then he shouldn't have signed it in the first place. If he was any kind of professional he would've commited his future to a club that has backed him and supported him. I can fully understand United not wanting to sell him right now, they have invested time and money in improving him as a player, for a few seasons he was up and down with form, sometimes sparkling and sometimes there was no end product. Last season he was on fire and after investing so much time in building this worldclass player, why would any club or business want to sell one of the biggest assets after one year of success?

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  • 356. At 4:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, goleooo wrote:

    I never thought I would see the day when english football reaches a new low...Fans are worried about Ronaldo's worth instead of football.
    Only in the eyes of people who know nothing about the sport with the IQ of dinner plates, is the sport revolved around Ronaldo. The world has seen thousands of Ronaldos every decade, all players come and go, but what remains is the sport. Some of them like this joker do more damage to the sport with his diving, unfair play, and money-drama that it introduces to the sport. Noone is worth 70million dollars for kicking a leather ball around. NOONE!
    I can think of a dozen better way to spend that money, but that tells of how superficial people have become.
    Please all of you who comment from England, Enough is enough, clean your football from such rubbish, and win back the reputation English players and England deserves, else soon the Premiership will suffer just like Seria A did, from corruption and money laundry, which has already happened in small scales.
    Enough of this ronaldo guy and fergies tales. Let him go. And don't worry about Real. Real has always had what they think to be the best players, yet rarely have they won anything. They have always been the galacticos and it doesn't get better than having brazilian Ronaldo, Beckham, Figo, and Raul in the team. But what did they win? NADA!.
    So just let the baby go live his dream. He will find out Real is pretty real, and not a dream at all. And the rest of you people. WAKE UP! Time to save the sport or may as well go to the circus and watch clouns play football.

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  • 357. At 4:56pm on 11 Jul 2008, hamilton1410 wrote:

    "Old Trafford's walls will not crumble if Ronaldo leaves. They were champions before he arrived and they will be again after he leaves."
    That comment couldn't come any better and that goes for any club that loses their top player to another club, for that player can see themself winning somewhere else. The part of 'slavery' being mentioned in football is ridiculous..and what does Blatter know about that with his one state mind that football is better in Europe.
    A champion can come from anywhere in the world and I'm a Man Utd fan 23 odd years now and I say...Sell the Damn prick for 80million pounds!! We always lured big players in whichever way possible to Old Trafford and I don't think that's going to stop.

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  • 358. At 5:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, uptownavondale wrote:

    I'm shocked by these comments - why is no-one speaking about what is in the best interests of the player

    he has a chance to be one of the greatest ever that's why he wants to go to a big club

    ronaldo and blatter are right

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  • 359. At 5:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, thelovelyswissboy wrote:

    I know this will bring the heavens down on my head but it does seem odd that anyone born in Liverpool (Mr McNulty) or supporting a team from that area (Mr A Green of Five Live) always seems very keen to see the back of good Utd players!
    Could this be because they are deluded enough to think that the exit of one player will make Rafa's Runarounds or the Toffee Try Hards contenders for trophies?
    If this is the case I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that Rafa kept Kewell as long as he did and that Mr Moyles hailed Andy Johnson as 'potentially England's finest centre forward'!!
    I'm laughing so much I can barely see the Champions League and Premiership trophies for the tears!!

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  • 360. At 5:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, Scooby_and_Xabi wrote:

    Excellent article Phil (despite bowing to a little peer pressure from a lot of the users begging for such an article following the Barry affair).

    I'm glad you don't pull any punches on the matter and rarely, I agree with the whole thing... Except for your interpretation of the analogy of slavery that Blatter uses... I don't quite think you needed to take it in such a literal, hard-nosed sense. The translation was obviously a little loose and was merely pointing to the fact that players are sometimes blackmailed (if you like) into doing whatever the board/manager/coach/fans/fellow players wish them to do.

    Other than that, a very good and honest read. Let him go, Man Utd don't, technically, need him. They could do with the cash and a young striker (like Aguero).

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  • 361. At 5:03pm on 11 Jul 2008, d0gwill wrote:

    This is only one of the many articles you do Phil that I actually agree with.

    But what I dont get is how you say (not in these exact words) that what is happening to Man Utd is fine and deserved after the numerous times they have done it to other teams yet in other articles of yours ie, Gareth Barry! you portray Rafa Benitez as wrong for the way he has gone about the whole Barry saga!

    Please explain what you mean because to me its kind of a double standard therory!

    Or have I missed something?

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  • 362. At 5:04pm on 11 Jul 2008, montyc wrote:

    Time to pack your bags I think, Sepp Platter is wrong, Slaves on these wages, what planet is he on??
    These highly paid players want it always, long term contracts with unreasonable wages, the freedom to move around as it suits them, I don't think so, what's happened to loyalty?.
    Clubs show loyalty with the contracts they issue, time for a big sort, quicker the better.

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  • 363. At 5:04pm on 11 Jul 2008, random50 wrote:

    "Most of us change jobs as and when we see fit so why should we deny others the same choice."

    Most of us don't sign contracts agreeing to work exclusively for our company for the next x years in return for wages of y and other benefits. We *could* negotiate such contracts if we and our employers so chose, and if we did then both parties would be expected to abide by the terms of the contract or face the legal and financial consequences.

    Footballing contracts aren't unique in this either. Some workers in other industries do, in fact, have contract clauses that bar them from working for competing companies for a pre-agreed fixed period in the event they volunatrily leave.

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  • 364. At 5:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, andyj18 wrote:

    It's frankly obscene for Blatter to use the word slavery in the context of footballers - the child labourers who get paid a pittance to make many of the products that probably sponsor FIFA competitions - that's modern slavery, Sepp.

    I often have to defend football from people who sneer about it being nothing more than industry of greed populated by overpaid, arrogant prima donnas but episodes like this (and the Hleb and Barry situations) makes me wonder why I bother.

    Mind you, those from Goodison Park, White Hart Lane and Villa Park shouldn't get on their high horse (again) - those clubs do exactly the same thing to clubs further down the pecking order (ask West Ham or Leicester) and would be perfectly happy to do what United (and Real) do if they could.

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  • 365. At 5:11pm on 11 Jul 2008, cfwtalks wrote:

    There is something rotten in the state of Football.

    Too many bitter and inciteful comments have come from the likes of Blatter and Platini which are aimed at English clubs.

    I do believe its envy. The success of the EPL in the last decade has given the football in this country a strong hold in Europe in terms of revenue and attraction for the world's best players.

    I think the powers that be are scared that the pulling power of the premier league will make all other leagues seem redundant. (Bundasliga being a prime example, no longer the force they once were).

    I hope United sell Ronaldo to Real Madrid because I honestly think he will not be as successful there as in England. I also think he will upset a lot of the current players there with his mega bucks salary.

    I hope the EPL dominate football in Europe for the next decade or two.


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  • 366. At 5:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, anthonyolan wrote:

    Am a Utd fan for life. But please please please let him go. I am sick and tired of hearing this. Wot and who does he think he is. He is a good player, maybe the best in the world now but guess what there are better players that will come after him. So let him go.

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  • 367. At 5:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, ShackyTauro wrote:

    One thought (assuming Ronaldo goes): whoever United buy, maybe now is the time and opportunity for Rooney to really step forward and start fulfilling all that potential.

    Don't misunderstand me, Rooney is a top player, but nonetheless I do not think he has yet achieved the heights that were predicted for him. Bare in mind he arrived for twice the money of Ronaldo, yet if he were availble his price tag would be no more than half.

    Perhaps this could ultimately be the making of a new Old Trafford great - what do others think?

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  • 368. At 5:19pm on 11 Jul 2008, vertigo_timbo wrote:

    i think the whole tapping up thing does need to be put into perspective. Who hasn't heard a manager publicly state about a transfer player something like "yes were interested in x, x is a quality player", which to me is tapping up.

    Manger x makes the statment, player y then has a stop and club x end up selling y .

    A couple of things. There are unfortunately very few managers who will say they will not comment. There a worse offenders than united. What about the whole Gareth Barry affair Benitez has blatantly made it clear they want to buy Barry and also has the cheek to make derisory offers.

    Personally i think Fergies is far more clever than that - he'll visit a player and make it clear they want a player. Also Van Nisterloy was bought for a lot of money. The offer for Robben was a lot of money, it's not like united have tapped up players and then bought them on the cheap.

    The rumour mill has it that Real cant afford ronaldo at £70m - have had two attempts to gain a loan rejected and so want to get him on the cheap which rather puts a whole differnt complexion on this article.

    Should be should united sell for less than £70m.

    What you have to remember about United is the accusations about bad behaviour on united's part were at a time when peter kenyon was top dog. given chelsea recent transfer dealing - where did robben end up? nor the only united transfer target to end up at chelsea - i seem to remember us buying a player and then suddenly he wants to join chelsea. Then there's the whole ericsson thing and ashley cole. So lets be fair to united and ferguson.

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  • 369. At 5:23pm on 11 Jul 2008, Terenceno14 wrote:

    If you accept that a club cannot realistically hold on to a player that wants out, then Real Madrid will know this and no way will they be paying £70m. The more of a stink Ronaldo makes, the more untenable his position is - and hence the more ManUtd will have to get rid of him. I'd guess he'd go for £30-40m max.

    As for Utd prospering without him - maybe in the long run but you don't replace 40 goals easily.

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  • 370. At 5:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, goleooo wrote:

    disappointed,
    people like you are just like baby ronaldo. ignorant. You have no idea what english football is. Having a bunch of africans or non-english players who don't show the english style of playing, hardly makes the league and english league. So you are taking pride on a league based in england that does not represent the values and the spirit of the english people. Only fanatic fans like you take pride on it. Any real fan would look around and ask, "wot's wrong with the englishmen, for playing in lower devisions? aren't we good enough?" And the likes of Fergie and Mourinho have a simple answer: Your sons are not good enough! Such a shame, the english have become a second tier nation.

    and as far as your dominance goes: Can you please count how many english players played in the Champion's league final? I ahve a feeling all of them together don't even make a full team. that's your english dominance? I would rather be loyal to my bundesliga instead of mercenaries who will stab you in the back any moment. But than again, perhaps the new generation of english people don't know what loyalty and pride are.

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  • 371. At 5:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, t_RAV wrote:

    Right on Phil, tell it like it is.

    Ronaldo should go. ManU should collect a huge sum and move on. And anyone who things ManU is all honorable in their transfer dealings is a homer.

    Unfortunately this seems to be the way of the modern game, and if anyone doesn't like it, they should stop watching Football. I do wonder though if there is truth about the 'conspricy' against the Premier league by the heads of the governing bodies (mentioned by an earlier blogger). Because you do have to ask yourself, why would Plantini, who's spoken out against clubs dealing in debt, think that the Ronaldo deal is good if a club has to borrow money in order to pull it off? And as for Blatter, how a person in his position can make a statement like that is beyond me. It makes me feel like I should be running Fifa, at least I'd be more tactful in my comments on such matters. If contracts are not to be respected then why bother signing them?

    I shed no tears for ManU's complaints about Real's conduct. All big clubs are similar in their dealings, I feel, and you can't differentiate between them. I'm a Bayern Munich fan (which I'm sure will be derided by folks here) and even I feel they are not honorable in their transfer dealings all the time, and I'm their fan. But part of the problem that puts clubs in a position to 'have to sell' is their financial health. If fans want their clubs to be strong and hold their players, they should demand that they be more fiscally responsible. I only have to cite the case of Hargreaves to prove my points.

    Like Ronaldo, Hargreaves signed a new deal with Bayern not much before he decided he would like a transfer. These guys are not held at gun point to sign these deals, so they should think a little harder about it before they sign them. The problem is none of the players want to take the gamble to not sign, and then not have the team of their dreams come knocking when their available. So they sign and hope that sometime down the road their dream team comes along, then they can create the transfer circus and force the move. That's how it's done. Sometimes it comes sooner than expected. Though Hargreaves expressed wanting to play sometime in England (a la CR/Spain) he seemed happy at Bayern, but have a good World Cup and be the best English player on the pitch (for a country where alot of fans didn't even want him on the team before the tournament), all of the sudden SAF comes out to say he was looking to get him and Owen decides it was time to leave Bayern. I can't begrudge it, I love Hargreaves and he put in his shift at Bayern and deserves to move on, however timing is everything. Again, he didn't have to sign his extension. I cannot not speak to Real's or ManU's financial health, only from what I read, which seems to indicate that though they are the highest earning clubs they do still work with some debt. Bayern however are quite healthy financially, so when ManU came calling they didn't have to do anything except give the cold shoulder. My respect for Bayern grew because they didn't deal Hargreaves. Then when the time was right, Bayern took ManU to the cleaners for a sum higher than what they probably needed to pay. And with that Bayern reinforced their team with better players. Hargreaves or Ribery/Toni? Sorry Owen, but I'll take Ribery/Toni. Some say why turn down the money and hang on to a disgruntled player, but if your team is financially healthy then you can act on your principles and refuse and hold players to their contracts.

    I think ManU has the right to just sit this guy in the reserves for the entire year if they choose. However, take heart ManU fans, I think you'll be far better off without the guy rather than with him. You've put up with enough from CR. Sir Alex is a smart guy and will spend the money wisely. ManU will still be a force. I just feel sorry for the Real fans. I thought they were moving in the right direction, away from the Galactico policies, but it seems and long as Calderon is in charge it will always remain the same. Only time will tell if it pays off for Madrid this time, or whether they are just inheriting another 'Ronaldo' who their fans will hate.

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  • 372. At 5:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, andyj18 wrote:

    "United cannot complain about Real's attitude, they have done the same many times"

    As someone else mentioned, there's a difference between making an offer for a player when a club doesn't necessarily want to sell and tapping someone's agent to cause a rift without putting a penny on the table.

    Real have form stretching back decades here. In the past, they just got Franco's goons to tell players like Di Stefano that they were playing for Madrid whether they liked it or not.

    Now they just get to the agent who then gets the player to publicly agitate for a move and back his club into a corner - while Real innocently declare they know nothing about a possible deal and even if they did, it wouldn't happen unless the seller wants it to.

    That's how they got their hooks into Zidane, Figo and (Brazilian) Ronaldo.

    There's a difference between that and the board of clubs like Everton or Tottenham publicly declaring they don't want to do a deal just to save face with their own fans - while negotiating over the concrete offer on the table.

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  • 373. At 5:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Diarmuid wrote:

    I back Ronaldo 100%. I don't know what everyone is giving out about. The guy has given 5 years of service to Man U and now he has the opportunity to move on to a bigger club, so I say "go for it".

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  • 374. At 5:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, BossDonkey wrote:

    Phil, is there a trend here? Your articles always seem to include material to stir the global masses that support Liverpool or Man Utd. Where's the Everton commentary? Is it because no-one would reply? Are you on a quota? Give 1 man and his dog from Page Moss a chance. Lets have an Everton story.

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  • 375. At 5:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, trueredPete wrote:

    Sell the SLAVE we owe him nothing, he owes us everything because it was United that made him the player he his today.
    Sell him for 60 million and Ramos (Ramos is an Ace right back) then put in a bid for Messi and Huntlaar or Benzema. Then United would be whole and have plenty of cover all over the park.

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  • 376. At 5:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, red-BestG wrote:

    First thing first, i dislike (hate too strong word to use) players that are arrogant and im a Man UTD fan.

    Last season at the beginning i though Ronaldo was coming close to his peak with great performances but towards the end of the season it went to his head and you could tell this because he never rose to the occation in big games as much as he did against the likes of Portsmouth.

    If Ronaldo wants to go to Real, let him £70million is a lot of money and that money could be used to buy at least 3 decent players, there are more exciting sights in football that Cristiano Ronaldo.

    I personally think Ronaldo lacks in experience, he is too cocky Man UTD need a fluent footballer that knows when to shine.

    I think if the rumours were true about the Robiniho + Snejder was true i think UTD should of took it because they are both world class players and could easily fill the spot of Ronaldo.

    I say Bye bye Ronaldo

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  • 377. At 5:38pm on 11 Jul 2008, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    I back Ronaldo 100%. I don't know what everyone is giving out about. The guy has given 5 years of service to Man U and now he has the opportunity to move on to a bigger club, so I say "go for it".

    Liverpoolmaximus
    ________________________


    Same could be said of Stevie G.

    Not by you, obviously...

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  • 378. At 5:44pm on 11 Jul 2008, rutherford1 wrote:

    With regard to the Ronaldo and Blatter saga that is running this summer - I wish to make a point about Loyalty and Role models in football.
    Basically Ronaldo has has been a very poor role model to those young kids who admire and worship him and who's parents cough up large amounts of hard earned money for shirts and other stuff that carry his name or picture on them.
    Perhaps he should remember he signed a contract that gave the impression to these kids that he would be around longer and that he loved the club as much as they do.
    Not a jot of loyalty there i think and an extremely poor example off the pitch for these young people.
    These players are well looked after by their clubs(slaves i don't think).
    Blatter's comments as a mature man in years and experience leave a lot to be desired.
    I certainly will be informing my kids about the true nature of these 2 mercenaries and poor role models.

    Mike

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  • 379. At 5:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, Tacalabala wrote:

    If he is to leave, United must demand either £100m or £70m plus Sneijder and De la Red.

    Also, and stay with me on this for a moment, United should help Ronaldo and his agent to get the biggest wage possible. Why? Think about, if Ronaldo is payed a truely ridiculous wage then:

    a) He may become distracted and a worse player for it.

    b) Other Real Madrid players will demand equal wages, which could cripple Real financially, or...

    c)... cause team division as the other players won't get paid as much.

    d) Other players would have to be sold to balance the books, making Real a 'one-man team', overly reliant on Ronaldo - a man now proven to be disloyal.

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  • 380. At 5:50pm on 11 Jul 2008, 100kSlave wrote:

    Why should players be able to effectively rip up contracts, but clubs can't? Imagine the uproar if Man Utd told an out-of-form player, "leave the club, and we're not paying up your contract". The terms have to hold both ways or clubs will go bankrupt in the players' favour. Even Man Utd.

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  • 381. At 5:51pm on 11 Jul 2008, Wacky65 wrote:

    At 5:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Liverpoolmaximus wrote:

    I back Ronaldo 100%. I don't know what everyone is giving out about. The guy has given 5 years of service to Man U and now he has the opportunity to move on to a bigger club, so I say "go for it".


    That shows that the 'talent' of Torres and Gerard ammounts to nothing and that no 'big club' would sign them.

    Get real liverpool fan, there's more at stake here than cheap digs at Utd.

    City of culture indeed. Blatter needs 'le guillotine' I think. The mans an idiot.

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  • 382. At 5:53pm on 11 Jul 2008, tmepol wrote:

    If Ronaldo thinks he is a slave how does he feel about they tens of thousands of young girls that are illegally imported to "allegedly" satisfy the likes of him and max moseley?

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  • 383. At 5:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, SucramVilla wrote:

    There was life at Man Utd after Van Nistelrooy, there was life at Arsenal after Vieria and Henry, there was life at Everton after Rooney. One player can never make a club; Man Utd should take the cash for a clearly uncommitted player and throw down the gauntlet to Nani or Anderson to step up to fill his place in the team.
    Ronaldo has after all had only one fantastic season. Remember Anelka did that at Arsenal causing a similar Madrid seduction.

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  • 384. At 6:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, aobcanada wrote:

    For the president of FIFA not to understand what a blight Slavery was and continues to be on the history of humankind is unbelievable. To use it in the context of an overpaid football player is outrageous.

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  • 385. At 6:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, raging_raven wrote:

    I agree with Phil McNulty, very nicely put. I am a Man Utd fan outright, and right now I love it to see him leave for Real Madrid. He doesnt deserve to play for man utd.

    After everything Sir Alex Ferguson and Man Utd has put in for him, he doesnt have the decency and sportsmanship to atleast make it clear, sit down with Ferguson and come to an agreement let alone stay in the club.

    Man Utd should sell him this very instant for about £80m and buy one or two other outstanding player that are out there.

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  • 386. At 6:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, melbourne1873 wrote:

    "It's frankly obscene for Blatter to use the word slavery in the context of footballers - the child labourers who get paid a pittance to make many of the products that probably sponsor FIFA competitions - that's modern slavery, Sepp."

    Brilliant comment, spot on.

    I am a Rangers fan, and i think our previous season is testimont to the value of team spirit. We got to a European cup final with a TEAM of players who, whilst being far from world-beaters, would have walked through walls to help the team, and ran themselves into the ground on a regular basis. Obviously i'm not suggesting Man Utd should base their style on that of Glasgow Rangers (i'm sure most people from Manchester don't want ANYTHING to do with my team) but it does show how important a team ethic is. Let Ronaldo go. Sure, milk every penny you can from that Calderon idiot, he deserves it for his comments to Marca alone, but he can be nothing but a disruptive influence on the team. Ronaldo reeks of a lack of class, decency and integrity, not to mention any sense of loyalty at all. Brilliant player, carp person.

    p.s. we will sell you charlie adam for a bargain £7M if you want?

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  • 387. At 6:12pm on 11 Jul 2008, prindle23 wrote:

    I've said it all along, let the "poor thing" go.
    Once a player expressed a desire to leave the club his motivation will all be in question.
    He should not forget however, that it was ManU that elevated him to current status. Someday, he may regret the switch to Real, as many hogh profile players did.
    Just price him right, there are lots of talented players to choose from. ManU's midfield needs rebuilding anyway due to ageing key players.

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  • 388. At 6:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, verigoat wrote:

    So with what blatter sed, does this make lampard a slave and he shud be aloud to go???

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  • 389. At 6:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, BestSpam1979 wrote:

    For most of the summer, I've sneered at Ronaldo's pathetic whinging and considered him as an ungrateful brat.

    Then today it hit me...I work in a pleasant-enough job, get on with my colleagues, and earn enough to pay my rent. On paper there's nothing wrong with my working life.

    But is it the career I dreamed of growing up? No. Would I trade it for the chance to get the job I wanted my whole life? Quite possibly...especially if I only had a few chances in my life to make that trade.

    Looked at that way, his wanting the move to Real that's been offered sounds more understandable...though his inability to accept 'no' from his current employer does still leave a bad taste in my mouth.

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  • 390. At 6:18pm on 11 Jul 2008, BestSpam1979 wrote:

    "It's frankly obscene for Blatter to use the word slavery in the context of footballers - the child labourers who get paid a pittance to make many of the products that probably sponsor FIFA competitions - that's modern slavery, Sepp."

    Brilliant comment, spot on.

    ________________________________

    Amen to that :)

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  • 391. At 6:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, GeorgieStillBest wrote:

    Blatter talks about slavery. He's absolutely right! Slavery is back big time...!!! Or is it imprisonment?.... God, I feel sorry for Ronaldo. Enough is enough , he should be given the right to do what he wants. Surely he's suffered enough? Look, he's only 23, a naive young lad,,, poor thing. Sir Alex, I beg you, let him go. I know it will be difficult to find a worthy replacement, or two, or three.
    You made him what he is today and I'm sure he's extremely grateful. Ronaldo and Real Madrid deserve each other...It's a fairytale ending. goodbye our faithful friend and............. GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!...

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  • 392. At 6:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, Bdaphil wrote:

    How do Sepp's latest comments fit in relation to Sepp's desire to have footballers treated seperately under international employment laws (the new 6-5 rule contravening EU employment laws, for example)? It sounds like he wants his cake and to be able to eat it to!

    If I was involved in this process at any level, I'd be sure to point this out to my local MEP or at least advise Sepp on the contradiction so that he can decide exactly which side of the fence he wants to be.

    Further, if they want to be treated as a normal employee, then a footballer wanting to break an employment contract would need to pay back appropriate "golden handshake" (signing on bonus fees) payments. Or would they be exempt from these as "special" cases?

    If we follow the thought process through. I think we'd see a rapid introduction of back-weighted contracts that see the majority of salary earned in latter years of contract - similar to American sports contracts - so that players honour long-term contracts. Whereby some like Ronaldo would only earn 80 thousand per week, with a bonus representing the balance on completion of contract (or sale by club). I wonder how a "slave" would be able to cope on such a small salary.

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  • 393. At 6:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, paultmor wrote:

    Phil very well said, i am a Glasgow Rangers fan, and I live in America I watch the EPL all the time, Ronaldo was out of this world last season but also there where times i would not have paid to see him, he was not that good in the euro's not a top notch player, and this slave thing how dare Blatter say things like that, FIFA are a joke and so is he, Man UTD had a good year last year, and it says alot about Brittish right now having three teams in euro finals last year, in Scotland and England our teams could hold their heads high, very well done, Sir Alex is the best in football, and he is a Scot who will fight to the end, but get rid of Ronaldo buy 4 top players and man -u will winn it all again, I am no big fan of man-u , it is time we slaves are sick of hearing all the B.S, DONT WANT TO PULL THE SHRIT ON ! OUT THE DOOR YOU GO.

    Paul

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  • 394. At 6:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, Acnemanprice wrote:

    I agree with the comment by Oneway86. The Glazers are hard nosed businessmen and will only sell a player who is contracted to their club for the next four years if it suits them. At the moment Ronaldo is on fire and is in no way comparable to RVN (who was massively overrated and went for half what Utd paid for him) and Becks whom I think was nowhere near as good as he thought he was. I think there was a story on the TV once about a family home Malcolm Glazer bought and demolished just to stop the rest of his family getting part of it. Does that sound like the sort of bloke who would let Ronaldo walk out of OT while he still has an obligation to Utd?

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  • 395. At 6:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, MancuniansAreRed wrote:


    Let's put the Ronaldo circus to a side for a second, theres another issue which is bugging me lately, and that is the Blatter/Platini hate campaign against English football. Platini backing Ronaldo, blatter also and with his very harsh comments about slavery, which is repulsive considering the state of poverty in some of the countries which participate in his organisation, such as the African nations. Limit foreign players to such a number because England are taking over the CL? Where were these suggestions when the likes of Milan and Madrid were booking their annual plane tickets to the CL Final every May? Nowhere, and as for England's possible bid for WC2018, it's already been made clear we are not wanted, and this is 10 years early!!! It's clear there is a certain level of despise for English football by the UEFA and FIFA bodies.

    Back to Ronaldo, i am a 20 year old DIE HARD United fan, i live 10 mins from old trafford born and bread in Salford, and no one bleeds this club more than i do, i have shed tears for my team time and time again and as i have worshipped this man as a god for the last 3 years, i feel utterly humiliated, this man has took away the triumph and joy over what was our 2nd best season ever, and instead of celebrating our success, he has completely overshadowed it with his self obsessed, selfish self and the apparent regard he holds for my beloved Manchester United has left me heartbroken, slave? please, you are idolised by 76000 fans week in week out, prayed to like god by young children and handsomely paid more in 2 weeks than what our Prime Minister earns in 12 months.

    You should be ashamed of yourself son, and as much as it pains me to say it, i no longer want you at my club anymore, we are Manchester United, and you are a player in the team like everybody else.

    Adios, judas.

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  • 396. At 6:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, the_answer45 wrote:

    They should let him go to Madrid and win nothing but maybe the Spanish cup. Also what an Idiot Sepp Blatter is, he is always spouting off rubbish and should not be allowed anywhere a job that requires decision making. Fergie needs to give him a Glasgow kiss and knock some sense into his Swiss head.

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  • 397. At 6:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, william harper wrote:

    all this media attention is making a lot of people vomit .the majority of the populace are wondering who this ronaldo is,outside of manchester the talking point is that when everyone is feeling the pinch and under the cosh financialy this so called awesome footballer is on a weekly wage that most of us would take several years to earn then has the nerve to say that he's regards himself as a slave. man utd should cash in ,screw as much money as they can get out of real madrid and let him go, 12 months at real and he'll be at it again and the obvious reason why he hasn't put in a transfer request is that he wants his percentage of the transfer fee,no doubt his agent has guided him this far knowing that his own financial future will be assured.the whole exercise leaves a very sour taste.

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  • 398. At 6:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, James Dollimore wrote:

    I am disappointed that Mr Blatter's comments have not brought him universal criticism in the media and worldwide calls for his resignation.

    There are well founded questions over his character like for example his role in the bribery of FIFA officials investigated by the Swiss Police, his involvement with Jack Warner and vote rigging.

    His current agenda regarding a quota system of home and overseas players clearly illustrates he is not of sound judgement as anyone with a beginners knowledge of European Law will tell you this is not only illegal but contradicts one of the founding principles of the EU.

    He is supposed to be representing a world institution and to make a throw away remark about slavery borders on the unforgivable. For him to have compared any man in the free world as a slave is an insult. He obviously knows nothing about World History as well as contemporary European Law - at least UEFA President Platini recognises the talents of Beethoven. I can't believe has is yet to apologise or offer his resignation.

    offensive unforgivable. To compare any free man in the modern was be

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  • 399. At 6:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, laliganumberone wrote:

    Saying the European Cup was much easier to win than the Champions League is a bitter and childish statement

    So easy United could only win 1 with home ground advantage (lets not go into hypotheticals about Munich)

    If it was so easy how come United could

    (a) only win 1 thanks to home ground advantage

    (b) play the 1999 final from 90th minute and injury time

    (c) get outplayed by chelsea and fluke a penalty shootout



    * Champions Only

    * Football teams played football and didn't sit back playing for 1-0 wins despite being outplayed (like how United played that awful, unattractive football to barely scrape past Barcelona)

    * Leagues were dominated by football, not how much money a team has (like England at the moment with the two most greedy and selfless corporations dominating a league by spending insane amounts and trying to stop other teams buying their targets)


    7-3 final will be remembered for football, unlike most big matches Man U play in - they're likely to be full of anti-football kung fu kicks from the thugs like Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Eric Cantona, Nicky Butt.... and likely to be aimed at winning it 1-0

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  • 400. At 6:55pm on 11 Jul 2008, Nick wrote:

    Blatters comments, and then Ronaldo agreeing with them is DISGRACEFUL.

    It is a pure insult to compare slaves who were crammed aboard ships and sent half way round the world in appalling conditions often contracting diseases and often dying to footballers who earn thousands of pounds an hour, never mind a week.

    It is so outragous that Blatter can make this kind of comment and seem to get away with it.

    Even worse, some posters on here and on 606 don't even seem to acknowledge the slavery issue; and are more interested in the prospect of losing Ronaldo.

    It makes me sick.

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  • 401. At 7:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, JuanP5 wrote:

    Firstly, I've never like Blatter, and I believe that he really has something against British clubs!!!!(This is just my opinion)

    Secondly, Signing a contract for x amount of pounds for x amount of years is not slavery, so i don't know where both Blatter and Ronaldo get off from making these statements!!!

    Thirdly, It is an awkward situation, and as a united fan, I don't want Ronaldo to leave. But i think if he really is that unhappy,( and also because he has been disrespectful to United by saying he wants to play for a "bigger club") let him leave, but for the right price. McNulty's right and he wont be as good as he was last season. No one should be bigger than the club, and Ferguson has proven this with Stam, Beckham, Van Nistlerooy, etc.

    I'm grateful for what he has done for the great club, but to play for United, you must want to

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  • 402. At 7:05pm on 11 Jul 2008, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    If Ronaldo wants to go by all means let the lad go.He wants to play for Real Madrid for Pete's sake!!!!!31 league titles,9 Champions Cups/League.The cub of Puskas,Di Stefano,Didi,Gento,Kopa,Butragueno,Sanchez and lately Raul.The biggest(yes)club in the world!Man United should get as much money as they can for him and should work on strenghtening the team with the money and move on.

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  • 403. At 7:08pm on 11 Jul 2008, Georgeowusukwabena wrote:

    The 70million pounds demanded is neither here nor there. If this young man pretends he is not well and will not play or play with little enthusiasm, what can anybody do?

    The exploitation he is being made to go through can be stopped. They should let him go instead of overpricing him as if he is a cattle. He knew how to play before joined the club.

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  • 404. At 7:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, cfc1970 wrote:

    poor young lad clearly his brains are in his feet and not his head

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  • 405. At 7:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, 1956ManUtdFan wrote:

    I totally agree with most parts of the majority of answers. However I disagree with the views of a few writers. Yes United have not performed with total discretion on some transfers...and yes they were a bit heavy handed when it came to Wayne Rooney,....however.....as far as I can remember, NEVER has a Club with the colabaration of the whole of the Media been as relentless in the persuit of one player as Real Madrid (and I use their name with capital letters for the last time) and the rest of the world been in the transfer of Mr Ronaldo. I wonder if such interest and comment would have been made if it was regarding a Wigan player ( no disrespect to Wigan intended.....all the best for next season). No, we have a club from Manchester who have just been crowned Champions of England and Europe, with a player just to be crowned player of Europe and The World.

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  • 406. At 7:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, Macka wrote:

    It doesn't surprise me one little bit he (Blatter) would come out with comments like that; every time he talks of England or English clubs it is always negative and I think he has some sort of hidden vendetta, as for Ronaldo being treat like a slave, although slavery is not widely reported in modern times, poverty would be the next alternative and I would like to see the pair of them to try and hack it in some 3rd world country that is oppressed by a corrupt government.

    Football is a working class is a sport and for Blatter to say these things as well as for Ronaldo to go agree with these comments, they being disrespectful to the working class society of not just England but everywhere else.

    I also think it's a case of sour grapes with Ronaldo as Man Utd are refusing to let him have his 'Dream Move' to Real (And so they should)

    BLATTER IS JUST A CRAZY OLD MAN AND SHOULD CALL IT A DAY!!!!!!!

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  • 407. At 7:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, chronomanutd wrote:

    Utd should sell him and get robben and cassilias and 45 million with the 2 of them. We will need a keeper soon and obviously a winger with ronaldo gone and then we could buy some one like aguero with the money left over.

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  • 408. At 7:46pm on 11 Jul 2008, 19and6 wrote:

    What I would like too see happen is Ronaldo to be allowed to join Madrid for 70 million, with thanks from us United fans for his efforts. Let him go on good terms.....then buy him back at the end of next season when he's had a taste of what Real Madrid is like compared to United, for 35 million. Think Mark Hughes to Barcelona.

    Unfortunately, we won't get 70 million. Real Madrid's intention is obvious - disrupt the player, not put a bid in, make him request a transfer, then bid 35 million once the bridges are well and truly burnt. That's what annoys me. They've generated all the publicity about how much they're going to pay, both to United and Ronaldo, but where's the substance.

    To quote the ol short a****d scientology nutter "Show me the money!" Put 70million on the table and stop the games - stop trying to disrupt him to get him on the cheap.

    Also, am I the only red who really really wants to draw Real Madrid in our Group come the Champions League? Let's sort it on the field. Bring it on!!

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  • 409. At 7:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, simtov wrote:

    Both Blatter and Ronaldo need good slap around the ear. Ronaldo is an ungrateful b***** who should be sent to the naughty step.

    Blatter needs to understand that he can't make up rules that contradict the law of the land. Remember this is a man who said that female football player would look better in skimpy outfits!! Mind you would the ladies objects if Ronaldo had to do the same!

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  • 410. At 7:53pm on 11 Jul 2008, sumodragon wrote:

    Get rid, get real and get really rich.
    Utd have seen the Best of the wonky winker.
    The worst of the prima diva
    donna is already on show.

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  • 411. At 7:59pm on 11 Jul 2008, jinius wrote:

    At first I thought maybe he does have a point, not the rubbish about slavery but maybe clubs shouldn't try and keep players against their will.

    But Sepp Blatters comments ignore one major factor, contracts are two way. If players can abandon them at will how can you prevent clubs doing the same.

    It is ok for the super rich players who are always looking for bigger and better, but what about the squad players, journeymen and youngsters? If one of them picked up an injury would it be fair for the club to simply release them despite the fact they have 4 years left on a contract?

    The answer is obviously no and therefore due to the dual nature of contracts the player should not be allowed to either.

    Perhaps the players need to employ better Lawyers to draw up their contracts, surely if Ronaldo had a £100m release clause in his contract this would be a non-issue. Real could offer the money and United would have to accept. If their is no release clause in his contract it is the players fault and he must live with it!

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  • 412. At 8:06pm on 11 Jul 2008, Arnie_Aardvark wrote:

    Yes by all means sell Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £70 million, but make sure the transfer stipulates that this is purely for him to play football and that Manchester United retain his image rights which Ronaldo signed over to them, that way every time Real Madrid sell a shirt with Ronaldo's name or any other product endorsed by him they get a percentage.

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  • 413. At 8:07pm on 11 Jul 2008, showUsYerHands wrote:

    I don't think Fergie will sell Ronaldo. It would be a massive loss of face, and losing both his star player and his assistant Quieroz would be seen as too much to lose and accomodate for in one summer.

    If, by the small chance Ronaldo is sold, Robinho will be arriving, as Fergie said he would only sell Ronaldo if he could get a replacement. I can't think of any winger of the quality of Ronaldo, the only one that comes close is Brazilian Robinho.

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  • 414. At 8:10pm on 11 Jul 2008, SAFisKing wrote:

    McNulty talking nonsense again - £70m, your having a laugh

    £85m - £90m or hes rotting in the stands for 2 yrs, real madrid reckon he will make them at least £250m in merchandising,so if they want pay the above or shut it.

    I understand Ronaldo's dream to play for Real, for players from Iberian Peninsula Real/Barca will always be biggest clubs in world, but I am disgusted by Ronaldos actions this summer.

    I would still welcome him back if he says he wants to stay for 2+ yrs, as thts a decent commitment and starts show some respect for the fans. If he says he'll stay for 1 get rid, cos we all know he won't be anywhere near his best next seaspn, but im serious £85m minimum otherwise I'd let him rot

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  • 415. At 8:10pm on 11 Jul 2008, BanBlatter wrote:

    I think the truth is that Real Madrid can't and won't pay £70+ million for him.

    They couldn't even find the £25 million they paid for Beckham in one go.

    I don't think there are too many Utd fans who at this moment wouldn't much rather have the £70+ million to put towards some players with character, rather than risk keeping a player who bottles big games, doesn't appear dedicated to the cause, and who has an iffy ankle.

    ... I suppose more reasons why Real will not pay £70+ Million

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  • 416. At 8:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, Hoodiez'n'Yoofs wrote:

    £50 mill..take any price for gods sake..he doesnt deserve to wear a man utd shirt...he could hav scored 50 goals in a season..it doenst make him bigger than the club. Anyway what are the odds that he would repeat the same feat this year? probably nil.

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  • 417. At 8:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, janvarney wrote:

    ronnie,short memory fergie and utd fans stood by you,so did wayne.becks ,stam ,keane,nistleroy and king eric all gone but man utd stay strong.tell him he can go in 12 months for 70 million,if he sulks and does not perform,fine him in breach of contract and make him train with youth team. you could have become united legend but probally not now .thank the gods for the real living legend RYAN GIGGS ,the red dragon/RED DEVIL. now is time for WAYNE to take the throne.

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  • 418. At 8:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, eleme22 wrote:

    I am disappointed in Sepp Blatter, as preseident of fifa he should be sending the right signal to all. If some one signs a contract, such a person should honour the contract. Sepp's comment has belittle the suffering of slaves. The players are being paid millions of $s. How on earth can Sepp say people who are being paid millions are slaves?
    Sepp should step down. He is no longer an honest broker.

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  • 419. At 8:42pm on 11 Jul 2008, Mancunian wrote:

    Sepp Blatter once again has shown his dislike for anything to do with English football, I doubt he would have made the same coments if Real Madrid, Barc or Bayern were involved.

    As for Ronaldo I couldnt agree more, its time to accept the outrageous amounts of money being offered, i very much doubt he will repeat last season, better players than him have gone in the past Robson, Cantona and Keane to name but a few and Ferguson still finds away to achieve results, United should be dumping Ronaldo as fast as posible and applauding the loyalty of players like Scholes and Giggs that have been much better servants to the club and fans, and in my opinion better players.

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  • 420. At 9:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, iwastherein68 wrote:

    You're wasting precious life force by dwelling on the stupid, inane and ridiculous Sepp Blather. As for Ronaldo, if he doesn't wish to play at Old Trafford send him to Real but insist they engineer a deal that brings Frank Ribery and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to United - plus a little cash. Life goes on!

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  • 421. At 9:01pm on 11 Jul 2008, littleronnie69 wrote:

    Let him go, we'll get by without him and it'll show we don't need him to be a winning team. And anything over £50m is a tidy sum for a whining brat with an overgrown sense of his own importance..

    I like Arnie Aardvark's idea of keeping his image rights - quality ! lol !

    Sepp (tic) Bladder's comments just show the (alleged) ignorance of the man, as so many other posters here have pointed out.

    As for the (alleged) bias, we must ask ourselves what would have happened if match-fixing was found to occur in the EPL, or some of the atrocious behaviour seen at other clubs in Europe (blatant racism, extreme violence and worse) was to happen in the UK - what would Mr. Blatter be asking for as "punishment" then? I wonder..

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  • 422. At 9:04pm on 11 Jul 2008, JStandgiveusasong wrote:

    Slightly digressing, having seen the transfer of the freak, sorry, Crouch go through this afternoon, If he's worth 11mill, Rony has to top 100. Quality bit of business by the vermin...has 'Arry finally lost the plot? No more quality free transfer signings, Portsmouth have now entered the big time. Cant wait for the Charity Shield, 90 mins of circus theamed music...11 mill ha ha ha!

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  • 423. At 9:16pm on 11 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    An excellent article with a fairly accurate assessment of a rather dull saga. A classic example of a minor story, perpetuated by journalists, home and abroad, with too much time on their hands in a traditionally quiet period, Euro 2008 aside, for football writers. Personally, the sooner the whole episode is put to bed, one way or the other, the better.
    Assuming Cristiano Ronaldo eventually makes the move to Madrid, Manchester United won't be worse off, either financially or with the strength of their playing staff. It doesn't necessarily follow, CR would rise to the same heights attained last season, indeed, it could be rightly argued that now is a good opportunity to cash in while his stock his high. Notwithstanding, with so much conjecture and following a serious operation, now might be the perfect time for Manchester United to liquidate their asset for two reasons; (a) It would appear that CR has his mind set on a transfer, if this opportunity were denied him, would his heart still be in The Premier League? (b) In the short term, his injury lay off is bound to have an affect on his playing performances initially, arguably up to, say, the Christmas period.
    Sir Alex Ferguson could learn from the master of offloading players at the top of their games for maximum financial benefit, Arsene Wenger.
    Overall, Manchester United won't be uncomfortable with the present situation.

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  • 424. At 9:28pm on 11 Jul 2008, THE_OMBUDSMAN wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A38229906

    I MADE THIS POINT THIS MORNING AND I WAS SHOT DOWN FOR IT

    FOOTBALL OVER THE YEARS HAS NOT CHANGED THERE ARE SMALL CLUBS BIG CLUBS AND MASSIVE CLUBS AND ITS LIKE A FOOD CHAIN

    EACH CATEGORY TRAMPLES ALL OF THE GROUP BELOW THEM MAN UTD FAN BASE IS THE WORLDS BIGGEST NO DOUBT BUT REAL MADRID ARE SEEN AS THE WORLDS BIGGEST DUE TO MORE EURO CUPS

    ITS FUNNY HOW UNITED FORGET HOW THEY USED THEIR POWER TO GET ROONEY RIO YORKE ETC NOW THE ONLY CLUB BIGGER THAN THEM IS DOING THE SAME THE ONLY RELIEF FOR UNITED IS THAT THEY ARE PROBABLY THE ONLY CLUB WHO CAN HURT THEM. SPARE A THOUGHT FOR ALL THE CLUBS SMALLER THAN UNITED

    RIGHTLY SO I STILL FEEL THIS RONALDO SCENARIO SICKENING IT MAKES YOU WONDER IF REAL HAVE TAPPED SEPP BLATTER UP LET ALONE RONALDO!!!!!!!!!!

    TO SUGGEST ITS SLAVERY IS DIABOLICAL AND THAT IS PUTTING MILDLY

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  • 425. At 9:36pm on 11 Jul 2008, gc wrote:

    It is not good that Manu as Premiership and Champions league winners= best club on planet earth right now cannot hold onto a player because he wants to leave. Who are Madrid? It's 7 years since they were considered the best.
    Fergie has been famous for his mantra that "no player is bigger than the club". You cannot expect to be the best if you cannot hold onto the best players. After United lost Beckham and Van Nistelrooy to Real they didn't get their hands on the top silverware until Ronaldo bloomed.
    Make no mistake; losing him to Madrid would be a disaster, for Manu and the the Premier League.

    Blatter? It's not the first time he has shot his mouth off and it won't be the last. He seems fo make no secret of his deep dislike of Football in the British Isles.

    In case you are wondering I am a Chelsea fan and I think Cristiano Ronaldo is the most up-his own -**** player in the world. But he can play.

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  • 426. At 9:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, twelvty wrote:

    When he leaves because it's obvious he has to now.

    WHAT WILL BE THE BEST THING MOVING ON.

    My solution is quite radical but there is only one way to establish an equal player/club balance.

    All existing contracts remain the same but clubs from now on only sign players on 1 year deals. You may say how does a club make money but eventually if all players have 1 year only ROLLING CONTRACT deals clubs wont have to buy or sell eradicating TRANSFER FEES.

    This will players with no stability and imagine how much a lot of them will worry about getting fixed up each summer all of a sudden with an endless supply of other free agents.

    All clubs can then budget far more easier in other words if you have a TV income of £50m Commercial £20m and Gate Money £20m then its obvious you can plan to have a years staff on less than £90m making sure you dont get into debt.

    This would also benefit clubs who have a bad season and get relegated as my club Birmingham did you can then release all your staff and start again!!!

    Its the outlay on transfer fees plus 4 year contracts for players that usually leave the relegated premier clubs struggling as players take too long to be moved on as other premier clubs sit around waiting for the selling club to go bust before going for their players.

    I am aware at clubs like yours players sign image rights deals they could still sign these and those are smaller points that can be argued after the player has left.

    The game is in danger of sinking further than the gutter it is in at the moment IF THAT'S POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Manchester United are a club that has benefited from its reputation for many a year and maybe Real Madrid are just that tiny bit bigger taking their players just like they have done to mediocre premier teams.

    THE GAME HAS TO CHANGE NOW....I have grown more tired of players, diving, acting, Lying and scheming and I often question why I still watch the game.

    One final point I bet when this deal does go through Ronaldo's agent will demand his loyalty payment stating that he never asked for a written request to leave and Man Utd will have to pay it because of some stupid European Employment Law or something.

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  • 427. At 9:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, Jeffrey wrote:

    Excellent article. If Ronaldo wants to go, let him; he won't be half the player he was last year if he'd rather be in Spain. But my main question is, assuming he's had his "dream" for more than a few weeks, why the hell did he sign a contract to stay at United until 2012?

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  • 428. At 9:57pm on 11 Jul 2008, moohoo77 wrote:

    Sell him for big money! It all revolves around the money for him so we should squeeze every penny out of this deal.

    Let him leave the European Champions and winners of arguably the best league in the world. Go and live in Spain with your Spanish mrs!

    Man U will survive after Ronaldo, no player should say they'd rather play for another club after signing a long-term contract.

    The show will go on after the circus has left town!

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  • 429. At 9:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, vespucci43 wrote:

    Man U should sell this ungrateful oaf for 100 million pounds, and buy someone who can connect on penalty kicks, like Berbatov and Sneijder.
    Obviously our friend Ronaldo is not aware of the value of contracts.

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  • 430. At 10:14pm on 11 Jul 2008, poleaxed100 wrote:

    To McNumpty and football-crazy-dude its been a while since my last post, apologies but I have a proper job and have to commute to work. I take exception to my opinions being called pointless and moronic. Firstly an opinion is neither right nor wrong, its just an opinion. I might say CR is a tw*t, someone else might say he's a great bloke, both of us cant be right so who are you to say my opinion is pointless? If this forum was only for those that in your god-given opinion had a valid point then thats very undemocratic and a bit pants dontcha think? As for c-f-d how dare you call me moronic because I dont agree with you, what a pathetic response. Just to put the record straight I was saying that if CR had not scored all those goals then Manu would not have amassed quite so many points. True other players would have scored some of those goals but if not for CR then a mere 2/3 points less would have made Chelsea champions, not hard to work out. As for saying you could apply this to all teams, not so. No other team has such a goalscorer so far ahead of their teammates, usually they are at least spread out, Chelsea had a handful of players on around 10 and nearly won the PL, get it? I think you can say that CRs contribution was at least unusual and probably wont be repeated. We'll see if my logic is true next season and with or without CR I think Chelsea will show Manew that they were lucky to have CR win it for them last year. In the meantime try to keep the insults to yourselves that is not the point of this forum. Grow up and accept that different opions are not things to be ridiculed and insulted. After all, ignorant people tend to be scared of things they disagree with...............

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  • 431. At 10:19pm on 11 Jul 2008, islandpalm wrote:

    Get rid of CR soonest. He runs with straight legs and that means significant wear and tear, hence long-term injury problems from now onwards.

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  • 432. At 10:20pm on 11 Jul 2008, Steve wrote:

    Unfortunately where there is gold there are gold-diggers, and a lot of PL stars are just that.
    Little Ronnie will go, probably, as will the tantrums, dives and slyness that unfortunately accompany his talent.
    But the departure of another Portuguese is going to hit Man U harder, Mr Queerosh.
    And maybe later the departure of the level heads of Scholes, Giggs and Neville in a couple of years. Their stabilising influence stops egos like Ronnie over-inflating.
    I say free the slave, but definitely on Man Utd's terms.
    As for the PL, a new hero will emerge in his place with silky skills and goal scoring prowess. Who knows what the big bucks will bring in for our entertainment.

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  • 433. At 10:24pm on 11 Jul 2008, bootsinspain wrote:

    As a Manchester United fan I obviously would love to have a committed Ronaldo playing for us, as he is very talented, but his attitude stinks and he should be made to train with the youth team or alone and should be left on the bench for every game and bought on with a minute to play, when the truly committed members of the team have already won the game for us. He is a disgrace to the memory of Manchester United and the Busby Babes. We should turn our backs on him as he has done to us and let him rot.

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  • 434. At 10:35pm on 11 Jul 2008, trevwoody wrote:

    Please can you replace the 'praying' Ronaldo picture with one of him receiving the very large kick up the RRRs he deserves?

    Thanks

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  • 435. At 10:37pm on 11 Jul 2008, jinius wrote:

    Player release clauses should be compulsory on all player contracts. This will eliminate all this tapping up business. There is already legal scope for adding in these clauses all it will take is for fifa to agree and the situation would be much simpler.

    All clubs tap players up at the moment United tap up Villa's players, Villa tap up Brighton, Brighton Yeovil's etc etc. If we really want to stop this lets put some realistic solutions on the table. Release clauses not only resolve situations such as Ronaldo/Real, but also prevent greedy agents engineering transfers when their clients are hot property.

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  • 436. At 10:40pm on 11 Jul 2008, redforever wrote:

    I like the fact that McNulty thinke he is the first person to "explore" the idea that United my "actually survive and prosper" without Ronaldo.

    Does he really not read any threads on 606. In every thread since this whole saga there has been been a substantial number of United fans who have criticised Ronaldo and urged their club to sell him and move on.

    So to examine the timeline a little...over 6 weeks ago the everyday ordinary fan, had considered what McNumpty has just figured out!!

    Nice one Phil...keep it up!

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  • 437. At 10:45pm on 11 Jul 2008, dragontao wrote:

    I have no liking for Man Utd but this prancing pillock should be left to rot in the stands until he asks for a transfer. The sole reason he has not asked to move is because he knows that would mean a loss of cash as he would then lose any entitlement to a pay off as part of his contract.

    The actions of Ronaldo, Real MAdrid and Septic Blatter are nothing short of disgusting.

    What amazes me is Blatter's talk of slavery. What sheer hypocrisy from the ehad of an organisation that can ban players from playing for their clubs should they choose to refuse to play for their country. Anyone remember Claude Makalele trying to retire from international football but being effectively forced into playing for France or be banned from playing for Chelsea. INternational players have no legal obligation to represent their country at the expense of their employers. Risking injury as they do so. Whereas plonkers like Ronaldo have signed a legal contract, in association with their agents and in full knowledge of the contents of those contracts.

    I hope he goes to Real for a ridiculous sum and then suffers a career ending injury on his debut (preferably caused by running into Blatter on the sidelines and forcing his retirement from the game as well). It would serve both the club and the player right. I may well be criticised for that comment but it would be poetic justice. Although, Ronaldo would still have earned more money than most of us will see in 50 lifetimes and will be able to retire in comfort.

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  • 438. At 10:47pm on 11 Jul 2008, poleaxed100 wrote:

    McNumpty is pointless, opinionated and lets face it, a bit of a tw*t.
    Football-loving-dude is a narrow-minded *rse who has a very bad command of English. Moronic, who's talking?

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  • 439. At 10:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    poleaxed100 #430
    How right you are, this forum should be, and often isn't, the perfect vehicle for like minded people to share opinions about the beautiful game without the fear of personal abuse. Frequently those contributors who resort to such tactics are ill informed, and, as a professional writer, I can't believe the poor quality of some of what I read, putting aside the opinions voiced.
    Moderator(s), can you not include within your remit refusal of posts of an abusive or derogatory nature?

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  • 440. At 10:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, B_Ri wrote:

    Sod selling him or keeping him to play. Let him rot in the stands.

    I know, I know, fifa won't let this happen. He has to play at least 10% of the season.

    Fine.

    Play him 10% and no more.

    The league cup could do with jazzing up a touch, and I'm sure the final group game in europe when we have secured progression would be a great chance to give someone who isn't as spoilt a rest.

    I'm sure Rooney wouldn't mind a breather when we set off to spank Hull/WBA/Stoke either.

    We don't need the money. Sure we are in debt, but unlike most clubs, we are managing and paying of our debt and still have plenty of transfer funds.

    Bring in Huntelaar or Berbatov, stick him up front with Tevez. Drop Rooney back to fill in the hole between midfield and attack and then take your pick of midfielders (I personally would go for Scholes, Carrick, Hargreaves, with Hargreaves playing the holding role).

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  • 441. At 10:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, markdonn182 wrote:

    we should let him go

    are real madrid bigger than manchester united? no

    does ronaldo believe they are? yes

    we cant change this


    on a lighter note, has anyone noticed how the two most unpopular men in world football have managed to land the two most important jobs?

    take a bow messrs blatter and platini

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  • 442. At 10:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, redforever wrote:

    It shows how ludicrously vain United fans have become that they believe that Ronaldo is so good he will actually sell for 100million!!!
    You guys are so stuck on yourselves1 this is the man who is largely anonymous in big games, and was played of the park by Lional Messi. Missed two crucial penalties in the last month of the season, one in a the champions legue final. Hardly impacted at all in a Euro 2008... I could go on.
    He is however a belter of a player when up against Wigan and Derby!! No stopping him.

    Crouch 11 million....
    Villa 25 million
    Ronaldo 35 million.
    The look on United fans faces....priceless!

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  • 443. At 10:53pm on 11 Jul 2008, crazymoonwalker wrote:

    What do you want to be when you grow up son?
    A slave.
    Think. If Ronaldo got 10% of a transfer fee of 70mil that's 7mil, and if his agent gets 20% of that that's 1.4mil - for what?

    For making sure Ronaldo moves while he's still top of the tree. Thopugh he could do it again in 2 years time claiming he's always wanted to play for Azygrowdup FC

    Money talks - money walks.

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  • 444. At 10:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, elsharko1980 wrote:

    What is the problem between messers Blatter/Platini and English football? Why do their "new and improved" rules always seem to be to the detriment of our domestic and national teams? These men are willing to publicly fly in the face of EU law to try and limit the success of, possibly, the finest league in the world, and then have the CHEEK to infer that our clubs are nothing better than "slave drivers" hell bent on destroying the concept of basic human rights! Surely there must be more to this story? Are the British press keeping other stories from us to make us feel this way? I think not.
    It seems to me that the recent successes of our domestic game have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the "powers that be" for reasons that somehow escape me. I hope that they find consolation in the poor performances (and non-qualification, ahem) of our national team, and allow our clubs to flourish, as should be the way when teams achieve great things. If it is change that football's governing bodies hanker for so badly, I propose that the look upwards, not downwards. We do need a change, a change of chairmen!

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  • 445. At 10:54pm on 11 Jul 2008, RedEagle1013 wrote:

    12.3 million UDS per year through a 6 year contract that was signed at his own free will.....my how the definition of "slavery" has changed.

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  • 446. At 10:58pm on 11 Jul 2008, Richard Johnson wrote:

    Sepp has finally gone off the plantation, so to speak.

    Manu should loan him out .................to Barcelona!

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  • 447. At 11:00pm on 11 Jul 2008, RedFlag89 wrote:

    United should say right, here's our price, (higher than 70 mil), if you want him, come and pay it. If they don't, that is not our problem. Ronaldo thinks he's bigger than the club. So let's give him a price tag that's bigger than the club, and see where that takes him.

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  • 448. At 11:02pm on 11 Jul 2008, wisemanknows wrote:

    Very well said although you did not take into account some basic facts regarding players.
    - Most follow the prinicple of fame and fortune above all else. In their minds ,players like C.Ronaldo et al, think that by changing clubs they can help them reach glory. Crouch said that he joined pompey in order to help them take a top four place.
    - Players (the ones more closely related to primates) often get blinded by by point one and forget that fame and fortune doesn't equal happines. Look at Reyes at Arsenal. He won the league and 2 FA cups and left because he was unhappy with life in the UK. R Madrid was maybe a factor but now he is happy at athetico earning less than he previously did. Ronaldo thinks he will be happy there by simply earning silightly more.
    In contrast Players like Fabregas and Rooney(ape-like he may be) say no to any bids simply because they are wise enough to know that they are happy where they are so why change that.
    - finaly ronaldo finaly snapped like ronaldhinio(or whatever) and think they are larger than life players, living legends who can do whatever they want simply because of their nickname or surname. Humble players are the greatest and SAF probably knows this and will sell his asap before he turns into ronaldhinio(or whatever).

    Btw how in the world in legal or status terms are they slaves? Like every employee they are under contract which they legaly signed to earn money in exchange for their expertise. If he wants to play for R Madrid he shouldn't have signed a new contract or accept the fact that in order for his employers to allow him to leave, they themselves must get money that will allow them to account for the loss in kit revenue(Asians prefer players over teams sry but its a fact).

    I am an Arsenal fan and I hope this was not bias in any way

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  • 449. At 11:25pm on 11 Jul 2008, Bburnkiwi wrote:

    Personally, i agree with most of you in saying that he should go, by becoming one of the best players in the world, he has gotten too big for himself. No club should have to put up with someone like this.

    Onto Blatters comments about slavery, i think its absolutely absurd!!! If the players sign a contract, its a contract and they should either see it out. I really dont think that SAF personally held CR down and guided his hand forcefully to sign it. Give me one of them slavery jobs because i really wouldnt mind it for about 100,000 a week!!!! i have to toil away, day-in, day-out for much, much less than this, as do most of you.

    Absolutely Absurd, I really really hope that some Top name black player will stand up against Blatters comments and tell him he has made a mockery out of the term 'slave'

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  • 450. At 11:26pm on 11 Jul 2008, Modernllama wrote:

    I am now seriously getting tired of him saying one thing one second then another the next trying to lengthen the saga. He's just trying to keep on the good sides of both clubs and it's tiring me. I'm still confused as to why he signed a new contract a year ago if he wanted this. I'm also starting to think what we could do with a nice amount of cash and some of Madrid's players.

    I'm not even sure how he would do in the Spanish game. In the Euro's he didn't look anything special he looked good but not special and similar football will be played in Madrid. How is Madrid a step up?! who won the CL last season? That's right United!

    Plus would the pressure get to him of playing for his 'dream' club. He could well become the biggest flop in football if Madrid were to buy him.

    Mr Blatter getting involved as well just bit the biscuit for me. What right does he have to go making comments like that (don't anyone dare say head of FIFA).

    Just sell him cash in on him and when he flops buy him back for loads less and then he'll recreate his form.

    I want this done as soon as possible so we can concentrate on the new season.

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  • 451. At 11:27pm on 11 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    The bottom line is, player contracts involve tortuous negotiations, often over many months, with numerous people involved. At the end of the day, the player in question acquiesces to sign only after taking advice from lawyers, agents, parents etc. With the advice available, nobody compels a player to put pen to paper. Therein lies the problem, the club prefer to contract their star performer to a long term deal, presumably on an increasing salary. At some point in say, a five year contract, an alternative club, abetted by an agent, will come sniffing.
    Platini, a player who thrilled me over and over in my youth, and Blatter, for me a complete footballing nonentity, should use their positions of influence in far wiser fashion. Apolitical they aren't!!

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  • 452. At 11:30pm on 11 Jul 2008, wisemag wrote:

    Ronaldo is not stupid. He knows pretty much for certain he is on a loser for next season, anything less than 40 goals and a league title and another Euro cup and he will be labelled a failure. Move to Real and the slate is wiped clean and to boot , he gets higher salary, a lump sum in the bank, sunshine on his back and anything around 20 goals and a decent run in the Euro cup is acceptable. Man utd should stop winging sell him immediately for 70 mill and buy Bentley, Berbatov and any one else they fancy. They can have Michael Owen for 20 mill.

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  • 453. At 11:31pm on 11 Jul 2008, poleaxed100 wrote:

    Ilicipolero good on you mate cheers. As a professional writer I'm sure you could pull your own teeth at what old McNumpty sometimes comes out with....the words money and old rope spring to mind. And as for the intelligence of some of the contributers on here, well, need I say more....
    I'm sure most are quite clever and witty people and I do enjoy much of the contributions but just occasionally you come across the odd one like like football-loving-dude.....I fear the gene pool is becoming shallower as we speak

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  • 454. At 11:32pm on 11 Jul 2008, mrmisterio wrote:

    Firstly, why has no one mentioned Ashley Young or Gabby (can´t spell his last name) from Villa as possible replacements...rather than an overpriced Robinho unproven in the Prem?

    Secondly, I completely disagree with your findings Phil, Ronaldo is not just valuable in terms of being a great footballer, his marketing revenue will make the same things happen for Real as it did when they signed Beckham, and thereby United would be aiding Real in battling their debt (which upto now have been lessened by the royals intervention, handy!) - it would also allow for them to publicise themselves as the number one club in the world, seeing as the top dog at United would make the switch...

    If they do decide to sell him, which is not down to Ronaldo, Real or the imbecile Blatter, it should be on their terms, with reference to what their predicted future commercial income from Ronaldo over the next four years would generate, and as such, sell him for plus 100million. Or, have a percentage of what his commercial benefit for Real will be, over the next 4-5 years.

    Squeeze them dry, pay through the bloody nose

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  • 455. At 11:33pm on 11 Jul 2008, dom1509 wrote:

    Here we have the list off 50 slaves...i though we abolish slavery this isnt right look at the money they get for kicking balls.....i dont think its enough........For what they do week in week out they should be on so much more......And the Evil football managers (i dont remember seeing a footballer whiped because they missed the goal) So join me and we will end this slavery and let footballers have equal opportunitys its not right for them to earn this little amounts off money.
    1. Ricardo Kaka (AC Milan) 9.000.000 €
    2. Ronaldinho Gaucho (FC Barcelona) 8.520.000 €
    3. Frank Lampard (Chelsea FC) 8.160.000 €
    4. John Terry (Chelsea FC) 8.160.000 €
    5. Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC) 7.920.000 €
    6. Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea FC) 7.800.000 €
    7. Michael Ballack (Chelsea FC) 7.800.000 €
    8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester Utd) 7.680.000 €
    9. Thierry Henry (FC Barcelona) 7.680.000 €
    10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC) 7.680.000 €
    11. Didier Drogba (Chelsea FC) 7.380.000 €
    12. Wayne Rooney (Manchester Utd) 7.320.000 €
    13. Iker Casillas (CF Real Madrid) 7.200.000 €
    14. Michael Owen (Newcastle Utd) 6.720.000 €
    15. Sol Campbell (Portsmouth) 6.600.000 €
    16. Raul Gonzalez (CF Real Madrid) 6.420.000 €
    17. Ruud Van Nistelrooy (CF Real Madrid) 6.420.000 €
    18. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester Utd) 6.060.000 €
    19. Darren Bent (Tottenham Hotspur) 5.940.000 €
    20. Carlos Tevez (Manchester Utd) 5.880.000 €
    21. Fabio Cannavaro (CF Real Madrid) 5.880.000 €
    22. Luca Toni (Bayern Munich) 5.520.000 €
    23. Robinho (CF Real Madrid) 5.520.000 €
    24. Francesco Totti (AS Roma) 5.460.000 €
    25. Arjen Robben (CF Real Madrid) 5.340.000
    26. Ryan Giggs (Manchester Utd) 5.220.000 €
    27. Michael Essien (Chelsea FC) 5.040.000 €
    28. Adriano (Internazionale) 5.004.000 €
    29. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Internazionale) 5.004.000 €
    30. Patrick Vieira (Internazionale) 5.004.000 €
    31. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC) 5.004.000 €
    32. Samuel Eto’o (FC Barcelona) 5.004.000 €
    33. Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona) 5.004.000 €
    34. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) 5.004.000 €
    35. Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich) 4.944.000 €
    36. Edwin Van der Sar (Manchester Utd) 4.860.000 €
    37. Fernando Morientes (Valência) 4.860.000 €
    38. Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus FC) 4.800.000 €
    39. Harry Kewell (Liverpool FC) 4.800.000 €
    40. Djibril Cisse (O.Marseille) 4.800.000 €
    41. Joe Cole (Chelsea FC) 4.680.000 €
    42. Pedro Pauleta (Paris SG) 4.608.000 €
    43. Juninho Pernanbucano (O.Lyon) 4.560.000 €
    44. David Beckham (LA Galaxy) 4.500.000 €
    45. David Trezeguet (Juventus FC) 4.500.000 €
    46. Sidney Govou (O.Lyon) 4.500.000 €
    47. Deco (FC Barcelona) 4.500.000 €
    48. Gianluca Zambrotta (FC Barcelona) 4.500.000 €
    49. Petr Cech (Chelsea FC) 4.320.000 €
    50. Antonio Cassano (Sampdoria) 4.200.000 €

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  • 456. At 11:34pm on 11 Jul 2008, AstroSurfing1991 wrote:

    Ronaldo Should stay at united SAF helped him with the world cup incident and he should respect his wishes for him, to keep him at united.

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  • 457. At 11:43pm on 11 Jul 2008, OnThe7nthDay-Rooney wrote:

    I agree with you WiseManKnows, humble footballers such as Pele, Zidane,Charlton Shcoles are greater than the Ronaldos, Ronaldinhos etc

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  • 458. At 11:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, OnThe7nthDay-Rooney wrote:

    Is that list right ? If so how does Darren bent earn more than Samuel Eto'o who is arguably the best striker on the planet while Bent is sub at a club not even in top 4 in England ?

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  • 459. At 11:48pm on 11 Jul 2008, riversanddreams wrote:

    I absolutely agree with you on that United should seriously consider selling Ronaldo to Real Madrid for as much money as they possibly can. My reason is because i don't think his presence in the United dressing room will be healthy. United players are United fans too. They feel exactly the way every United fan feels right now - that Ronaldo has been ungrateful and shown no respect to the club and therefore does not deserve to wear that red shirt regardless of how talented he is. However, i don't agree with you Phil on your assertion that United have been acting exactly the same way as Real Madrid. The difference is United have always followed the correct channel when interested in a player and that is to open dialogue with their club. Ferguson's criticism of Real Madrid is not about their interest in Ronaldo. It's about how their president has handled the issue - by going public BEFORE making any formal inquiry about Ronaldo's availability. That's a fundamental difference.

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  • 460. At 00:00am on 12 Jul 2008, nextyearisouryear wrote:

    442. At 10:49pm on 11 Jul 2008, torontored wrote:
    It shows how ludicrously vain United fans have become that they believe that Ronaldo is so good he will actually sell for 100million!!!

    -------------------------------------------------------

    The point is that Utd dont need to sell him, and dont want to sell him. If Real want him that badly they're going to have to pay an inflated price.

    It was Calderon who said (weeks ago now) that he could generate over 200m for Real, so why would they simply hand over a contracted player for some piddly amount?

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  • 461. At 00:01am on 12 Jul 2008, joestiffo wrote:

    if you think of United, let him go. last season was a blip. and the boundaries are set: he falters when it matters.

    if you think of the little arrogant prat, please teach him a lesson. make him stay. let him see it all vanish in fron of him. sometimes the bench, sometimes the stands. humble pie.

    you might save a man.

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  • 462. At 00:11am on 12 Jul 2008, kieranlfc9 wrote:

    Its about time the tried and tested man utd transfer tactic has come back to haunt them. Ronaldo is shamelessly greedy yes, but united are beyond arrogant. If he wants to go then it seems they will have no choice than to sell him.

    As a liverpool fan, the whole Gareth Barry saga leaves a bad taste and smacks of man utd and i sincerely hope its a one off.

    United have consistently publicly identified transfer targets with a view to unsettling players.

    Bite the bullet and let him go.

    Viva Ronaldo!!

    Ha Ha

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  • 463. At 00:15am on 12 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    poleaxed100 #453
    Phil McNulty is the same as most people who contribute to this forum, the one difference being, he is a football fan who has the good fortune to take a salary for his thoughts. In my humble opinion, the Ronaldo article yesterday, was one of his better offerings, concise and punchy. Frequently I disagree with his interpretation, on these occasions I simply defer and say nothing, or try to construct a thought provoking counter argument. What a pity more people cannot do likewise, instead what we have here are people who are far to quick to press the "post comment" button, the result of which is good points, ill informed and/or badly presented. I stand by my comment the Moderator(s) could do much more to make this a far better facility.

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  • 464. At 00:24am on 12 Jul 2008, SoCalRed wrote:

    Salves had no agents to represent them to get them very lucrative contracts. Man U will be better off without Ronaldo.
    PS With all the money he makes, could he get a better hair cut??!!

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  • 465. At 00:30am on 12 Jul 2008, GRhino wrote:

    United probably will sell Cristiano, but not untill next years summer transfer window, which means a season of reserve football for "the boy wonder".

    Oh, and am I alone in thinking that Mr Blatter has better things to occupy himself, like a certain trial in Switzerland.....

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  • 466. At 00:30am on 12 Jul 2008, boromicky wrote:

    modern slavery?

    how about a new reality game? celebrity slave park where selected premiership players like ronaldo, drogba and cashley cole are set to work on a cotton picking farm. each week the viewers vote someone off the show and the winner gets to spend the rest of their lives clearing landmines?

    who says modern day footballers arn't in touch with the common man eh?

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  • 467. At 01:07am on 12 Jul 2008, broady001 wrote:

    Its quite simple we shouldn't sell him and if ferguson was half as ruthless as he used to be he should turn around to Ronaldo and say go sit in the stands for the next 4 years and see how your career goes then.

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  • 468. At 01:49am on 12 Jul 2008, redbeeb wrote:

    Just to reiterate other voices on the subject, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Nice to see sir Alex moaning about something he is notorious for...

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  • 469. At 01:52am on 12 Jul 2008, Overabarrel wrote:

    Funny hows it's an English club treating its player like a slave and ow yes its 2 English clubs in the champions league final (we'll have to try and do something to stop that). Don't hold your breath please waiting for Blatter to award England with the world cup finals.

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  • 470. At 01:53am on 12 Jul 2008, Simeonwarren wrote:

    Can someone explain why Runoutof, sorry ronaldo, will not hand in a notice that he wishes to leave. I know this effects the money he will get but what specifically is the reason why he wont be honest and ask to leave and keeps making statements about his dreams.

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  • 471. At 02:27am on 12 Jul 2008, melbourne1873 wrote:

    I find it rather amusing that CR has another 4 years left on his Man Utd contract yet he still expresses what basically amounts to a total and utter lack of respect for his employers and his fans.

    If this transfer falls through - and thats a real possibility, if Madrid think they can make 250M from Ronaldo's image rights, Man Utd could theoretically ask what they want for him - Ronaldo will be stuck at OT where he will have absolutely no allies at all, especially with CQ having left. This 'slave' dont half make life hard for himself - he's going to be about as popular as he was after the winking incident!

    absolute idiot, the grass is very rarely greener, you're just a greedy spoilt brat, and i hope SAF makes you rot in the reserves

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  • 472. At 02:32am on 12 Jul 2008, wisemanknows wrote:

    Thank you OnThe7nthDay-Rooney. I always appreciate feedback.

    A reply to the list of earnings.

    What people forget is that football is business and like every business its based on supply and demand ( and what most people forget: speculation). Players earn what they are expected to produce in kits, tickets and ads. Speculation plays an important role as poor to average ( not wenger of couse hehe) managers expect from their players. Bent earns a lot because he was supposed to shine so speculation and demand meant his wage was inflated above market level for a player of his quality.

    Back to Ronaldo. Posters (as the internet linguo calls you) suggest sell him and use the money. Its more complicated than that. Kit and merchandising profits will fall plus the dept that Man U has. The owner knows this and if he leaves finacial hole unfilled he will be loosing cash in speculation on return (he will not be the owner forever face it).
    Finaly I know already that you will argue that the league and championes league will mean that M U will money will flow in this year, True however wages and accumlated intrest is still increasing dept (Finacial times I am a sad person but at least I am smart)

    I am an Arsenal fan. I hope I wasn't biased in any way.

    Btw English is my second laguage (Live in the UK sad Friday night tonight)

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  • 473. At 02:47am on 12 Jul 2008, littleronnie69 wrote:

    We all know the Portuguese winker
    Whose season we hope is a stinker
    If he goes to Madrid
    When they put in a bid
    The ungrateful, disloyal little tinker !

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  • 474. At 03:20am on 12 Jul 2008, giganticgoodboy wrote:

    I would sell for 100 million pound....clean...
    No point keeping the prick when he doesnt want to stay.....

    Man U will be champions anyway whether we have Ronaldo or not....

    Fergie..time to cash in...mate..

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  • 475. At 03:47am on 12 Jul 2008, Deusvia wrote:

    If Newcastle put a bid in for Rooney first Phil, wouldn't that mean that Manchester United didn't effectively set the ball rolling concerning that transfer? When news of the bid permeated out i think only then United sprang into life with the clear intentions that they were going to land him. Is it fair to refer to that as a point in your blog?
    Thank you.

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  • 476. At 04:19am on 12 Jul 2008, williamho2007 wrote:

    Let Ronad leave,beacause I'm a Chelsea fan.

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  • 477. At 05:20am on 12 Jul 2008, squirrell_hunter13 wrote:

    70 Million - United Paid 12.25 for him? Snap their hands off for that money, i'm sure SAF could find another 5 gems and still turn a profit from the deals.

    Also, wasn't Ronaldo involved with a "confrontation" with Van Nistelrooy when at United? Be interesting too see how that pans out at Madrid again.....

    As a neutral (Aston Villa fan) I would personally hate to see Ronaldo leave the Premiership as he is a fantastic (obviously) player. However, this whole saga is boring me even more than the Gareth Barry issue so United, cut off your nose to spite your fate and go from there, i'm sure your squad of Superstars and brilliant coaching staff will cope without the disruptive, money-grabbing, greasy, little Momma's boy!

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  • 478. At 05:36am on 12 Jul 2008, johnsar wrote:

    I'm sure when George Best, Eric Cantona et al left this great club everyone thought 'this is the end of the world'. The club has gone from strength to strength and no other club like Chelsea, with its 'bought' success, will ever be as hugely adored as MU. Of course, it'll be sad to see Ronaldo go - but heh, let him be a slave at Real Madrid. Give me a chance to play for a couple of weeks and I'll be happy to retire with gbp300,00. It's a tough life !!

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  • 479. At 07:19am on 12 Jul 2008, grizetti wrote:

    Ronaldo has failed to really dominate on the big occasion - he is suited to the EPL due to the generally poor quality of the defending and ball retention by the majority of teams. It will be more difficult in La Liga.
    ManU will miss him when it comes to the flash of brilliance required to get a decisive goal - arguably this is of greater value than bossing the game on the big occasion because its the regular victories esp when the team isn't at its best that win the title.
    For 70 mill or so they should be able to get a couple of handy players.

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  • 480. At 07:21am on 12 Jul 2008, travelraider wrote:

    Dont Man U have some 46 first team players?
    not like they'll struggle to fill the void then.
    take the cash and drop the season ticket prices. maybe get some of those people who never even get on the bench to earn some of their 40 odd grand a week paid for by ticket sales, shirt sales etc.
    he's good, but would love it if he went off and fell on his backside for once rather than diving on to it!

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  • 481. At 07:33am on 12 Jul 2008, kynson wrote:

    This "slave" talk is frankly deeply offensive to all the people who are genuinely slaves around the world today. These two prats should be censured and fined heavily, with the fines going to organisations helping true slaves around the world.

    Disgusting.

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  • 482. At 07:47am on 12 Jul 2008, consomme wrote:

    I'm a keen reds fan too - since 1958. However the aspect that distresses me the most is the effect that the behaviour of this child must have upon aspiring kids around world. Ronaldo began life in economic and social deprivation. Compare the role-modelling of this weak character with the inspirational behaviour of Giggs, Charlton and even Beckham and you'll appreciate what I'm saying.
    It is said (usually by Ronaldo himself) that he works and trains hard, but where is the altruism? Where are the expressions of gratitude for his mentors, his coaches, his managers and the god-given gift of his own skill? What is this not-yet-man putting back into the world and communities that have nurtured him?

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  • 483. At 08:42am on 12 Jul 2008, spycraft wrote:

    You know the old adage "what goes around comes around", never rang more true. Last season some managers both in the premiership and in Europe had accused 'the poor little slave' of showboating and showing a lack of respect for opponents. Sir Alex dismissed the comments as the sour grapes of sore losers. Well his boy has now turned the tables on him and he doesn't like it. Too Bad! And for you Mr. Blatter; to equate, what Ronaldo is going through with slavery is hugely disrespectful to the hunderds of millions of people who suffered and still live as slaves all over the world. Shame on you!

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  • 484. At 08:52am on 12 Jul 2008, brucetravis wrote:

    I agree that poor little Greediano should be emancipated from his abject penury for which he is paid a paltry $240,000 a week. But i do not think Utd should sell him to Real. The only way to teach them a lesson for their reprehensible behaviour is to offer him to their bitterest rivals Barcelona. For Joan Laporta, stealing the boy from under Real's noses will represent an imeasurable victory (not to mention a guaranteed re-election next year) meaning he will pay whatever Utd ask.
    Should Real be rewarded by allowing them to get their man, what is to stop them from doing the same with Nani in three seasons time, or even with the brilliant Torres at Liverpool in two years? For Greediano to support Blatters blissfully fact-free excoriations is shocking. After all, wont any other future contract he signs with another club also be slave labour?
    I think the real reason he wants to move is the Galactico lifestyle he would enjoy in Spain. He is tired of SAF's discipline and wants more freedom. But facts are facts; were it not for that discipline, he would not be the player he is today. I believe that if he stays under SAF's wing for another 3-4 seasons, then he really does stand a chance of being mentioned in the same breathe as the true greats; Pele, Maradona, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, et al. Best player in the world? As we saw at the Euros, that is Only in a Utd shirt!

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  • 485. At 09:06am on 12 Jul 2008, hangingfire wrote:

    No player is worth 70 million pound sterling. This sum is certainly too much to pay for a player who agrees he is not better than a slave. Football is indeed crazy.

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  • 486. At 09:13am on 12 Jul 2008, liferedlenny wrote:

    It is now long overdue, let United put the ball in Madrid's court. They can have Ronaldo for 60 million pounds plus 2 players Robinho and Ramos. I would be interested in their reaction. Sir Alex and the team would turn Robinho into an even player than he is already.

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  • 487. At 09:25am on 12 Jul 2008, fategodconvert wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 488. At 09:27am on 12 Jul 2008, Da_ningnong wrote:

    I don't understand how any of this can be happening; I'm a Gunners fan so I hope it happens. The problem here is a bias against English club from Blatter. I'm an Aussie and everything that I hear coming from either FIFA or UEFA has a pretty anti English football theme to it. There is no way the governing body’s main man can give his personal opinion on the purchase or sale of a player , unless it is requested by a club, which has already happened when United reported Real to FIFA.
    Agents are the problem here, they are taking value out of the game players are being bought and sold for far too many dollars and it seems the 4 big European clubs can just tank up the price of a pretty average player…Insert Mathieu Flamini here. There is no development in the game at the moment aside from academies. There should be a salary cap, all the major leagues in Europe are in danger of turning into the F1 Schumacher farce if you have the dollars you will win the league. It’s becoming a snore fest! Zzzzz

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  • 489. At 09:32am on 12 Jul 2008, U12641113 - banned user new id wrote:

    Ronaldo should stay as he'll only mess up his career if he goes elswere like to Madrid but he'll only go for the money.

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  • 490. At 09:33am on 12 Jul 2008, Taprobane wrote:

    Like the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, Real Madrid always gets their man. Living in Madrid I knew that this saga with the connivance of Ronaldo will end up at this!
    Therefore, when the first signs were appearing on the horizon SAF should have dealt with it more diplomatically if he was really keen on keeping the player, instead of statements tantamount to 'let him rot in the stands'!! Blatter's strategy is to keep his post so what better than to drop a couple of timely, or untimely, statements from time to time.After all the only thing he wants is publicity as his support base is assured.
    I am a MU supporter and so is my son who lives in France. I had warned him months back that Ronaldo's heart was in Madrid and not to count too much on him staying at MU this season. SAF should have read in between the lines when Ronaldo appealed to the Ref against Rooney at the World Cup that he was simply unreliable.

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  • 491. At 09:42am on 12 Jul 2008, Rob Olivier wrote:

    A contract is a contract and should be honoured.

    If Ronaldo wishes to go to Madrid this should be facilitated; but Madrid should not allow Ronaldo to play the "dream" card in order to steal an unhappy player away without playing a market price, or future revenues of contracting the player. Fair arbitors are required to fix a price, and determine future benefits for Man U, from Madrid, if they can't come up with the full market value.

    My issue is what is the market price for Ronaldo. This surely is what two rival bidders would be prepared to pay for him; not an extortionate premium that prevents a move.

    So if Ronaldo's market price is £70m, then Madrid should pay this; not £120m or £20m, and/or Man U receiving benefits of any future sales/royalties /player exchanges, or even part ownership in Madrid etc

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  • 492. At 09:54am on 12 Jul 2008, mikeinmalaysia wrote:

    My 2nd cousin is Nobby 'bite yer legs' Stiles so these are my credentials, even though my Uncle Bill (God bless his soul) was a centre half for the team on the other side of Manchester! I am also a mad keen Red wherever my job happens to take me around the planet. I have never been so fed up and dissappointed in an individual than this spoilt, imature, greedy brat Ronaldo. Let him go, but if he does stay make sure Fergie that you take the nunber 7 off him. All the extra cash he is making with the CR7 nonsense is a discredit to those loyal reds who wore the shirt in the past. Give him number 13!

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  • 493. At 10:07am on 12 Jul 2008, Luke Reilly wrote:

    What makes anyone think that Ferguson does not want him to go?.....in negotiations you get a better price if you appear reluctant.......on only one occasion has Ferguson regretted letting a disruptive player go...(Jaap Stam)......£70m + will buy quite a few Ronaldos in the making.......and won't you just love it when United play Real Madrid......(if Real ever get far enough in the Champions League) and Brown, Ferdinand, Neville or Anderson clouts Ronaldo and puts him on his fat overpaid, ninny backside.....if he stayed I don't think the loyal United players will forgive him this time like they did after the World Cup.....and also Rooney and Tevez will be a better players if they have people passing to them instead of taking all the glory

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  • 494. At 10:09am on 12 Jul 2008, gracemaddy wrote:

    This 'Slavery' comment really bugs me. Not simply because, as one stated, that we are slaves on only normal wages, but the true definition of slavery is being used here for trivial means.
    It's like when two sportsmen compete and call it a 'War'

    Millions died in slavery, I don't see ronaldos wife being...well, .
    My ancestors slaved for years in poverty.
    In these days of ludicrous political correctness, when a true insult comes to the fore, it seems nobody notices.

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  • 495. At 10:17am on 12 Jul 2008, tuogol wrote:

    I'd sell him to Barcelona with a clause in which Barcelona are not allowed to sell him to anyone inside Spain for the next couple of years.

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  • 496. At 10:25am on 12 Jul 2008, muttley_dog wrote:

    kitthehammer wrote:

    What seems to be ignored in this whole saga is that Sepp Blatter, Fifa President, has effectively been aiding Real Madrid to "tap up" a contracted player.
    He has been helping Real Madrid put pressure on Manchester United to let Ronaldo go and he helped add power to a high profile players' demands.

    Why is Blatter not being brought to book about this?
    To use an analogy, surely this is similar to a UK politician aiding illegal arms sales to the profit of British arms companies?

    I have no love for Man Utd and they can be accused of similar dealings to Real but I am more concerned by Sepp Blatters involvement. What next? He gets involved in Lampards transfer to Inter?


    I agree that Blatters interference in this matter is stepping way beyond his job, but how can anyone be surprised? The man is an Honoury Member of Real Madrid!

    As a Man Utd fan I think that the board should stand by their words and put Ronaldo up in the stands rather than sell him. It amazes me that just 12 months ago he was happy enough to sign a new 5 year contract and yet now he sees the need to go to Real Madrid to fulfill his dreams. Maybe he didn't have those dreams a year ago?

    Be a man Cristiano, stand by your contract and by the team that made you the player you are.

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  • 497. At 10:32am on 12 Jul 2008, PANCHOWSKI wrote:

    Yep, swap the weasel for Messi.....aw

    Messi, Tevez, Rooney!!

    The wheels just kee on turnin'....unlucky

    L'Pool, Gunners, Chelski!!

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  • 498. At 10:49am on 12 Jul 2008, justcross wrote:

    Take the money and run.

    The risks are all with Renaldo and Madrid.

    Renaldo's world-class football has evolved from wihin the premier league. Many foreign evolved players of similar class, have struggled to adapt to this league. The same could easily be true in reverse. And perhaps Renaldo's performance in the Euros was evidence of this ?

    United have themselves evolved around a core of key players, and to a large extent have styled their game around Renaldo. Rooney's supporting role being the obvious evidence of this. So will Madrid do the same ? and can Renaldo shine in a team not built around him. Again the Euros would suggest not.

    There is also talk of unrest in the Madrid dressing room at the prospect of Renaldo's arrival to the club. And few teams do well in an unsetled environment.

    Then theres Renaldos surgery on a minor ankle injury. But Madrid may well end-up buying a player still in recouperation, and not knowing for sure that he will make a 100% recovery in the estimated time. And then how does any one know that this injury will not turn-out to be one of those on-going niggling sporting injuries.

    And now there's the added pressure of being the worlds best player, with relentless attention the world media just wishing you to fail to get a better headline. The problem for Renaldo now, is that as the worlds best player and with the highest ever transfer tag, anything less than world calss and silverware will be considered as failure. So can he deal with all this pressure. Well some would say that his Euro performance was affected by the media circus. And certainly everytime he opens his mouth he just makes matters worse.

    And finally, a transfer fee of 70M+ would surely limit Madrid's ability to buy more world-class players. Potentially leaving them with not quite the complete team they would like. Yet more pressure on Renaldo to pay back his costs. No such prob for Utd, who already have an excellent team with several players itching and able to step into Renaldo's boots.

    So if I were a united fan, I would positevly encourage SAF to squeeze as much out of Madrid as poss, and spend it as he thinks fit.

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  • 499. At 10:51am on 12 Jul 2008, Portugal OUT of the EU wrote:

    "Are Portugal making a bid for The World Cup?" - salespitch

    Unfortunately we are. Which means more wasted money just as in 2004 and a hugely overcrowded country (especially the Algarve) for a whole month.

    Anyway if there's one team Ronaldo shouldn't go to then that's Real Madrid. Real Madrid are the best representatives of anti-Portuguese feeling in Spain and have never ever recognised our independence, language and culture. Ronaldo should be much more serious about his nationality and rule out a move to Real Madrid. That said he's fine at Manutd and only his blind pursuit for even more money is keeping him from thinking rationally. Hopefully he stays and is then kept in the bench for the whole season so he learns who's the boss. And if he still complains about slavery then I suggest he swaps job with a civil servant or a plumber or a soldier in Afghanistan so that he learns a few lessons about life.

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  • 500. At 10:55am on 12 Jul 2008, davelblue wrote:

    I'm affraid we are all getting worked up over nothing, well nothing in relation to football nowaday's. How many teams are made up of 100% home grown players that will stay at a club for their entire career? Almost every player arrives at a club from another club and more often than not the previous club would rather have kept them.

    Some Sporting fans would have wanted Ronaldo to stay but he left. Some united fans will want Ronaldo to stay but he will leave, if not today someday.

    Being a Chelsea fan I would like Frank Lampard to stay, just as those West Ham supporters would have wanted him to stay when we bought him. So it goes on whereby we all get precious of having the ones we've bought taken from us!

    Accept the merrygoround as it's here to stay.

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