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Why Man City must ditch Ronaldinho plan

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Phil McNulty | 09:29 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008

Manchester City's pursuit of Ronaldinho has been an interesting sideshow to the summer of speculation - and for their sake let's hope it becomes nothing more than that.

The latest development, coming from a source that has proved almost 100% reliable on all matters Manchester City in recent weeks, is that an e-mail containing an offer for £22m has been sent to Barcelona, and no doubt very gratefully received.


Barcelona
would presumably wrap Ronaldinho in cotton wool and supervise his safe arrival to the gates of Eastlands for that sort of cash.

Ronaldinho's arrival at Manchester City would undoubtedly cause a frenzy of interest, but what happens when the novelty wears off?

I, and many others, fall into the "believe it when I see it" category when it comes to the idea of Ronaldinho playing for Manchester City.

And while the notion of Ronaldinho plying his trade in the Premier League would have been a truly fanastic prospect two or three seasons ago, I genuinely believe AC Milan would be doing City a huge favour if they outflanked them on this deal.

What would City be getting for their vast transfer outlay and a wage packet that has been speculated upon as being around £200,000-a-week?

They would get someone who was once the world's greatest talent, but is now 28 and has to answer huge questions about his form, fitness and attitude.

Ronaldinho

He is past his peak and was a peripheral, indeed at times non-existent, figure at Barcelona last season. He has had problems with his weight and injuries.

And the move was set in motion before the appointment of Mark Hughes as Manchester City manager, so it was being driven initially by somebody other than the man in charge of the football operation.

Ronaldinho has hardly shown, unlike his compatriot Jo, a keen desire to take City up on their kind offer, appearing to want to court AC Milan and Chelsea rather than face up to the fact that Eastlands might be the best he can do.

It is clear his heart lies with Milan rather than Manchester, and ultimately you suspect that is the deal that will be done unless his old Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari steps in and takes him to Chelsea.

Let's be honest, it is questionable whether he had even heard of Eastlands before Thaksin Shinawatra's riches were hurled in his direction.

And it's a fair bet he could not reel off the names of his potential new team-mates once he has got the name Jo out of the way.

Bold as all this seems, it just does not sit right from either a footballing or financial perspective.

So much of the deal is surrounded by corporate talk, with Ronaldino reportedly being promised City's number 10 shirt to fit in with his R10 (Rio?).

What would convince me more is if Ronaldinho showed a feel for Manchester City, and a serious desire to rebuild his career at the club, rather being surrounded by the financial aspects of the potential transfer.

Don't get me wrong - I applaud City's ambition and these are exciting times for the club with an outstanding choice of manager in Hughes, backed by the financial muscle of Shinawatra.

I am simply having difficulty dragging myself away from the fear that if they have all these millions to spend, Manchester City might actually be better off spending them somewhere else.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:39am on 14 Jul 2008, john_siv wrote:

    I have to agreed with you Phil. Man City have got a plethora of young talent - Michael Johnson, Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Mark Hughes (in managerial terms) and now Jo. Why risk upsetting the apple cart by bringing in someone who is past his peak and brings in lots of backage (both physical and otherwise)?

    And for my money, with Martin Petrov and Elano in attacking positions, this isn't an area that the Eastlands club would need to strengthen too much anyway.

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  • 2. At 11:43am on 14 Jul 2008, amdisuk wrote:

    Good article. I agree that Ronaldinho is all but washed up. That said, what statement would it make to bring such a big name to City? Could that attract more talent at a better price? Taksin's got the cash but it has to start somewhere.

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  • 3. At 11:45am on 14 Jul 2008, danshak wrote:

    As Noel Gallagher said:

    "If he can't pull his finger out for Barcelona, he's not gonna do it away to West Brom next season is he?"

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  • 4. At 11:47am on 14 Jul 2008, TottinghamHotsperz wrote:

    Well said, he's a hasbeen Primadonna... I can only hope that Keegan takes an interest in signing him for Newcastle - that would be funny.

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  • 5. At 11:47am on 14 Jul 2008, Bye Bye Badman wrote:

    If he can't motivate himself to play for Barcelona, how on earth will he motivate himself for playing for Man City.

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  • 6. At 11:50am on 14 Jul 2008, schnickelbop wrote:

    He'd be another Faustino Asprilla - lots of memorable moments going forward but when your team don't have the ball it's like playing with ten men because he will do zero defending.

    Even at his best Ronaldinho played that way and I don't think Mark Hughes or anyone else will be able to change that about him. It's alright when you're playing for Brazil or Barcelona but Man City don't the class of those teams to compensate for a lack of defensive effort from the forwards.

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  • 7. At 11:53am on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To danshak....if Noel Gallagher said that, that will do for me.

    He knows his football and he makes a fair point.

    Another good point is a more tactical on and the question raised by john_siv about how he will fit in alongside City's other attacking options.

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  • 8. At 11:54am on 14 Jul 2008, Levenshulme-Blue wrote:

    Sorry Phil, you're wrong.

    Not only has Ronnie HEARD of Eastlands, he's actually PLAYED at Eastlands. He was in the Barcelona team that played the official 'opening' match, back in 2003.

    Incidentally, City won that match, 2-1.

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  • 9. At 11:54am on 14 Jul 2008, lorus59 wrote:

    It is so obvious that the decision to tempt Ronaldinho to Manchester City is not a football one. It appears to me that this is now typical of the way football is going at the top level. This decision is made by people who have no idea about the actual game itself just the razzmatazz surrounding it at present. Why would even Milan be interested in him on current form? If he came at low cost initially to prove his worth and then got the increase in salary if he did just that, then it might make sense. But there is more chance of me winning the lottery and football pools in the same week than that happening.

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  • 10. At 11:56am on 14 Jul 2008, norfolknscouse wrote:

    Well it had to happen sometime - a decent article from Phil McNulty - whatever next?

    Couldn't agree more - Ronaldinho would be nothing but trouble - he would have half a dozen decent games against the big boys but then you can guarantee a cold December night away at Stoke would be met by a "slight hamstring strain" in training the day before.

    Despite being a Liverpool support, I'd really like to see Man City push on and head for fifth place over the next couple of seasons,and Ronaldinho isnt the way forward.

    £22million??? I've heard Martin o'neill might let Barry go for that, if you throw that promising right back Micah Richards in as part of the deal!!!!

    Man City are moving in the right direction - Hart, Richards, Dunne, Johnson, Jo - they could be really good to watch next year.

    Hope you do well, but if you get the primadonna I see nothing but trouble. You'd be much better off buying Bentley.

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  • 11. At 11:57am on 14 Jul 2008, dazzlingdublinblue wrote:

    Agree 100 per cent. If Thaksin has that kind of money to spend would much rather see player of the class of d'Eto or Arshavin in a City shirt rather than an overweight and undermotivated Ronaldhino.

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  • 12. At 11:58am on 14 Jul 2008, Sebasvard wrote:

    The whole Thaksin venture is doomed if you ask me, he is a far shadier character than Abramovich and has already been moaning about how much it costs to run a club. I can see why Hughes went, with the funds at his fingertips, and managers generally expect things to come to an end anyway. I can see why players would join with the amounts of cash being waved at them by Shinawatra, including Ronaldinho who could still become the attacking fulcrum for City. But City fans must be fearing the worst.

    Can Hughes manage a huge star like Ronaldinho? Would he gain the respect of a World Cup winner? It would be interesting to see... but then I'm no City fan :/

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  • 13. At 11:58am on 14 Jul 2008, death crab wrote:

    people said the same thing when maradona went to napoli. it's a huge gamble of course but it could really pay-off, which is really what sport is about. i'd say there would be more to motivate him at man city than milan and this could be one of the great ransfers in football history. have some faith and optimism man! p.s. i'm not a man city fan

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  • 14. At 11:58am on 14 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Curious! The whole saga smacks of a Shinawatra stunt. This story was first reported on some weeks ago, before the appointment of Mark Hughes, I wonder what his views are. The figures being speculated upon represent a huge outlay for a player with suspect fitness, temperament and waning abilities. Five years ago maybe, of course Manchester City would never have got a look in then, even if a wealthy benefactor were around to bank roll the deal.
    With Mark Hughes on board, Manchester City fans can look forward with confidence, even more so if the manager himself can be allowed to select targets for far better use of those Thai millions. Not a smart move, the powers that be at FC Barca must be rubbing their hands with glee. I'll stick my neck out and venture that the City fans will be polarised on the issue.

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  • 15. At 11:59am on 14 Jul 2008, mjw_blue1986 wrote:

    Just like to point to point out Phil that you say how Ronaldinho has never heard of 'Eastlands' before. In actual fact he played there in the first match in 2003 in a friendly against Barcelona, and got a rousing reception when he was substituted due to the fact he had turned down the chance to play for United. So as a BBC journalist I think you should do your research properly first.

    On all other points though I wholeheartedly agree. Its blatantly obvious that we've been used by ronaldinho and frank seems too stupid to realise this. Even if we did sign him where would elano fit in? Perhaps we should court somebody with more of a future in the game, Diego perhaps

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  • 16. At 11:59am on 14 Jul 2008, FreddyOfGreggs wrote:

    In response to Lorus59 :

    Because Milan buy stupid players. Ronaldo? Need I say more?

    Milan are caught up in the 'razumattaz' as much as DOCTOR Thaksin is. They go for names, not players who will contribute something valid to the team.

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  • 17. At 12:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, LukasPodolski20 wrote:

    Ronaldinho is still far too good for Man City. Maybe if he was about 40 he'd lower himself.

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  • 18. At 12:01pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Levenshulme-Blue and danshak...I bow to your superior Eastlands knowledge - thanks for putting that right.

    I could try to get myself out of that one by suggesting he might have forgotten!!

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  • 19. At 12:03pm on 14 Jul 2008, mungo_mcoy wrote:

    He will definitely be a waste of space on the field, but off the field he would bring some much needed publicity to, to be frank, a relatively unknown team outside of the UK.
    There is a lot of money to be made on the name 'Ronaldinho', even just through shirt sales alone, but what City have to consider is 'Do the marketing prospects counter the the absurd transfer fees and wages?'

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  • 20. At 12:04pm on 14 Jul 2008, Azzurri4stars wrote:

    Phil, are you having a laugh??

    He is 28 not 38. You make it sound like he is past his best based on 1 poor season!!

    The guy is a footballing genius and will be back im sure. Whoever takes the slight risk of taking him now will have a great player for the next 3-4 years.

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  • 21. At 12:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To italyno1fan...he WAS a genius, but questions about his fitness, lifestyle and attitude have not been answered.

    Of course a fully-fit Ronaldinho at his peak would grace any team or league, but I believe those days have gone.

    And his apparent lack of enthusiasm about joining City, huge wage packet apart, is a serious concern.

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  • 22. At 12:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, Jimmy wrote:

    What a ridiculously one-sided rubbish article against Liverpool, as usual you show your lack of fairness to do with Liverpool Phil........oh sorry, for once i guess we will not see the usual rubbish above from the Liverpool fans about how you 'hate' them so.

    Surely even they cannot turn this article into another example of the perceived bias they see from you Phil.

    i for one would like to see Ronaldinho in the Prem League. If he could get fit then i think he would be a delight to see, even if you only saw the magic every so often. Was gutted all them years ago when he didnt join United

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  • 23. At 12:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, paullake wrote:

    Phil,

    Agree with you and almost everyone else on this.

    However....

    I also agreed with you 12 months ago when you said we should avoid Sven like a bargepole. However, I do respect the fact you did at least admit that Eriksson proved you wrong - many pundits had a severe case of amnesia over their pre-season predictions for City.

    I was one of those City fans appalled when Sven was appointed, appalled when he was fired and who's still trying to get their head around the Hughes appointment.

    In a line, I don't know what to think.

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  • 24. At 12:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, Ian T wrote:

    All Newcastle fans remember the likes of Patrick Kluivert: all the talent in the world means nothing without the fitness and attitude. City would be idiots to buy him.

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  • 25. At 12:11pm on 14 Jul 2008, chelskikovites wrote:

    I think the article writer and virtually every poster is highlighting just why they don't manage a football club. LOL.

    Ronaldino, even a 'lesser 'Ronaldino for 22Mil ? Compared to Barry and a makeweight player for 18Mill ? Or Bent for 16Mil ?

    Jeez, bargain of the century.

    Not only that, if the guy does flop big time, by no means a given, his shirt sales will pay for him and half a dozen new players anyway.

    Fantastic buy. There is a reason Milan want him ya know.

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  • 26. At 12:11pm on 14 Jul 2008, paullake wrote:

    And many apologies for the mixed metaphor too. It's the emotion of posting on The Chosen Club.

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  • 27. At 12:15pm on 14 Jul 2008, ShackyTauro wrote:

    Phil, my head agrees with you, at present he looks like another Kliuvert when the latter went to Newcastle: supreme past talent, still young enough to potentially recapture that form but the appetite had gone.

    However, from a City point of you, if I were a fan I would think, "yes, but what if...?" What if a combination of manager Hughes, presonal pride and / or ambition to retain his Brazilian starting place actually sparks him back into form?

    At 28 he could still prove to be an excellent signing for City - let's be honest, at this stage of the blues (re)development they are unlikely to attract any of the really big names at their peak, therefore Ronaldinho could prove the catalyst.

    Conclusion - if the owner has the money, I would take the gamble.

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  • 28. At 12:16pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To paullake...yes I was wrong about Sven and was more than happy to admit it.

    Ronaldinho for £22m - plus £200,000 a week - is not a gamble worth taking in my opinion.

    City clearly have money, ambition and have got a really excellent manager in Mark Hughes.

    There is more good news with Richard Dunne's decision to stay, because he was all but gone before Hughes arrived.

    I would look around for younger, hungrier players or try and land a really top-class talent at the peak of his career.

    Any suggestions?

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  • 29. At 12:17pm on 14 Jul 2008, bladeenz wrote:

    Opinions differ but i think with Ronaldino`s creativity and Benjani upfront, Man City will have a fantastic season.

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  • 30. At 12:19pm on 14 Jul 2008, Djbungo wrote:

    The problem is that while it may be a publicity cuop to get a big name like this to play for Man City, it would be a footballing and financial disaster. OK, so a few other players may pick up their ears at going to where Ronny will be playing, but at the end of the day the extortionate amount of money he will be getting (OK may be offset by sponsor deals and shirt sales) but all the new superstars will want money on par with what he has...so the wage bill will skyrocket....plus what will happen when the likes of Micah Richards wants a new contract and can see that he is having to work really hard defensively to make up for Ronaldinho not tracking back but sees that the person putting the least effort in is getting more money that the whole back line???....Just a bad move all round.

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  • 31. At 12:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, Chad Secksington wrote:

    There's no question that last year at Barcelona took it's toll on the lad, but at 28 he can still come back.

    The unpalatable truth is however that faced with a choice of AC Milan or Manchester City how many people outside the Manchester City Council Municipal Arena would choose Manchester City?

    The fact that comedy wages like £200,000 a week are being mentioned should ring alarm bells for Hughes, it'd be hello Ronaldinho goodbye team spirit.

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  • 32. At 12:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, over_there wrote:

    Shhh.... I've been thinking "waste of money" for weeks, but don't tell them!

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  • 33. At 12:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, Czechmate wrote:

    I think this would be a good move for City if as you say Ronaldinho was showing abit of hunger to come to City and prove himself. However there is potential that he can certainly make the difference between winning and drawing.

    And his commercial aspect off the field may end up repaying more of the trasnfer fee than his performances.

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  • 34. At 12:22pm on 14 Jul 2008, mjw_blue1986 wrote:

    Important to note Phil that Nike are prepared to make contributions towards the deal to bring him to the premier league. I feel the role of Garry Cook might have been crucial in this respect. So its highly unlikely that the club would actually be paying him 200,000 a week

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  • 35. At 12:24pm on 14 Jul 2008, collie21 wrote:

    would have thought 28 was prime............but good points made, perhaps the other side of the coin is that in City he could refind the form that made him a great player, maybe he has something to prove....?................NAW.

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  • 36. At 12:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, MagpieRH wrote:

    I thought City had already offered £12m and had spoken to Ron but he turned them down. Why would upping the offer to the club then make any difference?!

    I think you may be wrong about him, he still has all the weapons to be a great player but has lost motivation at Barça. He's no longer the main attraction, he has won everything he can win in Spain and I think he needs a fresh challenge to get him going again. Milan would provide the same fresh challenge as City but as at Barça he wouldn't be the star of the show.
    City have some good players but no real show-stoppers, which is what Ronaldinho was at his peak and, I think, could be again.

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  • 37. At 12:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, randalthor1812 wrote:

    As A City Fan i couldn't agree more with Phil , one i'll believe it when i see it , two i hope it doesn't happen and three the money would be so much better spent elsewhere.
    We all know we need a right winger people keep mentioning Bentley although i thought Kelvin Etuhu looked fantastic against Spurs in the cup.
    Still with Jo and Benjani upfront with Petrov out left and Elano just behind (should be exciting) and with a fit Michael Johnson doing the tackling (and scoring) Gelson? as a holding midfielder (did well for Switzerland) and a defence of Dunne and Micah the future is bright the future is BLUE.

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  • 38. At 12:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To mjw_blue1986...that has clearly been a factor in the deal, but is a combination of things that make me dubious.

    I do not think Ronaldinho in his prime would have had to consider a move to City.

    The appointment of Hughes and the great academy at the club means that Eastlands should not have to become an elephant's graveyard for once great players.

    The academy is regarded as one of the finest around. City should be looking forward, Ronaldinho can only look back.

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  • 39. At 12:30pm on 14 Jul 2008, theghost2 wrote:

    People talk as if Ronaldinho is past it based on one poor season with Barcelona, however, at the age of 28 he should be in the prime of his career, so with a bit of hard work he could be back to somewhere near his best. If he's prepared to put in the work i really cant see why on earth he'd join City, as although City supporters talk up their clubs chances, they've failed to win anything of note in a long time and realistically can only hope for at best a top six finish in the next few years. Given this choice or the more realistic chance of playing Champions League football regularly at a club like Milan, he should choose Milan every time. Therefore if he chooses to go to City, which i really cant see happening, it's clear that he's gone there on the sole basis of financial gain, and City will be left with a player who, although may increase shirt sales for a period, is unenthused, has no care for the club and will probably ask to leave as soon as the next big offer comes in.

    I may be wrong on this point, but i also seem to remember that one of the reasons that he chose Barcelona ahead of Man United in 2003 was the British weather, so it would be interesting to see how many appearances he'd manage to make between November and February in the unlikely event that he does go to City.

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  • 40. At 12:31pm on 14 Jul 2008, Denis Laws Back Heel wrote:

    I agree that City would be much better off spending their money elsewhere, however it might just be that he is being purchased to help lure further talent to the club, much like Chelsea did when Abramovich took over.
    To suggest Ronaldinho hadn't even heard of "Eastlands" is a little insulting to City fans.
    Firstly it isn't called Eastlands, as Man City themselves reminded me recently and secondly Ronaldinho has played there before for Barcelona in 2003.

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  • 41. At 12:33pm on 14 Jul 2008, alpeshcgujjar wrote:

    I think the China guy is thinking about making the City big but i dont know if this is the right way of doing it...he might go in lose,its something else that he is not actually paying the bills for Ronaldinho..MANCITY are just trying to make the club knows and attract fans,nice but dont think bringing in a player like Ronaldinho can bring in the successs and profite..well i know nothing about these kind of business..maybe its good for the club...i wish him to come..

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  • 42. At 12:33pm on 14 Jul 2008, rrsodl wrote:

    This article makes it sound that at 28 your days as a player are practically over. Nonsense!!!

    The big problem here is his attitude, who knows why Ronaldinho was showing lack of commitment and effort. However, my guess is that a lot had to do with Barcelona and the manager.

    I'm a Man U fan and I have always said, not just in the last few weeks, that Ronaldinho was the real deal as far as talent and skill is concerned. I was borne is South America and I'm used to seeing really skillful players and in that category Cristiiano Ronaldo is not in the same league by a long way. It's not easy to explain how this is so, perhaps the big difference is in the speed the truly skillful players perform their skill. Ronaldinho might be travelling at a 100 mls per hour and do something that leaves the defender for dead. A change of direction, dropping a shoulder, the elastic, etc. Christiano Ronaldo does most of his skill practically in a square meter, it looks like a dance and that IS NOT in the same league as Ronaldinho's skill. A truly master was Maradona, another skillfull player was Romario. A great British exponent was Chris Waddle. Some of the tricks that Ronaldo is most celebrated for are not really that difficult, is like learning a dance. My guess is that in Spain he will not be so effective, defenders are used to facing skillfull players and Ronaldo would need to learn a trick or two to have the same success than here. However, there is no question that Ronaldo is a far better goal scorer than Ronaldinho. Finally, I wish Man U was buying Ronaldinho. I would really paid just to watch Ronaldinho play.

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  • 43. At 12:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, mjw_blue1986 wrote:

    Well yeah you're right about those things, I said earlier I agreed with you, was just saying that financially i don't think its as much of a gamble as it appears, what with marketing and shirt sales making up for some of the money. Would kind of be similar to Beckham at Real Madrid, who raised them loads of cash financially.

    But yes you're completely right we should be signing players who have many years in front of them in the game and have the hunger and desire to take city forward.

    Perhaps we should be considering the outlay on diego, arshavin, bentley etc

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  • 44. At 12:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, paullake wrote:

    Phil,

    As well as Jo, in order to move forward, we need a left back, a replacement for Didi Hamann, a right winger and an out and out centre forward.

    How about the Russian left back from Euro 2008, Xabi Alonso, Bentley and Gabriel Milito?

    Alternatively, play Corluka in Hamann's position and Nedum Onouha at right back Corluka did this a couple of times last season and looked top class - while Nedum's a good lad, a very good player and a future City captain.

    We also need a back-up keeper. I would try to keep Kasper Schmeichel with the promise that he will play in cup ties with Hart playing in the league.

    Sturridge and Evans should be back-up strikers to Jo, Milito and Benjani and we should keep Ball and Vassell as squad players.

    Weiss (reserve right winger) and Mee (left sided centre half) coem into the squad from the Youth Cup winning team with others to follow when they are ready.

    Sell Garrido, Bojinov, Corradi, Samaras, Matthew and Danny Mills. Loan out Caicedo and Etuhu.

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  • 45. At 12:37pm on 14 Jul 2008, Roger_the_Pessimist wrote:

    I agree that City would not be the right move for either party.

    Ronaldinho has lost the plot recently. He bought into his own hype and failed to realise that no amount of talent can compensate for hard work. Football never stands still and he found that out the hard way last season.

    But let's not forget that he is still relatively young and with a wealth of experience. He must also still have lots of talent too, you don't lose that overnight.

    What he needs is a strong manager. A father figure who can help him rediscover his form and the right mentality to be successful. I believe that man is Phil Scolari, who knows Ronaldinho well from his time managing Brazil. He's a no-nonsense kind of guy and an excellent motivator.

    Whether Big Phil would want him is another matter but I feel if anyone can halt the Brazilians fall from grace it's him. I believe that Ronaldinho would enjoy living in London (certainly more than Manchester) and would flourish in Chelsea colours. That would be the best move for him in my opinion.

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  • 46. At 12:44pm on 14 Jul 2008, dazzlingdublinblue wrote:

    Paullake nails it on although I don't think we should get rid of Bojinov until we see what he can do once he's fit.

    If we sign Ronaldhino and agree to his ridiculous wage demands, there will be very little left in the kitty to sign the players in defence, midfield and attack that we badly need to boost our squad.

    And if Ronaldhino gets injured or worse still seriously injured we'll have wasted £40 million plus.

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  • 47. At 12:45pm on 14 Jul 2008, Deeeemarles wrote:

    'Gordinho', (little fatty) would be a great addition in terms of raising Man City's profile. But thats about it.

    So if Man City want headlines they should go for him (and the circus that surrounds him).

    But be realistic, can you see Ronald in Manchester?? Milan is where he'll be next season.

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  • 48. At 12:48pm on 14 Jul 2008, sbb1979 wrote:

    I'm not a City fan. If Ronaldinho does come to the Premiership then I'll certainly be interested in seeing how he does (and will be hoping to see some magic up close), and I hope he does bring something to their team - they deserve it after playing some good football last year and they seem to have the right philosophy. It does all however seem like PR from the owner - he wants to show off his money with a big name.

    I can't imagine that Mark Hughes would be happy with that, especially considering he could get a couple of very talented players for that sort of money.

    Good luck to them though...

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  • 49. At 12:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, dazzlingdublinblue wrote:

    The Guardian reported that seven years ago George Weah, then 34 years old, packed his bags and walked out of Manchester City - after securing a £500,000 golden handshake.

    The former World Player of the Year lasted 10 weeks at Maine Road before falling out with City's manager Joe Royle. He was unhappy about being left out of the starting line-up and complained that Royle showed him a lack of respect.

    City insiders revealed that terminating his contract - worth £2.5m over two years - cost the club £500,000. Added to the £250,000 he picked up in wages during his 10-week stay, that represents an outlay of £750,000 for one league goal.

    Weah, a substitute for four of City's last six games, scored three times in the Worthington Cup but his only Premiership goal was in the 3-2 defeat at Liverpool. Royle said: "He brought some moments of magic with him but it was always going to be a delicate situation with him."

    Shades of Ronaldhino here? He's 28, six years younger than Weah, but there seem to be a lot of other similarities in that deal and the proposed Ronaldinho deal.

    Big signing on fee, wages plus big ego who demands respect even though he may be past his sell by date.

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  • 50. At 12:56pm on 14 Jul 2008, el-nickpcr-io wrote:

    I can't help but feel that Ronny will turn it on for whoever he plays for next season. You all seem very quick to write off a man of (gasp) 28 years old. The peak of his career anyone? True, he was a wreck for Barca last season but come on - what do you get the man ho has won everything (World Cup, Coppa America, Champions League, League Tilte, Ballon D'Or TWICE IN A ROW)? A new challenge, that's what. To me it sounds like Dino is ready for it. Finally.

    By all accounts he has spent all summer shedding that weight. And you are right Phil, he will almost certainly go to AC Milan - for about a third of the money he would get at Man City. Does that sound like the actions of a man that doesn't want to prove himself? Wait and see...

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  • 51. At 1:06pm on 14 Jul 2008, abscondicon wrote:

    Thaksin wants a glamorous club that emulates Chelsea and Ronaldinho would be great for this image. There's no doubt, though, that the money for the transfer and his wages could be better invested elsewhere. I'm sure Hughes would agree.

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  • 52. At 1:06pm on 14 Jul 2008, I_Hate_Ewoks wrote:

    At 28 I hardly think you can say Ronaldinho is past his best. This is often seen as the time when many footballers reach their peak.

    I also think 22 million isn't unreasonable given the quality of the player.

    I will agree that 200,000 a week is ridiculous wages if correct and for this reason City would be better of looking at other options.

    They should use the money to sign 2-3 quality players and add depth to the current squad.

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  • 53. At 1:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, Bluetish wrote:

    I agree whole heartedly with the comments.
    Yes like Dr Thaksin i too would like to see bums on seats but not just to see one player who is past his prime. I want to watch a "team" of players perform, not 10 players supporting a big name on an even bigger salary. I hope Ronaldiniho becomes a slave at AC Milan because the slaves we have at City all pull in the same direction.

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  • 54. At 1:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, kinglofthouse wrote:

    I really feel that Arshavin would be a better deal for City. I am not convinced that he is a world beater after one outstanding match at the Euros but he is at least a little younger than Ronaldino (OK a year) but he has a better attitude, is willing to defend and would be grateful for the move which would reflect in his attitude and performances IMHO. All in all a better deal.

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  • 55. At 1:12pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    my view is that Ronaldinho is past his best at 28 - but are there any cases of players (let's keep it to outfield) coming to their peak after 28?

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  • 56. At 1:18pm on 14 Jul 2008, OriginalJimmyGrimble wrote:

    I think Arshavin would be a much better call. I know he's roughly the same age, but he looks to be hungry on the pitch.

    By the way, LevenshulmeBlue, is that you Dave?

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  • 57. At 1:20pm on 14 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Whichever way you turn it, this transfer is a huge gamble. Income from merchandising isn't guaranteed and even with, as has been mentioned by another contributor, the financial assistance of Nike, the decision to pursue doesn't seem like a sound footballing one.
    Just another observation, in his previous role, Mark Hughes' Blackburn were notoriously difficult to beat and not a fixture many clubs looked forward to. Assuming Manchester City acquire a similar persona under MH, can you visualise Ronaldinho, tracking back when City have lost possession on, say, a filthy night in Middlesbrough in October ? I can't. Manchester City have every chance of breaking into the group of clubs like Villa, Spurs, Pompey etc just bubbling under that elite group of four. Ronaldinho's contribution to this progress would probably be patchy at best. Save the cash and invest it sensibly somewhere else.

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  • 58. At 1:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, spursjunkie1985 wrote:

    It appears to me that Ronaldinho would easily consider himself bigger than the club. This is something which no team needs. I'm also not convinced he has answered any of his critics on the issue of his fitness, attitude and form, he certainly didnt make headlines for any good reasons last season with Barca. Let Milan have him

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  • 59. At 1:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, Azzurri4stars wrote:

    Phil, i think the term genius is used too often in the world of football, however in Rons case we really do have to befit him with this title. I do understand you saying he "was" a genius but i really do not think he has anything to prove to anybody.
    He has had one poor season, that is all. Surely he is allowed this. When younger players like Rooney do not perform to their best level it is put down to burn out or too many games. So how can a player of true stature like Ron all of a sudden be classed as poor just because he has not lived up to his normal exceptional brilliance?
    I could understand this if the guy was in his mid 30s but for somebody who does not have any pace at all, i consider him relatively young and notm even at his real peak at the moment.
    Surely the one thing Ron has deserved over the years is for people to cut him some slack for one poor season.
    As for him not showing enthusiasm to join City, surely if less than 2 years you were quite rightly labelled the best player on the planet, would you want to join City??
    The guy is a multi millionaire anyway, at least it shows he isnt also a greedy sod!!

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  • 60. At 1:27pm on 14 Jul 2008, discomcfc wrote:

    'Let's be honest, it is questionable whether he had even heard of Eastlands before Thaksin Shinawatra's riches were hurled in his direction.'


    Er, is this despite the fact he played in the first ever match at the Stadium?

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  • 61. At 1:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, MFC_DB8 wrote:

    How can people say Arshavin will be a better buy for City? The guy has had one good European Championship and was part of a team which won the UEFA Cup. To say he was the reason Zenit won the competition is ludicrous.

    Ronaldinho is still a world class player, given the chance. Past his best? I ask all of you would you turn him away from playing for your club? He can still be a world beater, and in my opinion, too good for City. However, they seem to be on the up gaining more respect and generating more ambition.

    In answer to your question Phil, about players coming to their peak at 28? - Thierry Henry springs to mind.

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  • 62. At 1:30pm on 14 Jul 2008, CandyStripeJacko wrote:

    I laugh dazzlingdublinblue when you say use that kind of money to buy Arshavin.

    I like most was a fan of his in the limited number of good games I have seen him play e.g. sweden, holland and rangers.

    ...but while 'dinho has gone off the boil at Barca he has still got it. And has shown it for a lot longer than people like Arshavin.

    When people talk mad money for Walcott's, Nasri's, Barry's (Who? What has he won? What will he ever win?) then Ronaldinho would be a risk but worth it at 22m.

    Comparisons with Tino? The football played at St James by Newcastle in that era was unbelievable and I am sure the ManCity faithfull would settle for that and 2nd in the league if you offered it to them now.

    Class is permanent, form is temporary, 'Dinho will be back.

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  • 63. At 1:31pm on 14 Jul 2008, GafferM04 wrote:

    el-nickpcr-io, I'm with you, I think he will be a touch of class for whoever he signs for. Problem is, if that is to be City, surely after one good season (playing for himself), he'd be off - would that one season be worth it for City?

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  • 64. At 1:32pm on 14 Jul 2008, ssmart08 wrote:

    schnikelbop you dont know what your talking about. Man City dont have the quality defenders to compensate for Dinho not tracking back ? proffesional 11 aside is nothing like a game of 5 aside , it doesnt work like 11 v's 10 if a striker doesnt come back. your 2 centre halfs will never push up past the opposing teams strikers anyway so it doesnt work like 11 v 10 ever. I play at a high level and our gaffer would go crazy if we tracked back - its not what forwards on an 11's pitch should do.

    Also , i feel Richard Dunne and Micah Richards are as good defensively as anyone in the world.

    Ronaldinho is world class , him and Deco just like the barcelona nightlife and girls too much - thats all , when he see's the quality of girls in Manchester he will have no choice but to concentrate on his football

    If he goes to Milan , he will party it up just the same.

    Mark Hughes is EXACTLY what that brazillian superstar needs this season - i hope he goes to Man City !!!!!!

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  • 65. At 1:33pm on 14 Jul 2008, karim1981 wrote:

    I dont agree Phil. Ronaldinho is 28, therefore reaching the peak of any players ability. I would love him at Anfield playing behind Torres. Would be amazing. You have to be firm with him though and tell him no partying etc, if he does then he out and thats a stipulation in his contract. Noone at Barca dared to upset him because of the loss of earnings his image would bring to the club.
    It shows ambition by City that they want to go and buy these players.
    Im pretty sure that if he came to England he would be reinvented as one of the all time greats once again. Italy is the easy mans way out, a league full of corruption and slow football. Ron - Either stick with Barca or join the best league in the world!

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  • 66. At 1:35pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    Here's the latest news....Barcelona president Joan Laporta is claiming Manchester City have offered £25.5m (!) for Ronaldinho.

    Talk about inflation and that's only in the space of a few hours.

    What do you make of that then?

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  • 67. At 1:35pm on 14 Jul 2008, jinius wrote:

    Ronaldinho won't be joining Man City so this is a bit of a non issue. However what you have to realise is that Thaksin wants City to be seen as a real force in Europe, the only way you do that is by signing big names. Just the fact that this rumour has been around for so long will have increased the profile of City across Europe.

    Lots of fans think these non football men don't know what they are doing, but they forget that some of these owners are the richest businessmen in the world. They know precisely what they are doing and it is not trying to do the managers job. If Hughes didn't want Ronaldinho he would have said so by now.

    I for one would love to see him in the premiership but since the media and most fans seem to have decided he isn't wanted, he is even more likely to chose a warmer more hospitable country.

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  • 68. At 1:35pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    I've been reading Phil's column for quite some time now and this the first time I agree with what's been written. Ronnie is a has been, 22mil could be spent on someone like Diego Capel of Seville fc. He's 20years old and with his best years ahead of him. Should be a hit with the likes of the other up and coming youngsters at City. Mark Hughes is a good manager, so given another year or two, they should make wonders with the current squad they have! A plus would be 2 or 3 new faces, especially strikers!

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  • 69. At 1:37pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    Personally I think Ronaldinho wpuld have been a great signing for City. He would add that bit of glamour to the team and put them on the map.

    As for the fee and wages, who cares how much it costs? it's Frank's personal wealth that will be used and not City's!

    I also think that Ronaldinho will be out to prove something at his next destination to stick two fingers up to all those who think he's washed up!

    I'm a United fan and would love to have him at Old Trafford.

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  • 70. At 1:38pm on 14 Jul 2008, AnalMcAnal wrote:

    'It is questionable whether he had even heard of Eastlands'

    Respected Spanish football journalist Guiem Ballgue (hope i've spelt that correctly) has been on Sky Sports a couple of times recently stating 'Ronaldinho played a friendly at Manchester City's new stadium a couple of years ago and he's been telling his Barca team mates that he has fond memories of both the stadium and the fans and that it's a place he'd like to play'.

    2 years ago he was the best player in the world and now, after one poor season, he's a washed-up has been at the age of 28!

    I don't mind people questioning whether he'd tactically be a good buy or whether he'd be worth the huge amounts of money that's been speculated but please don't tell me he's not capable of getting back to being the world class player he was as little as 18 months ago.

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  • 71. At 1:41pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    All I'll say is that form is temporary and class is permanent!

    Go and get him City! another big name for the Prem!

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  • 72. At 1:41pm on 14 Jul 2008, AlecHerdLevenshulme wrote:

    Phil McNulty

    A player reaching his peak after 28? Tony Book! Won four trophies with City in his 30s. Another thing, players might reach their peaks by 28 but they can certainly maintain it for a lot longer, up until 32-33 in most cases.

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  • 73. At 1:43pm on 14 Jul 2008, dazton wrote:

    I think it would be great for the Premier League to see the likes of Ronaldinho up against mega-stars such as Ballack, Torres, Essien, Gerrard and Fabregas.

    The name alone will attract viewers from all over the globe.

    So I say let Man City spend the dollar and get the Brazilian over here.

    It would be so interesting!

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  • 74. At 1:48pm on 14 Jul 2008, Hot Butter wrote:

    i think if he came it would be great entertainment to see how he gets on.

    shame he'd miss the start due to the olympics

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  • 75. At 1:49pm on 14 Jul 2008, James Autar wrote:

    Someone, maybe snicklebop, put it all into perspective in the modern English game when he questioned whether Ronaldinho would be prepared to come back and defend. This is all that is wrong with football in England today - a forward is not allowed to make a dazzling run with the ball, beat a few players and then relax to recover his breath. Oh no! He is required to cover back and chase and tackle. It was so good to see in the Euro championships, proper football played with the emphasis on passing the ball ON THE GROUND and not hoofed up in the air as it is in most English games, and then 6 players jump together and 3-4 end up injured on the ground.
    How good in Euro '08 to see that, apart from the deplorable Michael Ballack who consitiently confronted the referees (obviously carried it forward from the dreadful Chelsea style) generally most games were free from this unacceptable behaviour.
    Ronaldinho would be great to see in England, but it will not work if he is expected to 'tackle back' - to use the favoured English expression, and chase and challenge. If he is permitted to to be given the ball and then allowed to display his skills, then he would be an asset.

    I just wish English football could revert to what the game is supposed to be about, skill with the ball. Unless the style changes then don't expect to see England qualify for a major championship for sometime yet.

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  • 76. At 1:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    25.5mil???? That's a joke! I'd rather put in a bid for Fabregas or Chelseaworkaholic Essien! I would go so far as to bid for Messi if the need be. But that amount of dosh for Ronnie is a farce!!!!!

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  • 77. At 1:52pm on 14 Jul 2008, Prince Florian wrote:

    im not sure you should be so quick to say big ron is past his peak at 28, he just needs to get his fitness back - and if mark hughes demanded one thing at blackburn it was for his players to be physically competitive. i think for the status he would bring to the club it would be money well spent, regardless of whether or not he recaptures his best form, he will be the biggest footballing name in manchester! he'd fill the stadium, man city would get more tv money etc etc, and he wasn't THAT bad last season when he played, some moments of pure brilliance. go for it thaksin!

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  • 78. At 1:52pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    I believe He'll go to AC Milan and rediscover his form and become one of the best players in the world again!

    He's 28 and got around 5 good years left in him at the top, I'm sure once he leaves Barca and the players around him his attitude will change for the better.

    We all get a bit bored of our own environment at times, it's just that it's time for a change for him.

    Ronaldinho will always be a class player.

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  • 79. At 1:52pm on 14 Jul 2008, Sepp-Blatters_Slave wrote:

    Completely agree with Randell Keith.

    The guy is 28 and has a point to prove. Let's not forget he was world player of the year two years running (04+05) and although he went off the boil last year this hardly makes him "past-it". The talent's still there.

    As for desire, I believe he would be "hungrier" at Milan playing alongside Kaka and Pato.

    Ultimately, the guy loves partying and thats why he wont be coming to manchester. Not only is the nightlife crap but Sparky wouldnt let him out even for non-alcoholic cocktails...

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  • 80. At 1:53pm on 14 Jul 2008, MarioGuedes wrote:

    Well, I think Ronaldinho still one of the greatests footballers of the time been, and his lack of form is nothing more than the desapointment of been away from the fields, also I don't see him as a trouble maker or something... we are not sure how the things run over there at barcelona's boards do we? i'm susppicious about a club that deals with a player of his size, that brought so much to the club, in the way they have been doing. Anyway, Ronaldinho has a full potential yet, and probably will play the olimpics with the brazillian side, what is good for any club willing to take him.
    Maybe the fee and the wages are the turning down point to City, but they would be, in my point of view, taking the hole club to a new level of international projection, and the Premiereship evan more attrctive.

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  • 81. At 1:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, VillaVoltaire wrote:


    It amazes me to see people right Ronaldinho off purely on the basis of these form and fitness problems which are, just that, nothing more. He was called fat and lazy all year, the year before last, and still managed to score 21 goals; one of which - an overhead kick vs Villareal (i think) - was quite possibly one of the best goals i have ever seen. It has been reported that his penchant for partying has had an impact on his football, this i may be willing to concede. But the simple fact is that he is 28 years old, incredibly gifted AND at the back end of last year, before the sniping, intrigue and cloudiness at Barca got too much, he was said to have worked himself up into fantastic shape. Ronaldinho has had his time a Barca - that fracture is there for all to see BUT that does not mean he will nto be back. Mark my words

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  • 82. At 1:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, CandyStripeJacko wrote:

    Chelsea Saffer - 25.5 mill a farce?

    What about 18mil for Barry?

    If 25.5 is a farce, then 18 for Barry must be a circus.

    One bad season doesn't make a bad player.

    Lest we forget Henry and Eto'o didn't exactly set the Nou Camp alight last year.

    Those that say 'Dinho is done basically don't have a notion about football.

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  • 83. At 1:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, jaime wrote:

    Ronaldinho is Brasilian. As such he has a latin temperament and loves the glamour life.
    I simply cannot see him in some Manchester dive in the evenings. I cannot see him taking much interest in playing away on a cold wet January day.
    The UK is not for him. Pity though, as he would have added a nice touch.

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  • 84. At 1:59pm on 14 Jul 2008, thouston wrote:


    Anyone that thinks he's going to City is having a laugh. Tell me again how Big Phil is coming In. You'll have Bentley and finish in 12th.

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  • 85. At 2:02pm on 14 Jul 2008, safcfan89 wrote:

    For their sake? You could put City's entire midfield together and they would still be nowhere near Ronaldinho's standard. He's had one dodgy season. The 06-07 season he was criticised, but he actually scored 21 goals, which is no mean feat if he's supposedly off-form. Last season he had injury problems, but what evidence is there to suggest he can't return to the form of two seasons ago? At Barca if he has one poor match, the fans and press jump on him, so in that situation how can you perform? He's not loved there any more.

    He needs a fresh start, a team like Man City where he would be the player who all play goes through would be ideal. His best form came when he was the focal point of the team (Barcelona and Brazil), rather than when he was just shoved out on the left wing.

    Considering Jo (who?) is apparently worth £20 million, £25 million for Ronaldinho would be a bargain.

    Frankly, the main article is nothing more than a rant. I remember the Beeb said Man Utd got a lucky escape when he signed for Barca rather than them...how right you were.

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  • 86. At 2:03pm on 14 Jul 2008, MrFastfinger wrote:

    Didnt Real Madrid pay 25m for a 28 year old Mr Beckham...???

    I doubt very much that theres a football team in the world that would choose
    Beckham over Ronaldinho for the same amount of cash...For footballing or marketing/financial reasons....And when you look at the fees that some clubs are paying for players (Darren Bent/Schevchenko anyone..?, Or Garreth Barry for that matter who, in truth has yet to prove himself at any level higher than the prem) then 22m for for a proven player thats won just about every major trophy in world football and still has (potentially) 4/5 top class seasons left in him is good business....

    Personally, I hope City get there man. Ronaldinho in the Premiership would be great...Anyone who says otherwise is either jealous of Citys ambition and potential or not a football fan at all.......

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  • 87. At 2:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    Correction! The old Ronnie of 2 seasons ago would be good for the PL. Paying that amount of money for him now is a massive risk! Out of touch, out of form, overweight! He seems to lack the passion needed to play, especially playing for City. What would motivate him to perform? He's a superstar in his own mind! He doesn't need average players around him. He needs to be ruffed up by Scolari to perform at his best but I don't see Chelsea making offers tho!

    I'd offer Barca 13mil take it or leave it!

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  • 88. At 2:06pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To AlecHerdLevenshulme...Tony Book - perfect example. Not sure he even played League football until he was 30 at Plymouth.

    Admittedly played at right-back but had a very successful career.

    Just a bit more on Ronaldinho from Laporta, who says: "Ronaldinho and his agent have two interesting proposals and they are leaning more towards the one from Manchester City."

    Is this a negotiating ploy? One thing is certain, the affair is coming to a head.

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  • 89. At 2:06pm on 14 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    #75 JamesAutar

    In the red half of Premiership Manchester, a couple of their best performers frequently tackle back when not in possession. Putting aside their most visible contributions in and around the opponents penalty area, Rooney and Ronaldo have a pretty good work ethic. In fairness though, the tackling back of Rooney is often assisted by a bit of a red mist.

    To balance my own opinion a bit, one of my all time football heroes, Glenn Hoddle wasn't that famous for getting too sweaty but remained highly effective.

    The Ilicipolero jury is still out though on Ronaldinho, I'm not at all convinced the numbers being mentioned represent good value.

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  • 90. At 2:09pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    The question I would ask to everyone is:

    Would you like to see Ronaldinho grace our beautiful stadiums?

    Personally I would pay an extra £10 if I thought Ronaldinho was going to come to Sixfields (Northampton Town) on a January afternoon in the F.A. Cup third round! Who wouldn't?

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  • 91. At 2:11pm on 14 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    1- For god's sake get real. The man has won world player of the year TWICE. he is not 28 years old, rather 28 years young at his prime.

    2- "What would City be getting for their vast transfer outlay and a wage packet that has been speculated upon as being around £200,000-a-week?" are you really that blind to business marketing? one simple answer is to do with turning City into a huge global brand, get this man to put a blue shirt on and shirts will be selling at a rate of 1000s per second.

    3- Dr Shinawatra plans for this club are already paying off, turn your TV to CNN or ABC or even Aljazeera and you will hear City's name at least once a day.

    4- He didnt hear of Eastland name's befoe Dr Shinawatra and what difference does that make? like Pele said: "player will go to one club one and declear thier passion for that club and go to another a year or two later and again claim that have passion for thier club" it is part of the modern game.

    I dont belive for a second that any City fan will feel anything less than more pride of the Club if Dinho comes to play for us. But surley utter nonesense (such as the above) will not help the hard efforts behind the scence to bring such a massive name to City.

    i for one, will sing and Shout Dihno's name throughout the game of each game if he comes to us.

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  • 92. At 2:13pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    Well CandyStripeJacko I'm not a pool fan but I have to agree that 18mil for Barry is ridiculous! I'd say Gerrard or even Lamps might be worth 18mil. Barry is an average player and Rafa would make a huge mistake by signing him for that amount. The kop want the P/L, signing Barry will not bring them that. I'd splash that dosh out on Diego of W Bremen, never Barry! Tooo Average!

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  • 93. At 2:13pm on 14 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    1- For god's sake get real. The man has won world player of the year TWICE. he is not 28 years old, rather 28 years young at his prime.

    2- "What would City be getting for their vast transfer outlay and a wage packet that has been speculated upon as being around £200,000-a-week?" are you really that blind to business marketing? one simple answer is to do with turning City into a huge global brand, get this man to put a blue shirt on and shirts will be selling at a rate of 1000s per second.

    3- Dr Shinawatra plans for this club are already paying off, turn your TV to CNN or ABC or even Aljazeera and you will hear City's name at least once a day.

    4- He didn’t hear of Eastland name's before Dr Shinawatra and what difference does that make? like Pele said: "player will go to one club one and declare their passion for that club and go to another a year or two later and again claim that have passion for their club" it is part of the modern game.

    I don’t believe for a second that any City fan will feel anything less than more pride of the Club if Dihno comes to play for us. But surely utter nonsense (such as the above) will not help the hard efforts behind the scene to bring such a massive name to City.

    i for one, will sing and Shout Dihno's name throughout the game of each game if he comes to us.

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  • 94. At 2:13pm on 14 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    1- For god's sake get real. The man has won world player of the year TWICE. he is not 28 years old, rather 28 years young at his prime.

    2- "What would City be getting for their vast transfer outlay and a wage packet that has been speculated upon as being around £200,000-a-week?" are you really that blind to business marketing? one simple answer is to do with turning City into a huge global brand, get this man to put a blue shirt on and shirts will be selling at a rate of 1000s per second.

    3- Dr Shinawatra plans for this club are already paying off, turn your TV to CNN or ABC or even Aljazeera and you will hear City's name at least once a day.

    4- He didn’t hear of Eastland name's before Dr Shinawatra and what difference does that make? like Pele said: "player will go to one club one and declare their passion for that club and go to another a year or two later and again claim that have passion for their club" it is part of the modern game.

    I don’t believe for a second that any City fan will feel anything less than more pride of the Club if Dihno comes to play for us. But surely utter nonsense (such as the above) will not help the hard efforts behind the scene to bring such a massive name to City.

    i for one, will sing and Shout Dihno's name throughout the game of each game if he comes to us.

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  • 95. At 2:13pm on 14 Jul 2008, Palmeirasfan wrote:

    Here in Brazil, Ronaldinho has been very quiet about his future. There is no doubt however that from some of the interviews he has given here he is desperate to play football again. As far as the party life is concerned, he has not been indulging in it here. He probably more than any other Brazilian player loves playing football. If city have the chance to sign him and they don't then they are stupid. Romario, Ronaldo, Kaká and Ronaldinho are the best players to have come out of Brazil in the last 15 years. Forget about Jo and Elano........ if you can sign him with the motivation he has been showing here and his renewed love for playing the game, which not money has always been his motivation, not only should you do so but build your team around him. He will also create an international interest in City. Comparing Barry at 18 million to Ronaldinho at 22 million is a joke.

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  • 96. At 2:15pm on 14 Jul 2008, baddebt wrote:

    Being a Barcelona fans for years now and having the pleasure of meeting the tehn Fottballing Mastro that was Ronaldinho in the flesh in 2005, I can't now help but wonder why Man City want to shell out this sort of money to Sign Ronaldinho.

    A bit of fitness and desire and he could take back his crown as the best Player in the world, but going to Man city is not showing much ambition at all.
    Sigining for city is purely for the money, Man city will still not finsih in the top 4 even with Ronaldinho and Jo etc, etc.
    They are a middle of the road team, and always will.

    I think he should go to Milan where he will get back that desire to win things and do well(because Mialn can and will whip him into shape.



    For me its a case of MORE FOOLS MAN CITY.

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  • 97. At 2:16pm on 14 Jul 2008, Kyrkos wrote:

    Ronaldinho a "has been" because of ONE bad season? "Past his peak" at 28? Come on!

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  • 98. At 2:16pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Palmeirasfan...thanks for that background from Brazil.

    I'm still sticking to my original view but it might provide cheer to those City fans who share my concerns.

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  • 99. At 2:17pm on 14 Jul 2008, ACTwerton wrote:

    I think to say he’s past his peak may well turn out to be accurate. On the other hand it’s possible that if he went to the right club and got mind, body and soul all working as it should, then he could have at least another year or two playing at the kind of level we were seeing 2 and 3 seasons back. Perhaps not likely but possible, in fact it’s for the very reason that there are easily identifiable things which we can put his lack of from down to that this remains a possibility. He's only 28.

    Of course it’s a huge gamble and not one I’d fancy, especially at that price. But I wouldn’t write him off just yet.

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  • 100. At 2:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    Everyone's a fan of beautiful football in England so let us not berate him let's get behind him to come to City!

    The two Ronnies in Manchester would be fantastic!

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  • 101. At 2:26pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    It all boils down to the money Phil, City have offered more than Milan so u do the math! He's City bound! Huge blow to City's finances!

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  • 102. At 2:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, CandyStripeJacko wrote:

    PalmeirasFan

    It has been quoted in this blog that some think 22 -25 mil for Ronaldinho is a farce.

    It don't think it is.

    I also don't think he is finished and think that to say he is finished is total nonsense.

    Why I included Barry in my point is that he could well go to Liverpool for 18 mil. He is a typical English midfielder also workhorse no class and a player who has a never will anything in the game - FACT.

    So if Barry is valued at 18mil then Ronaldinho is a bargain at 25mil.

    Was not comparing as players more their markets values an which of the 2 I would rather have.

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  • 103. At 2:30pm on 14 Jul 2008, gottalovetherussian wrote:

    I generally like Phil's articles but disagree here.

    I think Ronaldinho can get back (not to his best but to a very high level) this year. He is only 28!

    An in form Ronaldinho would be a huge bonus not just for City but the entire Premier League

    (Though to be fair City aren't my team so if he goes and packs on another 12 kgs, dates Jordon and hits the clubs so hard he forgets to turn up to a few games, it is no skin off my nose!)

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  • 104. At 2:31pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    Re- ChelseaSaffer

    City's finances? you mean Frank's surely?

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  • 105. At 2:32pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To ChelseaSaffer...City have offered twice as much as Milan according to the Italians themselves, so this alone must be tempting for him.

    Clearly City have had to throw money at him to get him interested, which in itself makes me think they should distance themselves from this deal.

    I should add that if he does join City I would be happy to be proved wrong. If Ronaldinho plays well he will be a fantastic asset to the Premier League.

    I just don't see it happening.

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  • 106. At 2:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    I'll put me head on a plate! If Ronnie goes to City, he'll be as big a flop as Bojinov, Geovanni . He's peak would probably be compared to Sidwell during the 07/08 season! All of the best!

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  • 107. At 2:45pm on 14 Jul 2008, vennaco wrote:

    Phil McNulty, more like Phil McNUMPTY! You imply he's washed up, lacks good attitude and is past his best! What a load of oul drivel you spout. How about you run around every day for 10-15 years then have a run of injuries, have to sit on your ass for a while and see how your waistline expands. Past his peak??? What is that based on? The fact he didn't play much last year? I do agree that City shouldn't sign him though. If ever there was a case of a player being bigger than the club then this is it. Of course he's stalling on a deal with Man City. The best player in the world bar maybe Kaka, moves from Barcelona to Man City at the age 28! Don't make me laugh. Maybe it would happen if he was 48! Why would Ronaldinho even consider playing for a club that have no chance of playing in the Champions League and could in all honesty end up having a chairman who's doing porridge in a Thai jail. Then you'll see the rails come off. As for the young and admittedly very talented players at Man City, they would be honored to play with such a talented player who has won the World cup, the Champions league , la Liga and Copa America, not to mention WORLD PLAYER OF THE YEAR TWICE IN A ROW, the last one being only 2 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. How many CHAMPIONS have played at Eastlands or Maine Road recently? Sounds like a load of sour grapes from you City fans because Ronaldinho thinks he deserves a better club than City. Well here's a wake up call for you. He DOES deserve to join a better club than city and I for one can't wait to see him back to his best at his new club, most likely AC. I just wish that Ferguson would try and bring him in as a replacement for that turn coat, money grabbing Judas, Ronaldo. Obviously money isn't Ronaldinho's real motivation, otherwise he would have signed straight away. It must be a bit embarrassing to offer someone that sort of money and still get turned down! Ronaldinho has been far and away the most outrageously talented player on the planet since a certain Diego Armando Maradona, and anyone who thinks he's washed up should give up supporting football and turn their attentions to fishing or that other riveting "sport", cricket!

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  • 108. At 2:52pm on 14 Jul 2008, Chelsea001 wrote:

    ronaldinho is agood player and will strength man city thaksin is interested in ronaldinho so i am going to bet with all the people who r saying that man city should not buy and if they buy they will be in top 3

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  • 109. At 2:52pm on 14 Jul 2008, Krudley wrote:

    I'm a proud fan of the Rosseneri and I'm terrified of the idea of Ronaldinho playing at the San Siro.

    We've been pursuing Adebayor and Ronaldinho and from what I've seen from some of my friends, we'd all prefer Adebayor!!!

    We've been through enough with one Ronaldo already, don't need another fat, lazy, expensive waste of space to fund shirt sales.

    As for Man City, they should be looking forward and not backwards. Jo was a massive signing, he's been an excellent finisher for years. He's big, strong, quick and powerful. He may just be the firing power City need.

    I wish the best for City and obviously for Milan too. Let's hope nobody buys him and he realises how much of a lazy man he is.

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  • 110. At 2:53pm on 14 Jul 2008, randalthor1812 wrote:

    Surprised ChelseaSaffer hasn't mentioned Shevy ..Bojinov injured virtually whole of last season ,Geo a season long free transfer was decent sub....I still think Ronaldinho would be a wrong signing for City and wrong for him too....but i suppose that money wise after seeing the rags buy Carrick 17-18 mill, Anderson 18 mill and Hargreaves at 17-18 mill ...that Dinho would be a bargain ....


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  • 111. At 2:54pm on 14 Jul 2008, Iwilltellyouthis wrote:

    This is a massive gamble by MC. I used to be a big fan of Ronnie. I couldn't wait for Sunday's to see him in his flowing, inventive style often beating teams on his own. Not any more.

    When a player of his immense talent loses interest and deliberately, IMHO, goes out of his way not to participate in training, have a succession of injuries that the medical team couldn't detect, favours the nightclub to the playing and allegedly became a dressing room malcontent it really is so sad.

    You must be mad, Man City! £22M FEE plus a Kings ransom for wages - I think you will live to regret it.

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  • 112. At 2:55pm on 14 Jul 2008, joebloggins wrote:

    I Cannot believe that Ronaldinho at this stage in his career is a Mark Hughes choice. It morelikely shows the influence of the owner once again showing his hand. Yes, I am sure Ronaldinho still has one or two tricks up his sleeve but 'tis a long and arduous season in the English Premiership and I doubt that he would play half of the games they are involved. I Bet you MH would have, if it were his choice, gone back to Blackburn for Bentley, that is his sort of player.

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  • 113. At 2:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, Raffazza wrote:

    You guys are all joking right?

    Can anyone honestly say that Man City would not benefit from having him there?

    Ok, fine. He had a bad season at Barcelona. But then so did half the team. Deco was hardly covered in glory last season either, and as good as he is, he's only half the player Ronaldinho is.
    And think of the quality of players that could be bought if Man City had the guts to get him.

    Of course he is considering Milan. Who wouldnt?

    He had a bad year, moving somewhere else, reigniting his ambition, get his fitness levels up, and he would be a revelation.

    He is only 28. I think it would not be too much to say he will be a revelation wherever he ends up

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  • 114. At 2:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, damianmcfc wrote:

    As a life time City fan I was obviously at first excited by the news of an attempt to sign Ronaldinho, but as the rumours and rejections have continued and I have looked into it a bit deeper, I am unsure why City are wasting so much time on him.

    It has become clear that he has no desire to play for us, so why spend silly money on this type of player.

    There is also the objective of placing him into the side. The young talents of such players as Johnson, Gelson etc will be pushed aside, despite their obvious talent and undoubted commitment to the man city team.

    I can understand the wish to have a big name at the club to fill the stadium, but in my opinion I think we should be finding better areas to spend the money.

    Whatever happens lets have another good season at Eastlands and hope we can add some consistency with the new manager and young crop of players.

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  • 115. At 3:03pm on 14 Jul 2008, damianmcfc wrote:

    continued from my comment above, i just want to make it clear that I have no doubt that Ronaldinho still has quality left in him, but I would personally prefer to have the younger (and english preferably)players playing in Man City's side.
    I am of the view that we should really push on in developing the younger players who are clearly very talented after their FA cup youth display (well done by the way) and see how we can develop both the City side and benefit the national game, which will struggle in years to come due to the influence of big money owners trying to build a fantasy team at Premiership Clubs.

    On a positive note though, very very pleased about the signing of Hughes as Manager. Lets hope he can add the fire and determination that was so obviously lacking last year

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  • 116. At 3:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, Raffazza wrote:

    And a further note as to the financial side of things...
    In Asia, (which is a complete merchandising goldmine) Ronaldinho is still considered the single best player in the world.
    This transfer woudl singlehandedly put Man City in the global spotlight.

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  • 117. At 3:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, runthatbymeagain wrote:

    I am surprised that McNutty has not blamed liverpoool for his demise most other articles generally end up with a negative theme towards Liverpool.

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  • 118. At 3:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, BeppeSignori wrote:

    One bad year doesn't mean he's past it. Don't think he'd like the English game though, not enough time to do his tricks. Realistically he will be playing for a CL side next season, probably not in England and definitely not for Man City.

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  • 119. At 3:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To damianmcfc...agree with a lot of what you say here.

    City have an astute enough manager in Hughes to work with the products of the City academy and the quality within the current squad, while adding his own players to the mix.

    If Ronaldinho comes to City, it will be a financial decision rather than a footballing one and not the deal they need to be making at this stage.

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  • 120. At 3:09pm on 14 Jul 2008, Raffazza wrote:

    To vennaco, i completely agree

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  • 121. At 3:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, Alex wrote:

    Why on earth would Ronaldinho (and I agree with post #107 here) even consider joining Man City when AC Milan are in the mix. This is just a load of PR spin from Man City and from Ronaldinho's agents to get him a better deal at AC Milan.

    He still has a number of years ahead of him. All players go through a spell where they are not at their best and this included the rest of the Barcelona team last year also don't forget. There were obviously problems at the club. Once he leaves and gets a good manager he will be back to his best. Can you imagine him and Kaka playing together!

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  • 122. At 3:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, BeppeSignori wrote:

    "116. At 3:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, Raffazza wrote:

    And a further note as to the financial side of things...
    In Asia, (which is a complete merchandising goldmine) Ronaldinho is still considered the single best player in the world."

    I'm in Asia and you're wrong. Well you got the 'Ronald' part right but it needs Cristiano in front of it and o at the end to be correct. Ronaldinho is viewed here as he is viewed in Europe.

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  • 123. At 3:11pm on 14 Jul 2008, Brizee53 wrote:

    Great comments in your blog, I'd hate to see City lumbered with a disinterested and unmotivated Ronaldinho. I am a Man Utd fan now living in Houston, TX and we got a great example of the current state of Ronaldinho last wee. He participated in a "Free Kick Masters" event here in Houston along with Messi, Marquez, David James and many others. Apparently he was paid $1.5 million to appear and he was absolute rubbish! He scored no goals out of 8 free kicks, looked fat and couldn't be bothered. This is what City can expect and it would be a travesty to see the club lose money and credibility over this guy!

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  • 124. At 3:17pm on 14 Jul 2008, ILoveTheNHS wrote:

    This, for me, is a case of a club who haven't had much success recently getting a bit over excited and tempted to bring in a player and pay him huge wages because of his name.

    Manchester City need to slow down, take a step back and ask themselves is this player going to ever be the player he was a few seasons ago and is any player really worth £200,000 a week, let alone one who is far from being at his best.

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  • 125. At 3:18pm on 14 Jul 2008, Raffazza wrote:

    122. At 3:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, BeppeSignori wrote:

    Regardless of C. Ronaldo's recent rise in popularity in parts of Asia (and as a Man Utd fan I love the guy to bits), Ronaldinho remains one of the most instantly recognisable footballers in the world (and lets not forget he has been so for many years now, and not as a result of one and a half perfect seasons)

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  • 126. At 3:18pm on 14 Jul 2008, kosherdod wrote:

    Blue mcnulty has some points about city and their ambitions being wayward. But the Ronaldinho parts are all misinformed. “Past his peak”? “overweight - desire” etc??

    Anybody worth their football salt knows and understands that Ronaldinho is a bona-fide enigma, due in most part to his paranormal football ability but also his huge HUGE dips in form and consistency. His skill never fails him but I can count at leat 3 occasions in his middle age career, where he has seemingly fallen off the radar only to come back stronger and apparently rejuvenated.

    I have no reason what so ever not to believe he will not approach the levels of 2006 again in the near future with his next club regardless of the circus surrounding him. I just surprised Blue Mcnulty doesn’t know about this ‘given’ in the peculiar world of Ronaldinho.

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  • 127. At 3:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    2:15pm on 14 Jul 2008, baddebt wrote: so you are not a RED then ?? yah right.

    One Ronny is off to Madrid and another is comming to CITY.

    Typical united fan jealous of how City are building up for a very bright future.

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  • 128. At 3:33pm on 14 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    I see Mr Phil McNulty struggling to come back with anything regarding the positives i have highlighted !!

    Are you really a Blue?

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  • 129. At 3:42pm on 14 Jul 2008, awgw2011 wrote:

    I am a city fan and I see things as this. Ronaldinho is, despite now being a little tubby, slow, unfocused, and perhaps past his best IS still worth the money/contract on offer. He will pay for himself, improve city as a brand, and attract bigger and better names.... It was reported by the BBC that David Beckham's £25m switch to Real was paid for in merchandise in the first year, and I believe Ronaldinho would have the same effect. He is still a superstar brand, city are not...city are not a great European team and Ronnie could help our transition off the pitch, if not on it... Furthermore, are you to tell me you are not more likely to tune into a city match now to see how he does? You will - and the sponsors willlove it! If he comes I think it will be for only one season which will make or break (more) his career....and I'd rather him to EMile Mpenza or Bernardo Corradi any day, he may be a mercinary but at least he can score the odd goal and will excite the fans..bring it on!

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  • 130. At 3:43pm on 14 Jul 2008, Charely Surfs KBE MBE OBE wrote:

    Ha ha, you've got to laugh at the City fans. Willing to ignore the dodgy human rights record of their owner in the desperate hope he can finally buy them success after 32 long years.

    Face it, the only way Ronaldinho will be coming to Manchester is if United play them in the CL next season.

    Why would he want to retire at 28 and ply his trade at the Council House?

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  • 131. At 3:44pm on 14 Jul 2008, chebude wrote:

    no team is good enough for ronnie in england let alone mancity, a smart publicity stunt to make a small time club look ambitious though

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  • 132. At 3:45pm on 14 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    #119 Phil McNulty

    In a few lines you've qualified your original article perfectly. Manchester City had much in place already and now, with the addition of Mark Hughes, can expect to make good progress up the Premiership table and maintain it. In all the pro Ronaldinho posts here today, I haven't seen one that adequately counters your opinion, even those from well informed City supporters.

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  • 133. At 3:46pm on 14 Jul 2008, Charely Surfs KBE MBE OBE wrote:

    Oops, should have been
    "the only way Ronaldinho will be coming to Manchester is if City play AC Milan in the UEFA Cup next season"

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  • 134. At 3:53pm on 14 Jul 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    Just for the record Mr McNulty which football team do you support? You think Man Utd should sell Ronaldo (highly dubious) and that City shouldn't buy Ronaldinho. You wouldn't be a Liverpool fan by any chance would you? Because if City could start the way they did last season but maintain their form better the Scousers would be the team most likely to miss out on a Champions League place.

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  • 135. At 3:54pm on 14 Jul 2008, Luke4united wrote:

    u never know what would happen, he has had a bad season at barcá, and everyone is sayin hes has gone donw the ranks but that is at one of the top 5 clubs in europe. he could be a valuble signing and teaming up with jo and elano will make it good aswel.

    elano played rubbish for his former club and look at him now. ronaldinho will put city on the next tier of football

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  • 136. At 3:54pm on 14 Jul 2008, RANDAL_KEITH_ORTON wrote:

    So we all agree that Ronaldinho would be a great signing not just for City but for The Premier League as well?

    I bet Richard Scudamore wouldn't mind seeing Ronaldinho sign for City.

    Rule Britannia!

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  • 137. At 3:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, porkandbeans wrote:

    Lets not forget the last time a club owner put the big purchase before the managers choice (though we don't know Mark Hughes's real stance on ron - just that the negotiations started prior to his appointment)
    Wasn't it Shevchenko = great siging :S

    The manager should look to build a team and shirts will sell themselves - if Hughes has any real say on the matter that is

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  • 138. At 4:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, Jwm367t wrote:

    i think its a gamble they taking with ronaldihno, gotta take risks..

    Well think of it like this, even if ronaldinho performs poorly first season, the money they would intially make from shirt sales, sponsors suddenly being more intersested to it being ronaldinho and the press they would recieve would bring Man City to the attention of people all over the world, possibly making some new fans, people have become fans of clubs with stupider things,
    also by showing that Man City is willing to be ambitious may show other players in future years a reason to join as it shows they trying to work on something rather than a relegation dog fight, which is not many players like looking forward to playing..

    also we also assuming that Ronaldinho is still living on another planet, but being rejected from Barca will definintely serve as a wake up call for him (IMO)

    so lets see what happens because if all else fails it will be a lesson for other teams and sure to bring along some drama and new jokes to tell

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  • 139. At 4:01pm on 14 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Nogonadstice...I've done very well in recent days. I've been accused of being both a Liverpool fan and Everton fan - which shows how scrupulously fair I am at all times.

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  • 140. At 4:02pm on 14 Jul 2008, ostevo wrote:

    i dont agree with you phil .he is one of the mast talented footballers in the world today.he is only 28.one ,not such a great season doesnt mean he is a has been.i am sure he would increase ticket sales and boost man. citys profile in the world tremendously.i really hope he does join city and i look forward to enjoying his skills in the e.p.l. this season.bye the way,i am an arsenal fan and also support other clubs who play attractive football.

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  • 141. At 4:16pm on 14 Jul 2008, Jp Spro wrote:

    i think he will choose city!!
    and i think thats where he really wants to go.i think its been barca saying AC as they want a big offer from them but City have up with cash!
    i also think ronnie will choose city as no other big name brazillian has tested themselves in the premiership, ronaldo had the chance but turned it down, roberto carlos had the chance and it turned it down.i think he will want to test himself in the prem! and prove all the doubters wrong.

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  • 142. At 4:19pm on 14 Jul 2008, Jwm367t wrote:

    no other big brazillian name? you forget juninho?

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  • 143. At 4:23pm on 14 Jul 2008, hammerholt wrote:

    i cant see how ronaldinho would fit in to the mentality of players at Man City
    last year, the side was made up of determined, hard-working team players. they didn't have an easy season, and battled hard throughout the campaign and they had a good balance between ambition in their youth and consistency in players such as Richard Dunne. none of their players showed that they regardedd themselves superior to the rest of their team mates.
    on the other hand, Ronaldinho, who has been playing with nothing less than the world's best players in recent seasons, is used to glory every season, and seems to be rather lazy on the pitch. not only would he have to do a lot of adapting to fit in with the rest of the players, but also to have a good relationship with determination of new manager Hughes.
    although this all suggests that Ronaldinho would be a bad signing, the magic that we have seen displayed by him has been remarkable, and the prospect of ihm working this magic with new signing jo should excite the city fans tremendously.

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  • 144. At 4:27pm on 14 Jul 2008, kosherdod wrote:

    Mcnulty is an fanatical Everton fan. Him and the certified lunatic ‘Kendall’ are in cahoots to rubbish Liverpool FC name at every given opportunity. Both not unlike 99% of all Everton fans still bewail Everton not ‘kicking on’ and becoming the worlds greatest team 1986 when they earned a little shot at Europe.

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  • 145. At 4:27pm on 14 Jul 2008, In Zola We Trusted - Next Up The Undertaker wrote:

    Sorry Phil, wrong, wrong, wrong.......he is 28, he should be hitting his prime over the next 3 years. He has had one off/bad season, after carrying Barca the previous two years, it happens to the best of them. It is almost impossible these days with the number of games expected for top European / International players to keep turning it on EVERY year. This would be a MASSIVE signing for anyone in the EPL, let alone mid table Citeh, Hughes may actually be able to make this work and anyone that says any EPL manager wouldn't want the chance to work with such a player and be the one to "put him back on track" is absolutely BONKERS! The EPL and all it's glamour at the moment could be what helps re-ignite his magic, all the LFC and ManYoo fans on here are just worried it could work for Citeh and how it could be a threat to them. Fortune favours the brave, go for it the more classy half of Manchester.

    Oh and lets not forget, Noel Gallacher writes extremely good music, in fact my favourite kind, but lets not kiss his #@!^ too much eh?

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  • 146. At 4:34pm on 14 Jul 2008, papperoo wrote:

    "I would look around for younger, hungrier players or try and land a really top-class talent at the peak of his career.

    Any suggestions?"

    ----

    Yeah. They can have Cristiano.

    He might as well go to City, seeing as he's doing absolutely everything else in his power to alienate himself from his once adoring United fans...

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  • 147. At 4:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, parkrdrick wrote:

    I agree with many others here. When Man Utd tried to sign him after selling Beckham Ronaldinho was the best player in the world.

    Had he gone to Utd he would have been a fantastic aquistion to their squad. Hoever that deal fell through and they ended up with Ronaldo who was younger and has developed into one of if not the best in the World.

    In the meantime Ronaldinho has enjoyed himself and now appears to be past his best. He did not figure that much for Barcelona last season and they appear to be keen to get him off their wage bill and out of their dressing room.

    He appears keen to re-start his career and AC Milan are a big name club, the type he is looking to join.

    He does not appear keen to come to Manchester and play for City and if he does arrive it is likely to be because Barcelona have gratefully accepted a nice big transfer fee for him and he has decided that the vast wages being offered are to good to turn down.

    This is no dig at city but had he even heard of them or considered playing for them before they put a very large pot of gold in front of him?

    Milan are one of the world big name clubs of which the main EU countries have 3 - 4 each which are known throughout the world. City at present do not fall into this catagory, with the history Man Utd, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich and both Milan Clubs and Juventus offer.

    Do a side like city who are looking to build a young squad need a player who could be a bad influence on the younger players.

    The money would be better spent on bringing in younger keener players or if an older wiser head is required one which looks after himself on and off the pitch and who can be a good example to young players.

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  • 148. At 4:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, eaps43 wrote:

    if this deal goes through i will be very happy as not only are we getting a class player but this will attract the attention of other top stars who realise man city do have ambition this means it could be easier to attract class players to the club and anyway we arent paying him 200,000 a week, sponsers will be paying a percentage. so if it goes through it looks like it will be a very exciting season ahead for manchester city.

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  • 149. At 4:44pm on 14 Jul 2008, recoltes wrote:

    Man Utd should take Ronaldhino with cash for Ronaldo to show Real that they are not a feeder club and give Ronaldo the Spanish holiday he's looking for except of course in the wrong resort.

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  • 150. At 4:44pm on 14 Jul 2008, wildsnooker wrote:

    You missed out Nottingham Forest in the list of Clubs known in the EU.

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  • 151. At 4:45pm on 14 Jul 2008, dependabledennis-606_must_stay wrote:

    City would cearly be mad to go anywhere near this over ego'd, over weight, over priced, over rated bum. He only wants a big fat pay day.

    The club owner wants him, I can see unrest in the camp if they sign him.

    When Beckham signed for LA Galaxy some of his team mates were repoted to be on circa $50,000 a year, while Beckcam got that for getting up in the morning. His team mates were not at all happy. The same will happen at City. They don't need him anyway, not since they got themselves a top manager.

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  • 152. At 4:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, dependabledennis-606_must_stay wrote:

    Just a quick point to phil. I might contradict myself here, but at 28 he's not finished.

    If he wants to he can get back, but unfortunately if he comes to City he comes for the money only.

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  • 153. At 4:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, Alex wrote:

    I love the way some of you are still thinking City even have a chance of signing Ronaldinho! Ha ha. Obviously it has been in his agent's interests to talk up the prospect so that AC Milan offer him more money to choose them. Mid table in the Premier League or AC Milan? No contest.

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  • 154. At 4:56pm on 14 Jul 2008, ocarkuse wrote:

    This shows how ingratitude has become the norm of the world we now live in. Before Euro 2008 and probably last season, no one knew much about Arshavin but a lot of you will agree that the name Ronaldhino stood out. This guy has been consistant over a long period of time and considering the fact that there existed personal issues between him and Rijkaard.................you know what.
    Based on achievements, Man City is a small club. If a small club requires the signature of a genius like Ronaldhino, they have to go deep into their coffers. If he decides to go to Man City, I think his wage could make up for the not playing in the champions leaque and not finishing in the top 3.

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  • 155. At 5:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, apollo277 wrote:

    I've been a City fan my entire life, and I can honestly say that I don't want Ronaldinho at my club. He's far past his prime, he's not going to fill in at a weak position for us, and the prospect of Hull away isn't exactly going to invigorate him. No, let's leave to to Meeeelan and spend the 22 million on someone who can still score goals, someone like Berbatov or David Bentley.

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  • 156. At 5:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, hammerholt wrote:

    "Mid table in the Premier League or AC Milan? No contest."
    don't you understand that transfers revolve, mainly, around money? they have enough financial backing that they could offer however much money he wants

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  • 157. At 5:01pm on 14 Jul 2008, Alex wrote:

    Well, he is not exactly going to be earning peanuts at AC Milan either is he?

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  • 158. At 5:02pm on 14 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    I think a lot of you are missing the point...

    Ronnie is undoubtedly not showing his best form, but what a statement to make to the football world from City if they can get him. They are a club with ambition and money but they struggle to pull in the really big names; until they do they can never really think of breaking into the elite. To do this you have to start somewhere, one big name can be the catalyst for more top players joining the club.

    And who's to say he won't rediscover his form? A new challenge, new surroundings, a new manager in the shape of Mark Hughes...If anyone can get the best out of a player it is Hughes, from what he has shown so far. No one can argue that he has lost his ability, it is still there and at 28 he is by no means past his physical peak.

    Good luck to City I say, only by clubs taking a gamble like this can they hope to break into the monopoly of the top 4. I for one hope Ronnie gets back to his best, he was a true genius and a joy to wacth...

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  • 159. At 5:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, 4thecaptain wrote:

    I can't see Ron going to Man C, and to be honest, they'll be better off without him.
    Barca aren't getting shot of him without a reason.

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  • 160. At 5:19pm on 14 Jul 2008, theone88 wrote:

    Please dont use the term genius to describe a footballer. anyone can kick a ball around a field.

    Also east Manchester is a dump. Ronaldinhio must be laughing himself silly back in spain.

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  • 161. At 5:21pm on 14 Jul 2008, dependabledennis-606_must_stay wrote:

    To DamianMCFC: re your earlier post, spot on here mate.

    As a ManU fan I recall the 5-1 game and seem to recall the City team have a lot of more local lads in it. Young players from the youth set up is want every team should aim for; unfortunately money talks regardless of which team you follow.

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  • 162. At 5:30pm on 14 Jul 2008, dedonnibus wrote:

    I couldn't disagree more.We are talking about one of the greatest talents in world football. I don't think his fitness is an isuue because he never had a very serious injury and is a 28 year old athlete. He likes to party, apparently, and so does ronaldo( the one from man utd) but it didn't prevent him from scoring 40 odd goals last season. It's a great opportunity for Man city. It would be a fantastic thing for the supporters and all the young talent in the squad can certainly benefit from playing with him. To compare Ronaldinho with Kluivert is just blasphemi. Having said that i would prefer him to go to Milan.

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  • 163. At 5:34pm on 14 Jul 2008, Fuzzy wrote:

    but are there any cases of players (let's keep it to outfield) coming to their peak after 28?
    ============================
    Zinedine Zidane world player of the year at 28 and 31 years old.


    Ronaldinho still has more talent than any other footballer playing today. In fact I would be so bold to say, Ronaldinho is the most talented player to ever lace up a pair of boots.
    I am sure if he came to City he would light up games with moments of genius but the question is would his net contribution to the team be worth it?
    People need to remember that Ronaldinho has only really had one bad season and that still produced moments of sheer genius.
    I say every team needs a genius who can unlock defences in tight games and with the platform of the premiership I think he would produce.
    I will be delighted if the buck toothed one joined City, he is still only 28 and with a new challenge who knows?

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  • 164. At 5:35pm on 14 Jul 2008, BartRabelo wrote:

    If you guys really want to know why Ronaldinho spent the last season on such a bad form and generated so many "attitude" issues at Barça, Google these words and click on I'm feeling lucky: spain football players wage tax law

    Right now, he must leave Spain, and he's been using the City's interest in order to grab Milan and Chelsea's attention. He is not the right guy for a team with such potential, but the marketing around his signing would be of great benefit to the club. But as we all know, sheer marketing doesn't win games.

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  • 165. At 5:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, deathstarBD wrote:

    i, a gooner, think city must get another midfielder of very good quality. ronaldinho would be great , of course. but i would prefer bentley for them.

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  • 166. At 5:45pm on 14 Jul 2008, theoutlawdekepatton wrote:

    Shiniwatra bought a club with a solid local fanbase and potential for international development. By signing a world renowned player the Man City profile will increase by, well, tons! All of a sudden people from north and south america, asia as well as europe will know all about Man City. People buy football shirts for pleasure in these places. Anybody that is a football fan will buy a Man City Ronaldinho shirt to add to their collection. Man City games will also be of more interest to broadcasters.

    He is only 28, it is not very likely that all his talent has disappeared. We are really only reffering to one bad season interrupted by injury. I would suggest that being relieved of the expectation of delivering a League and Champions cup double will aide the player in rediscovering his enjoyment of the sport. Lets not forget Mark Hughes successes with Santa Cruz and McCarthy at Rovers.

    It is too much money to not consider it a risk. However the financial benefits minimise this risk. Anyway, we don't actually know the real details of the proposal.

    I was surprised Shinawatra was deemed fit enough to own an EPL club and hold reservations regarding his personality. However he has provided Man City with good managerial appointments and a squad good enough to challenge for European qualification and perhaps deserves some credit for his pursuit of world class talent. Man City will benefit whether Ronaldhino arrives at Eastlands or not.

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  • 167. At 5:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, gc wrote:

    Remember Ronaldo at the last world cup?
    Form is temporary; class is permanant.
    If city think they can get him of course they should. I'm sure Phil McNulty would never have bought Santa Cruz (washed up) McCarthy (washed up) van Nistelrooy (injured) Rio Ferdinand (too much, and not that good) Drogba (a poor man's Hasselbaank) Cech (we already nave cudicini) Cristiano Ronaldo (all flair no end product).
    He's 28. He's going to Milan, but city should fight for him.

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  • 168. At 6:06pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    The whole Barcelona team played terribly last season so it's completely unfair to single out Ronaldinho for blame.

    I've always found the criticism of Phil McNulty's blogs to be rather harsh, but this article really makes me wonder how someone who apparently knows so little about football can get a job as prestigious as "chief football writer" at the BBC. Please explain to us, how is Ronaldinho - at just 28 and with all of his blindingly obvious talent - past it?

    Really, the mind boggles. Yes he's had a bad season, but like I said - so did the whole Barcelona team! And does one poor season really mean that he's finished as a player? The answer is a simple and resounding 'no'.

    That said, I don't think that Man City signing Ronaldinho would be a good move - but only because he would cost the club an absolute fortune. From the footballing point of view, he would be a really fantastic buy. Having a player as skillful as him in your team can only be of benefit, surely?

    Just think how much the already talented Man City youngsters could learn from Ronaldinho... they might never get another opportunity to train daily with a player like him. Perhaps he is not the ideal role model in terms of his attitude - but think of players like Cantona, Romario or Maradonna - none of whom were exemplary in their behaviour, but each had the kind of once in a lifetime talent (figuratively speaking) that could only have had a positive effect on the players around them.

    Wherever Ronaldinho plays next season, I am positive he will surprise you all by having a blinding season, and before long the biggest clubs will be lining up for him once again.

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  • 169. At 6:07pm on 14 Jul 2008, David Haskins wrote:

    I for one would be excited to see Ronaldinho strutting his stuff in the premiereship. Prefer it to be with Man City rather than my own team, Tottenham, though.
    As to why Man City want to take such a gamble, just how many 'comments' has this article generated?
    Just how many shirts will his signing sell? Not just in the UK, but throughout the world.
    If you want to push your brand globally it is natural to sign a global star. Real Madrid and L.A.Galaxy surely had this in mind when they signed David Beckham.
    Bear in mind also that Thaksin is still a powerful figure in Thai politics. Signing Ronaldinho enhances his reputatin to a football mad nation no end. It would not surprise me to see his return as Prime Minister in years to come.
    So, to the people who believe it to be a bad bit of football business, look at it from a purely business option. Then it might begin to make sense.
    And just imagine if the gamble paid off.... Ronaldinho rejuvinated by Mark Hughes. Man Citys talented youngsters inspired by the day to day exposure to a fabulously talented footballer. TV audiences world wide tuning into City gmes which now have wider impact than ever before. Now the Big Four have a rival. Not in the league but in the number of games the networks schedule for each top team. And imagine the impact if City did start to challenge for a Champions League place?
    Now does signing Ronaldinho seem stupid. And as to the comment that at 28 he is past his best. That's only a year older than Arshavin who is only just beginning his career in the Premiereship, La Liga, Serie A, wherever...

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  • 170. At 6:08pm on 14 Jul 2008, weezer316 wrote:

    mmm....to be honest it would prob end in tears but then again you have to speculate to accumulate!! If the signed him, adn if he screwed the nut...well.....we all know what he is capable of.

    Id like to see them take a chance. he sems to thrive when things are centred around him as it was at barca for a while.

    Id take the risk. This wont go down well here but for 90% of the gaems it would be a step down for him as outside the top 5 or 6 teams the premier league aint much, this might enable him to regain his confidence and shape.

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  • 171. At 6:17pm on 14 Jul 2008, John Matrix wrote:

    It's pretty laughable that this post is saying City should steer clear.

    It's undoubtedly true Ronaldinho is half the player he was a couple of years back but he's still better than anyone at City and in this day and age of money no object owners like Thaksin it's not that big of a gamble.

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  • 172. At 6:23pm on 14 Jul 2008, AKCOMM wrote:

    A lot of comment about RIO, you might be right in some aspect. Personally I disagreed with some comments that Ronadinho is wash up, call this guy any name. Absolutely the guy already make his mark in the football enviroment. No premiership player have achieve what the guy have achieved.Mentioned any one player in premiership league that measure up to Ronadinho talent.

    Because the guy is not a british you guys
    will just be making stupid comments.

    I think people should just make constructive comments.

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  • 173. At 6:26pm on 14 Jul 2008, GlobalFootieFan wrote:

    By his standards Ronaldinho had a poor season last year, no question. However, he did score 9 goals in only 20 starts and most of the games he missed were due to injury. He obviously fell out with Rijkaard and the club at some stage during the season but when he played his ability was never questioned.

    I was fortunate enough to see him score a wonderful free-kick last September in the Nou Camp and on that day he was streets ahead of both Henry and Deco. The weight issue is a bit ridiculous - when Phil says he's out of shape it's like the "Fat Frank" taunts thrown at Lampard. Ronaldinho plays a very different game than most players in the Premiership which is why he gets called lazy. You won't see Deco chasing back too much for Chelsea this season either.

    Funnily enough the same arguments that Phil makes above were used 5 years ago when Paris St Germain sold Ronaldinho to Barcelona. He went out too much, didn't try hard enough, wasn't motivated. I think Barcelona got a steal 5 years ago and I think Milan might get one this time.

    Ronadlinho is still one of the top-5 players in the world. That is the main reason why he won't be playing for City this season.

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  • 174. At 6:26pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    "I do not think Ronaldinho in his prime would have had to consider a move to City"

    This is a ridiculous statement. Do you think any truly global superstars would have considered joining Chelsea before Abramovich took over? Unlikely.

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  • 175. At 6:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, England1957 wrote:

    If a big club like Barcelona want to sell him after an indifferent season then I think you have to ask youreself why?....he still perhaps has a bit of magic in those boots but I think his attitude would bring city down..after all I cant imagine him turning up away to Wigan in December when its maybe snowing....Its a big risk for city...its just a shame that the ball was rolling before Mark Hughes became coach.

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  • 176. At 6:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, SOULMANJIM wrote:

    looks like Man City are following the footsteps of Chelsea and wasting money on a has been remember that Russian player that they signed up sorry but can't remember his name

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  • 177. At 6:32pm on 14 Jul 2008, theoddgoal wrote:

    Man City would be insane to take this on. If the figures are close to correct, at £22m two top class players could be brought in, maybe three. And at £200.000 per week, you could be looking at four or five top class talents.

    The revenue generated by merchandise sales etc. would soon fade once it is realised that this season's Ronaldinho is a weak shadow of his past self. When a player starts to pack on the pounds, show more interest in the nightlife than the training life, and see nothing wrong in any of this, then the chances of getting a star on the field is really quite remote.

    Let AC Milan have him. Man City fans have had to endure enough heartache. Give the poor buggers a break.

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  • 178. At 6:36pm on 14 Jul 2008, gc wrote:

    In reply to
    "Do you think any truly global superstars would have considered joining Chelsea before Abramovich took over? Unlikely."

    Before Abramovitch Chelsea had Joe Cole (sort of- the deal was done before he came) John Terry and Frank Lampard. Chelsea had been in the champions league, and had cup success. It's a world of difference between where Chelsea were and where City are now.

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  • 179. At 6:41pm on 14 Jul 2008, druss_the_legend wrote:

    Champions League - won

    League Title - won

    The only thing remaining is the World Cup. Who knows maybe his preparation for that begins now.

    If so whoever has Ronaldinho in their team for the next two years will benefit immensely.

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  • 180. At 6:48pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    "Before Abramovitch Chelsea had Joe Cole (sort of- the deal was done before he came) John Terry and Frank Lampard. Chelsea had been in the champions league, and had cup success. It's a world of difference between where Chelsea were and where City are now."

    Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry were not superstars back then. The fact is that if Chelsea had tried to sign a player like Ronaldinho in the pre-Abramovich days, they wouldn't have stood a chance. I would even go as far as to say that Chelsea were no better back then than Man City are now.

    The fact that they had played in the Champions' League means very little - look at the poor standard of some of the teams that qualify. Face it, Chelsea were a UEFA Cup-standard team before Abramovich took over, and that ain't gonna attract no galácticos.

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  • 181. At 6:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, Attila™ wrote:

    I feel that the whole Ronaldinho thing is a sideshow to take the media away from Shinawatra, and it has to be said he hasn't had the rosiest of pasts. I feel that Ronaldinho will in the end join Milan, and team up with his old Brazilian mate Kaka there. Milan are a far more appealing prospect, and aren't exactly full of superstars anymore, so he along with Kaka can be the main attraction there. The appeal of champions league football, and playing in Serie A, is a far more exciting one than playing away to Wigan on a cold winters evening for example.

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  • 182. At 6:55pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    It does get cold in Spain and Italy too, you know.

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  • 183. At 6:57pm on 14 Jul 2008, gc wrote:

    I get your point about Chelsea's abillity to sign, I guess my point is they still had a significant draw to top players but certainly couldn't have signed the top top players.
    Chelsea did get star players who were considered to be not quite their best:
    Desailly, Gullit, Vialli, Zola, Desailly in particular, who was considered the world's top defender after France 98. City have not made any such signings in my memory

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  • 184. At 7:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, 50scarrow wrote:

    A lot of speculation about a transfer that would be done for purely commercial reasons. Yet another nail in the coffin of 'football' in the Premier League, as opposed to a media/corporate circus with a bit of football attached.

    Personally, I hope City sign him, so I can sit back and laugh my head off when it all goes wrong for these 'clubs', with their owners who know little, and care less, about the game of football.

    If I sound like a bitter Utd fan, I aint and I never will be. I gave up on the Prem 3 years ago, and support my home town club- Doncaster Rovers.

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  • 185. At 7:17pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    "Desailly, Gullit, Vialli, Zola, Desailly in particular, who was considered the world's top defender after France 98. City have not made any such signings in my memory"

    Off the top of my head, they paid a lot of money for Anelka a few years ago (but then again, who hasn't?) and they signed Robbie Fowler from Leeds when he was still a half-decent player.

    Don't forget they also signed Steve McManaman from Real Madrid - admittedly nowhere near as talented as Ronaldinho - but still, an ex-Real player all the same.

    Then as sombody else mentioned, they did attract George Weah and regardless of how he performed, your team has to have a more than half-decent reputation in order to sign a player like that.

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  • 186. At 7:23pm on 14 Jul 2008, lilwilly829 wrote:

    In terms of everyone saying that he won't be motivated by life at City, I have to completely disagree. He has won all the awards and trophies at the highest level, and seeing as he apparently wasn't motivated at Barca (one of the biggest teams in the world pushing for all the biggest trophies), why would Milan motivate him anymore? Adding another trophy to Milan's extensive list of trophies is nice, but not ground breaking, and I'm sure Ronnie's mantle is quite full already (but who knows, he probably has a very big mantle). I would like to think, though, that the prospect of reinvigorating his career and taking a team that everyone says is only mid-table and getting them into europe and maybe even further would be tremendous motivation. Think how high his stock would go if he turned around the fortunes of a club like city. He would be a god, someone who can change an entire club. If Milan won everything and ronnie had a tremendous year, chances are, most of the accolades would go to Kaka, Pato, and the other crowd favorites. His contributions would be noted, but people could still say that he could have done better or that it was mostly his world class teammates.
    Im not a City supporter, but would love to see Ronaldinho in the prem. Whether hes past his prime or not, he would still be the best player in the squad, hands down

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  • 187. At 7:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, essamsenior wrote:

    Personally I admire Ronaldinho,he is such a talented player I have ever watched.Different people have different views about Dinho's move to England but I will be extremly happy to watch him regularly unike when he was in Spain.I'ld be even more happier if he went to join the Gunners for sure he could shine better but still he will return to his form and prove himself to his fans of whom I am among.

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  • 188. At 7:31pm on 14 Jul 2008, NancyGetYourRatOut wrote:

    Mr McNulty I have to pull you up on your inaccurate journalism regarding Ronaldinho's awareness of Manchester City - Ronaldinho came to Eastlands to play in a Barcelona 11 that was the first ever match played at the City of Manchester Stadium in which Barca lost 2-1 and Ronaldinho received a standing ovation for not signing for Manchester United. Can you remember he nearly signed for Manchester United? I find your lack of knowledge disturbing and clearly bad for English football. I am am not sure this is a good idea for Man City but what the hell if he does come he can, I'm not paying his wages Thaksin is and we might just see a bit of flair. There seems to be an awful lot of jealousy regarding this matter which has turned into a lot of media attention - it seems Thaksin's motives are not just purely footballing ones and it's working.

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  • 189. At 7:46pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    That's the joy of the blog. It gives journalists the freedom to speak their mind and make bold statements such as the one Phil made about Ronaldinho not knowing about Eastlands.

    Sadly all it does is expose their shortcomings, lack of knowledge / research, misguided personal opinions and often leaves you feeling disappointed by reporters that you once had a great amount of respect for.

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  • 190. At 7:56pm on 14 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    Phil who do you support? (it will help me understand your suggestions)

    Ronaldinho moving to Man City can only be a bonus for the club. As pointed out by previous posts, the marketing of Ronaldinho will pay for his transfer fee many times over (how many shirts do you think will be sold in Asia? not to mention all other mechandise) It will create a whole new fan base for Man City and put them on the global map for sure. Another thing, as pointed out before, his sponsors would cough up a large chunk of his wages too.

    You keep putting these types of statements to rest by saying that you know that, but that he is past his best (the 2 time best player in the World!!!) and is not motivated or hungry. He was not motivated anymore an Barce, that is for sure, but that does not mean a 28 year old LEGEND of football, no longer has the capacity, hunger, desire etc to be one of the best, if not the best, player in the Premiership and maybe even the world.

    He is currently fighting to go to the Olympics, so that shows that he still wants to play for his country. Do you think if he came to the Premiership he would run the risk of looking like a laughing stock? I dont think so. I think he would be well motivated, financially as well mentally.

    Hope you reconsider your comments and if I'm wrong in the end, you can say you told me so.

    PS: I think he will end up at Milan anyway, but would love to see him at Man City.



    (I am not a Man City fan by the way :)

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  • 191. At 7:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, discodale wrote:

    How about another article - Why BBC Must Ditch Phil McNulty Blog?

    What a tedious waste of space that could be better used by someone less opinionated and more knowledgable.

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  • 192. At 8:02pm on 14 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    "You keep putting these types of statements to rest by saying that you know that, but that he is past his best (the 2 time best player in the World!!!) and is not motivated or hungry."


    What I meant with this statement, is that his best was the World's best, OFCOURSE he is probably past his best. I am however willing to bet his 2nd or 3rd or 4th best is probably better most of the Europe....easily!



    (come on Chelsea!!)

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  • 193. At 8:04pm on 14 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    To discodale......

    Just wanted to point out, on Phil's behalf, the fact that this blog is opionated........is........well......sorta the point mate!

    This is not an official BBC article. It is a blog.

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  • 194. At 8:05pm on 14 Jul 2008, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    http://www.dn.se/content/1/c6/79/99/28/ronnie_gordinho.jpg

    Iam surprised anyone is interested in Ronaldinho. He recently showed up for a friendly or charity match in Venezuela and had obviously put on a few inches around his wasteline. You my be aware that his real name is Ronaldo. He artist name is Ronaldinho because the other fellow (Nazaro de Lima) has already taken up Ronaldo as hia artist name. Anyway Ronaldiho has a new nickname in Brazil - Gordinho, meaning 'the little or small round one'.
    I don't think that Ronaldinho is motivated enough to slag it out in the EPL. He can probably manage another couple of years in a slow league such as the serie A. The EPL is not the place to retire to these days.

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  • 195. At 8:14pm on 14 Jul 2008, MacauBlue wrote:

    I'm torn. I don't relish all that money being spent on one player who has to prove himself once more, especially when I know Mark Hughes would want, and probably get, bargains.

    However, I completely disagree with Noel Gallagher's smart Alec sock-pulling comment… with Barcelona he was surrounded by an excess of talent and he was obviously 'expendable'. At Man City he'd be the lynchpin, the one with whom most of the responsibility would rest and if the team proved successful, a larger proportion of that success would be attritutable to him than if he was with Milan, for instance… and the chances are that he' spend less time demoralised on the bench. Also, he will have two other very talented Brazilians to play alongside – Jo and Elano.

    I know Man City is not his first choice but if he comes to Eastlands I'm sure it will be with the determination to prove the doubters wrong and if anyone can knock him back into shape it's Mark Hughes.

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  • 196. At 8:20pm on 14 Jul 2008, MacauBlue wrote:

    apologies for the typo and the rubbish punctuation. Possibly the latter is an Apple Mac HTML glitch!

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  • 197. At 8:20pm on 14 Jul 2008, pentachampAlexandre wrote:

    Mr. McNulty's blog reflects the classical examples of how the views of arrogant lay people led England to achieve only one doubtful world championship of countries e another meritorious one of clubs.

    Brazil, of discredited players, like Rivaldo and the two Ronaldos, won the world cup 5 times and the world interclubs 9 times.


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  • 198. At 8:22pm on 14 Jul 2008, gc wrote:

    to reply. fair play, I had forgotten about those (well Weah in particular). With my memory and knowledge perhaps I should be writting for bbc sport.

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  • 199. At 8:28pm on 14 Jul 2008, myteamownsyours wrote:

    Thing is, man city are a small club.

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  • 200. At 8:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, Yatesy88 wrote:

    Tbh this is just one of those things that you can never say how things will turn out. But if I was manager I would only make the decision to sign Ronaldinho if I was 110% sure that I would not be able to get a younger player with more desire to play for the club and not the money.

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  • 201. At 8:30pm on 14 Jul 2008, Imagine Reason wrote:

    This would be an utterly daft transfer. Mark Hughes should put his job on the line AGAINST it.

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  • 202. At 8:33pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    No worries :) I don't think many people remember the George Weah thing... and I sometimes struggle to remember a time when McManaman was good enough to play for Real Madrid! Oh well.

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  • 203. At 8:35pm on 14 Jul 2008, discodale wrote:

    To slaveking - there's a difference between expressing an informed opinion and being opinionated. The first involves a bit of knowledge about the subject, the second involves jumping on a bandwagon then spouting forth with little genuine understanding of the subject.

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  • 204. At 8:43pm on 14 Jul 2008, wonderfulspursno1 wrote:

    I'm sorry but just because Ronaldinho has had one bad season it doesn't mean he is finished, maybe man city isn't right club for him but he is still one of the greatest footballers on the planet. In a world where silly money is being paid for footballers who have one good season or a good tournement .... Andrei Arshavin anyone!!!!! I think £22m for somone like Ronaldinho who still only 28 and got a good 5 years left in him is good business considering the money the club would earn from marketing, shirt sales etc. He maybe a prima donna but name one high profile footballer who isn't. Being a Spurs supporter I will dread facing Man City if he ends up playing for them, but i would love to see him on MOTD most saturdays doing what he do's playing top class football

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  • 205. At 8:46pm on 14 Jul 2008, yakblue wrote:

    Im sorry, but what utter crap, how can you say that at 28 hes finished? Thats surely the age Midfielders reach their prime.

    I agree he does need a re-think in attitude and im not sure a move to City would give him that, but hes not finished, he just needs to move to a club and get a manager who makes him WANT to play football again.

    Might be difficult, but we aint seen the last of this wondeful player.

    Oh and Ronny mate if you wanna lower your wage demands, transfer fee and image rights, im 100% David Moyes would turn you back into the World Footballer of the year!

    NO i didnt mean it, please NO more speculation!!!! SIGN SOME1 BILL, ANYONE WILL DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 206. At 8:56pm on 14 Jul 2008, thelovelyhotspot wrote:

    Who Cares.

    He is a overhyped and very spoilt little pre madonna. Why give these dispicable footballers the ego boosting pleasure of seeing themselves being endlessly discussed.

    There are many other great sports and sporting contests going on at the moment, from a compelling test series to a very wide open Open in golf, and not to mention the Olympics merely a few weeks away.

    These provide drama and a great and well balanced sporting contest, something the overhyped repetative PL does not remotely provide.

    Stop wasting your time thinking about this recyled tedious story.

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  • 207. At 8:57pm on 14 Jul 2008, MCFC Texas wrote:

    I'd just like to correct you on a point Phil, Ronaldinho DID know about Eastlands before Thaksins millions because he played for Barcelona there in a pre season friendly when City beat them. He got a great reception from the City fans who appreciated the fact that he snubbed United to join Barca !!

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  • 208. At 9:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, yakblue wrote:

    206 people care, including you.

    Yes we know other sports are out there and im sure 80% of posters here will watch the golf, the running and throwing thing, dunno about the batting and bowling crap tho.

    Ive seen more excitement watching a football team warmup than a "test". But hey each to their own, i dont tell you what to watch or discuss, so if WE want to discuss this, we will, now bye, im sure theres some speedway on.

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  • 209. At 9:00pm on 14 Jul 2008, Beansof57 wrote:

    Writing from Barcelona and as a supporter, I am very disappointed by all the negative comment. Come off it!!!!! He's just what you need and we could do with the dosh.

    By the way, his main problem isn't overweight or injuries, it is rather his excessive participation in our famed night life with all the chemical aids that all-night partying often involves.

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  • 210. At 9:02pm on 14 Jul 2008, Yerighorse wrote:

    Ronaldinho sells 3-1 shirts in Asia of Kaka and Ronaldo combined. Thus if he was a flop on the pitch then he is second only to Becks off the pitch. I think he'll be a great buy for us but if he is fat and average he will still be better than 99% of our national team.

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  • 211. At 9:10pm on 14 Jul 2008, damianmcfc wrote:

    I commented earlier about why I dont think he would be a good signing, but I think we all need to take both percpectives, he is a very good player who would still have a lot to offer out squad on and off the field, not to mention the marketing side he would bring to the squad.

    My main hope is that the club is still aiming to bring in the young talent and this signing would be able to help this. I also hope this is not another case of the owner trying to manage the club as well.

    But fair play to the owner for trying to raise the profile of the club, I have no problem with this, but I hope he knows the limits he is willing to go to tempt him to the club

    Either way im sure the club will make the right decision and the future definetly looks
    BLUE!

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  • 212. At 9:11pm on 14 Jul 2008, laughingmancred wrote:

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

  • 213. At 9:14pm on 14 Jul 2008, jaysnoe wrote:

    If Ronaldinho was to move to AC and ignore the millions of £££s offered by Man-city he will be the fool of the century. He has gone past his peak and if i where him I will go at Man-city witout a blink.
    I feel sorry for sparky, he is a great manager and deserves better than being told which players he has to buy. I believe deep down he does not want the destruction that will be brought in by Ronaldinho. Good luck Sparky because you will need it especially if you have a chairman who will stop at nothing when he wants to bring in a player.

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  • 214. At 9:25pm on 14 Jul 2008, TomCTIC wrote:

    While many, many people have pointed out the fanzine editor's amateurish mistakes concerning Ronaldinho never having heard of Eastrlands, it should also be pointed out that maybe, just maybe, Ronaldinho might know more than just Jo at City... say, Elano, his Brazilian team mate for instance?

    And if Ronaldinho is "washed up", then why are one of the biggest clubs in the world (other than City!), AC MIlan, clamouring to sign him? Could it be that the owners of the Italian giants might know just a tad more about Ronaldinho's abilities than does the bitter journalist writing bandwagon-jumping drivel?

    Surely after last year's embarrassments about Sven you might give City the benefit of the doubt this time, eh?

    Ah, but that might mean having to face up to the reality that Everton are now treading water as compared to all the other clubs around them! And that would hurt!

    And they call us Bitters!!!

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  • 215. At 9:26pm on 14 Jul 2008, MC Miker G wrote:

    Excellent article. Interesting to see the differences on how this is being reported over here and in Italy - Gazzetta Dello Sport reckon that Galliani and Laporta are meeting right now and that he might even be a Milan player by the end of the night.

    I think that'd be the best outcome both for the player and for both clubs; he's got a better chance of cutting it again in slower-paced Serie A. At Man City he'd end up a very expensive source of resentment.

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  • 216. At 9:46pm on 14 Jul 2008, colin_bells_boots wrote:

    Agree with most of your comments but not sure Goofy is yet past his prime, at 28 he should be actually entering that stage of his career. It`s a given that if he does join City money will be the main motivation for him joining. Likewise the revenue he generates will be a big part of Citys` motivation for signing him. The big uncertainty in this exercise is how much he will actually offer to City on the park and how he will "gell" with his teamates.
    For Mark Hughes he is in a win-win situation as he is not the one driving this deal, if he plays well he is a genius, if he doesn`t then it`s a bad signing by Thaksin and Hughesy`s not to blame. The same applies for Jo.
    This could be great buisness or it could be a massive flop, either way Mark Hughes will ultimately be blameless so why not give it a try? If it is a flop what have we lost, a few of Thak`s millions but at least City have demonstrated that they are serious about taking the club to the next level. Just hope there`s a few bob left over so we can top up the sqaud in a couple of other areas.

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  • 217. At 9:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, Marcus wrote:

    I agree with Phil. It would be a mistake should Man C. sign Ronaldinho. For a 1/4 of the price there are younger and more eager players to be found. Have a look around in Holland where I live.
    Ronalddinho has seen it all and will only be interested in earning a ridiculous salary.

    Let AC Milan waste their money!

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  • 218. At 9:50pm on 14 Jul 2008, laughingmancred wrote:

    I find it strange that my comments have been removed, for breaking House Rules. I never insulted MUFC, their players or supporters (many of whom are my valued friends). So, the only reason I can work out is....that unlike the media....my critisism of THE DOCTOR......had to be removed. THIS IS PATHETIC....OH...SORRY...I FORGOT I LIVE IN 21st Centuary Britain......we must not critise anyone...they may sue us....unless we write for the media, who think they know everything!! and speak for Everyone!!!. Except THE DOCTOR!!!!!!! I expect to be deleted very soon by the mighty media...WHO MUST BE OBEYED....at all costs.....I wish MCFC all the best for the new season....but please....GOD HELP US....do not sign an overweight, outdated Brazilian.....lets go for youth and the top 2.

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  • 219. At 9:53pm on 14 Jul 2008, fategodconvert wrote:

    How much money do City have to spend?

    Is it all coming out of Shinawatra's pocket as if not it'll be interesting to see the reaction of the City fans (self-appointed the "most loyal" remember) when ticket prices go up to fund the deal for Ronny?

    Up until now they've done quite well price-wise compared to lots of other clubs and yet despite reduced prices and the like here, there and everywhere they still struggle to get a sell-out.

    They get close for the United derby game and when concessions are introduced now and again but don't fill it completely.

    How will things be when Ronny comes and however well or not he does prices go up to help pay his wages??

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  • 220. At 9:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, Neutral69 wrote:

    What a load of rubbish,

    Ronaldinho is still one of the best players in the world even though his form is one of the worst in the world, first team games and practice will make him just as good as any other player, 28 is still young and he has a good 5 years left in him

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  • 221. At 9:59pm on 14 Jul 2008, thouston wrote:

    Anyone that believes there is a choice to be made in playing for ManC or Milan, is having a right laugh

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  • 222. At 10:09pm on 14 Jul 2008, MacauBlue wrote:

    thouston
    "Anyone that believes there is a choice to be made in playing for ManC or Milan, is having a right laugh"

    Carefully considered, thought-provoking pathos. You'll go far

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  • 223. At 10:09pm on 14 Jul 2008, Inferno Coral wrote:

    i´m sorry but the treatment of this potential deal and of Ronaldinho in this and other articles seems to me utterly preposterous and borderline racist. Ronaldinho underperformed badly for one year, maybe a bit more. He did so in a terribly fractured team that lacked cohesion and leadership and that pretty much gave up towards the end of the season. One that also plays under an enormous amount of pressure to be "fabulous". He wasn´t much worse than Deco or Henry in the same team. In any case these are not excuses simply because he doesn´t need excuses. The endless ego war at Barcelona and other such teams (Real are similar) has a lot to do with it. Before that he was arguably the best player in the world for a good two or three years (not one season like a certain someone I could mention. HE IS 28, which surely is part of the peak years of any footballer (which I´d put at 23-29). Sorry but I´m really not getting it. Yes the money is ridiculous, but it always is these days, yes its business driven, but if City pull it off it will be a miracle, and the most audacious transfer signing I can remember. Yes there will be hiccups along the way. But so what? What is terribly frustrating is the blatant he´s Brazilian so he must like his pop and his prostitutes and so if he plays crap he must be washed up like Ronaldo and Adriano were. Well Adriano is on his way back and if Ronaldo hadn´t got injured last season maybe he would be too. I don´t know.

    One bad season. 28 years old. Best player in the world. Less expensive than Owen Hargreaves. Stratospheric boost to City´s profile and subsequent commercial benefits. You´re right - obviously a ridiculous deal.

    It´s RONALDINHO, kiddies.

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  • 224. At 10:15pm on 14 Jul 2008, Dan wrote:

    I agree most of the comment made in the article but I think it fails to point out one of the "main" reason why ManC want to sign him.

    I don't think ManC want to sign him only for his footballing skill, they want to sign him to boost their image/status in the Far East.

    We all know all football clubs would like to play exhabition matches (or pre-season) in Far East because thats where the money is. Just look at ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barca, Madrid or even Portsmouth. One exhabition match could generate over £1m of income, so consider how much a cluib could earn by playing in a mini tournament of 3 matches........

    No country in the Far East (except Thailand of course) would invite ManC over, but that would change if they have Ronaldino. £22m is expensive but the potential income is massive.

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  • 225. At 10:27pm on 14 Jul 2008, Deusvia wrote:

    Watch Ronaldo Head down the same road as Ronaldinho when he leaves Manchester United. There will be nobody around to keep him grounded. His ego will get the better of his commitment to the game. When the Man Utd team were going up to receive their champions league medals I watched him edge his way up the line of players so he would be 2nd behind the captain to get his. Like a spoilt child. 5 minutes before that he was crying like a baby.

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  • 226. At 10:53pm on 14 Jul 2008, JJ wrote:

    So if Ronaldinho is a "pre madonna"... does that make him Belinda Carlisle?

    (I'll get my coat)

    For those who still make this mistake despite it being one of the most overused expressions in football, it's 'prima donna'.

    Incidentally, I came very close to having my leg blown off this evening by a little French scrote with a firework, who looked startlingly similar to Ronaldinho. France on the 14th July is a scary place...

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  • 227. At 10:58pm on 14 Jul 2008, Budgeesmuggler wrote:

    28 is not past it.

    Keep him away from the nightclubs and hookers for a few months and he might get back in shape, and form.

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  • 228. At 11:12pm on 14 Jul 2008, big cahuna wrote:

    While i would agree that ronaldinho is out of form , fitness and has problems with application and attitude, it is simply ridiculous to suggest that he is past his peak ! On the contrary he is entering the years when he should be at his best physically.
    I have to agree that man city could struggle to get their money's worth from from this player though .

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  • 229. At 11:29pm on 14 Jul 2008, 18davy73 wrote:

    I think you are being slighty harsh on him.But,having said that,he hasnt really performed since prior to the World Cup in 2006,but I think at 28,he still has it in him to be a dominant force with a kick up the backside.There is no doubt when he was at his best,he was supwerior to any player now.He puuled Barcelona out of a mojor slump and got them into the UEFA Cup,then was the jewel in the crown of the outstanding Barca team for the next two years.I think in England he would find the pace too fast,the game to physical and the ball would be going over his head all the time.And his attitude would probably be poor.But bring on Ronaldinho to the Premiership,let him prove he is still a world-class footballer to all you ignorant people who think he is a has-been.

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  • 230. At 11:32pm on 14 Jul 2008, albobo wrote:

    I don't think you're wrong phil, but to play devils advocate, that is exactly what everyone said about Bergkamp when Arsenal signed him - he was washed up; he'd only play a season to reinvigorate his career and then leave; etc etc.

    Not only did this turn out not to be the case, but his name being attached to the club enabled them to sign some quality players from overseas who might otherwise have gone elsewhere (Overmars being a prime example).

    Now, perhaps the key point here is that Bergkamp never cost anyone £22 million, but still - you never know...in a few years time we may be talking of Ron as one of the legends of eastlands!

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  • 231. At 11:34pm on 14 Jul 2008, Hookers_armpit wrote:

    This could be the greatest or perhaps the worst signing of all time...

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  • 232. At 00:02am on 15 Jul 2008, braxted18 wrote:

    Fantastic talent....and when you've got that amount of talent it doesn't leave you at 28! Maybe Mark Hughes is the man to get it out of him. By the way Mr McNulty, he may have heard of Elano too at Eastlands (possibly even shared a room with him). Maybe England international's Mica Richards and Joe Hart too? and if he'd been watching Euro 2008 he may have seen Corluka and Fernandes. The point is we aren't a team of nobodies and big Ron playing at half wack is better than a few other people I can think of being touted around at a similar price!

    Steve

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  • 233. At 01:10am on 15 Jul 2008, LeeMeade wrote:

    Don't know if the rumours of Ronny's clubhouse divisiveness were true, but Barca never fired last season with him on the field or not. But the man's talent is transcendent, he has to be given the benefit. He's a proven winner on all stages, and one bad (injury-riddled) season should not tarnish his great legacy. If any team has the chance to get this guy it would be idiotic for them to pass.

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  • 234. At 01:14am on 15 Jul 2008, U12641113 - banned user new id wrote:

    If Ronaldinho does go to Man city, (which i think he won't) it'll be a bad move for player and club. As if his career isn't messed up already he'll screw it up even more as he'll only go for the money. As for crappy Man City all they money shall go on 1 player as it has been rumored that they have offered 200,000 a week for goofy.

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  • 235. At 01:32am on 15 Jul 2008, pt0608 wrote:

    Interesting article that I must agree with. As a City fan I am excited about the future of the club. But I feel that, at the moment, we would be better of without Ronaldinho. I read an article a few months back cataloging the declining attendance at Eastlands, and Shinawatra's desire to boost this with a "big name signing". This adds to my fear that a move for Ronaldinho is purely for financial reasons and not footballing reasons.

    Lets save the £22 million and go hunting for some more appropriate players who the manager decides will be beneficial for the club.

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  • 236. At 01:38am on 15 Jul 2008, Hitcho wrote:

    Agree with all the listed potential downsides to the Ronnie move to Eastlands, but one thing Phil overlooked was the potential upside. It's possible that R10 may be invigorated by a new league as many other newcomers to the PL have been(one of the fastest and most exciting in the world), and that Hughes might get the best out of him if he handles him the right way. If that were to happen, then at 28 Ronnie would be a sensational capture, would massively boost the profile of the club and in addition to massive marketing potential would bring some serious footballing enjoyment to City and the PL generally. That's what City are balancing against the risk, although I have to say I'm not sure I'd want my club taking that kind of risk.

    City should go for Podolski instead (why aren't other cubs in for him apart from Cologne?!) or Schweinsteiger. Either would fit in well to the PL and be a big hit from the get go, IMHO, plsu they both have plenty of top level experience and can probably already speak English (which I doubt Ronnie can!).

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  • 237. At 02:40am on 15 Jul 2008, Kaka08 wrote:

    Let me see........Darren Bent 16mil, Gareth Barry (27 years old) 18 million, SWP 24 million, Schevchenko (30 years old) 30 million, Ronaldinho (28 years old) 22 million?????
    I'm a Manchester United fan and there's a lot of jealousy towards City's ambition. Even in his current state, Ronaldinho is better than the entire English national team and if motivated, he'll be even better.
    McNulty...this type of parochial navel-gazing is why England will never win anything. Any player with skill is somehow suspicious???
    I'm still waiting for your blog on how (even more rubbish) Deco was in his last 2 seasons for Barcelona.
    I guess good old Stevie G would be more in your ballpark for this amount huh? How about Lampard demanding 150000 a week at 30 years old for 5 years - without Ronaldinho's brand appeal? Any way you think about it, the premise of this article is insane.
    I cannot believe how I've come to Citeh's defence, but it is quite obvious that Ronaldinho would pay for himself in about a year or so and who knows - he might lead the club into the Champions league!

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  • 238. At 02:47am on 15 Jul 2008, Guv859 wrote:

    This is indeed ambitious, Phil, and like yourself I applaud City's desire to make big signings. Also, like yourself, I believe this would be a big mistake. Ronaldinho is indeed past his best, and even were he to make a good start in a City shirt, I believe we would see a very different player come the cold winter weather of January and February. Indeed, it would not surprise me were he to suddenly become "injured" during the Christmas period so that he could spend christmas in the sun.

    We have already burnt our fingers recently with the likes of Samaras, who after being bought for £6 million looks likely to leave for less than £2 million. Elano, too, began with some sublime displays, but by the winter he was a shadow of the player who joined us. Hopefully, Elano will reach the heights again - and I believe he will - but then he is not the prima donna that Ronaldinho is.

    I really do not want to see us spalsh out £22 million on this guy, as I'm 100% certain that he will be off in a year (probably to Italy) for half that, complaining and whining to anyone who will listen about how fast and physical our football in England is, and how cold and wet it is.

    £22 million could buy is two or three really good players who could do a fine job for Mark Hughes and City.

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  • 239. At 02:55am on 15 Jul 2008, MickyDroyIsAGeezer wrote:

    Phil, once again your blantant anti-Liverpool bias is showing. You didn't mention them at all in this article. Not once.

    As far as the Ronaldinho to City saga goes, I've mixed feelings. Age is irrelevant. Lampard is 30. Scholes is 34. Yes, he's had injuries recently. So have Scholes and Lampard.

    Obviously, he's lost his motivation and undiluted joy in playing the game - that all seems a very long time ago now. But I find it inconceivable that there isn't a manager and a team out there that can reignite his love for football.

    My reservation is that Man City might not be the place to do it. Hughes might ask him to be more proactive defensively. And for all the talent in the squad, there are a fair few 'honest toilers'. Ronaldinho is at his best in a team surrounded by other technically gifted players that retain possession and move fluidly - Barcelona and Brazil.

    If the rumours are true, it was a clash of egos between him and Eto'o that started his falling out with Barcelona.

    If he goes to City, it'll be for the money, not for the prospect of top notch football.

    Someone CAN get the best out of him but it's liable to be one of the big teams with a big manager who can handle him. And that's not Man City.

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  • 240. At 02:56am on 15 Jul 2008, Kaka08 wrote:

    Well well......Chelsea are reportedly bidding 48 million for Robinho (not counting wages)??????????
    This is the price of Ronaldinho and 3 full years of his contract!
    Citeh should bite barcelona's hand off and grab the offer!

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  • 241. At 06:03am on 15 Jul 2008, prajwas wrote:

    Phil , i disagree with you slightly with Man City ditching its plans for Ronaldhino.
    To counter your comment on 'huge questions about his form, fitness and attitude' , i would say that the guy has been out of form for just one season give or take. Arent we forgetting all those seasons he has been 'in form' ?
    how many seasons have we seen the likes of Paul Scholes or Clarence Seedorf being out of form. But we would never dare to say they were past their prime at 28 years of age !! n these guys arent even world cup winner.
    Bringing the likes of Ronaldhino and the Seedorfs - helping them rejuvanate their career would also help the British Managers' repuatation across Europe and the world cause lets face it , while you have italian and spanish managers going all across of Europe to manage , how many British managers are currently around the top clubs of Europe?
    I would like to conclude saying that Ronaldhino would put Manchester City Football club on the World Map , and would let people around the world know that there is another club other than Manchester United in the eastlands. I know this might not be in the best interest of the British public , but i guess the Club owner has only one thing on his mind - "Manchester City Football Club should be a Global Name" More global - More the Money

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  • 242. At 07:12am on 15 Jul 2008, Haythnasr wrote:

    There are definitely arguments for and against him coming to Man City. I think however Phil you're missing the one key point here. The reason for the Man City board wanting Ronaldinho probably have very little to do with football.

    Unfortunately the premiership is becoming more and more about business and growing a global brand. You can say what you like about Ronaldinho and question his drive away to West Brom but he is a GLOBAL brand, and Global brands bring Global money.

    25 million and a 200,000 pound wage bill will be peanuts to what he will do to build awareness for Man city around the globe. To put it in perspective, if Man City were to place a 30 second ad during the half time show of the Super Ball it would cost them over $2.6 million… 30 seconds. Just think what a season or two would do of having him on the Man City books.

    One point you mentioned is that you would put a good bet on Ronaldinho having very little clue as to who the starting 11 are for Man City. Whatever you were to put on that bet… I would double it… it's money in the bank. Similar to Ronaldinho, I'm pretty sure that excluding the real fans of the Premiership and Man City, there are few who could name the starting 11 for Man City. Three months down the line, that would change.

    You don't have to look any further than the kind of money Beckham received to go to the LA Galaxy. How many of you out there knew prior to his move to the States, that LA Galaxy were sponsored by Herbal Life.

    Point Made.

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  • 243. At 07:19am on 15 Jul 2008, noregret wrote:

    He has probably been told he is being sold to Manchester and doesn't know there's a second team.

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  • 244. At 08:49am on 15 Jul 2008, shedtalk wrote:

    Perceptive article Phil, I have my fingers crossed that Ronaldinho doesn't suddenly arrive at Stamford Bridge.

    Ronaldinho and the English Premier League a square peg in a round hole, the reasons already comprehensively covered by your regular readers.

    Amazing to the point of obsenity is the amount of money being splashed around for older players past their use by date, Ronaldinho, Deco and Lampard come to mind. English football seems to be in 'need a player write a cheque frenzy'

    Where are all the juniors that English Premier League clubs claim to be nurturing?

    In stark contrast is Arsene Wenger's signing of Samir Nasri, a twenty year old said to be the next big thing in European football. Compared to Ronaldinho Arsenal have paid peanuts for a star of the future who comes with a good attitude, no ego problems and an abundance of talent.

    It hurts to say it, but Samir Nasri could be the catch of the season. Astute purchase Mr Wenger!

    Perhaps you could instruct Mr Abramovitch on the finer points of buying and selling? at Stamford Bridge we seem to have spent so much money on so many

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  • 245. At 08:53am on 15 Jul 2008, ManWithTheFlan wrote:

    I agree, wouldnt be a great signing for city.

    Although all you city fans seem to have forgotten that signing him would make city epic on pro evo... think about it

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  • 246. At 09:00am on 15 Jul 2008, shedtalk wrote:

    Perceptive article Phil, I have my fingers crossed that Ronaldinho doesn't suddenly arrive at Stamford Bridge.

    Ronaldinho and the English Premier League a square peg in a round hole, the reasons already comprehensively covered by your readers.

    Amazing to the point of obsenity is the amount of money being splashed around for older players past their use by date, Ronaldinho, Deco and Lampard come to mind. English football seems to be in 'need a player write a cheque frenzy'

    Where are all the juniors that English Premier League clubs claim to be nurturing?

    In stark contrast is Arsene Wenger's signing of Samir Nasri, a twenty year old said to be the next big thing in European football. Compared to Ronaldinho Arsenal have paid peanuts for a star of the future who comes with a good attitude, no ego problems and an abundance of talent.

    It hurts to say it, but Samir Nasri could be the catch of the season. Astute purchase Mr Wenger!

    Perhaps you could instruct Mr Abramovitch on the finer points of buying and selling on the transfer market? The Chelsea rationale seems to be, buy enough players and hope one or two will come good.
    At Stamford Bridge over the last couple of seasons we have spent so much money on so many duds.

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  • 247. At 09:21am on 15 Jul 2008, LnCostas wrote:

    I totally disagree with this view. People do not just give ronnie the benefit of the doubt. Lets not forget that Ronaldinho CHANGED the way modern football is played. he has had two very bad years but, he is capable of achieving the same standard. Also Ronnie, being the giant that he is, will help commercialise Man citys image. So the risk is not that great. And imagine if he decides to play football again..

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  • 248. At 09:21am on 15 Jul 2008, Oldfogi wrote:

    Incredible! Ronaldhino famously turned down an opportunity to join Manchester United, a decision which cost him two premiership medals and a Champions League. So why on Earth would he want to join their vastly inferior neighbours, who haven't won anything in decades? It rans equally on both clubs, but only one of them wins anything!

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  • 249. At 09:26am on 15 Jul 2008, aka_bluepeter wrote:

    Football is dangerously close to melt down like the housing market.
    The books just don't balance. It does not earn the money it spends and does not provide anything like value for money.
    I pray that sooner or later the likes of Shinawatra, Abramovich and co are going to tire of this circus and the bubble will burst.
    Ronaldo a slave indeed, Ronaldhino the saviour of Man City indeed. Both to me are circus acts neither of whom really understand the word 'team'.
    There is a growing army of lifelong supporters of the game giving up their season tickets to fickle corporate people with no real loyalty to the game and who cannot give away tickets to most matches.
    Such people will only ever want season tickets for the top four teams and want to go to games between them.
    TV coverage is at saturation point and in meltdown as more and more turn off their £40 to £50 per month sport programmes.
    Trying to tap other world markets such as America and Asia is a faux pas. They already have national games and in just the same way that American Football, Baseball, Basketball and so on will never take off in the UK football will not take off in USA or Asia.
    All in all a truly crazy business model that would not get past junior bank tellers in a real world.

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  • 250. At 09:45am on 15 Jul 2008, teedeepee wrote:

    I share some of your scepticism Phil, but I'm an eternal optimist, so I'd like to think that Ronaldinho will be able to turn around his form and re-capture some of the brilliance that defined his time at the Nou Camp. He's young enough to recover physical fitness, but he won't be able to do that unless he gets his head right. I sincerely hope that he does because the Premiership would be all the richer for the presence of a fully fit and fully focused Ronaldinho.

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  • 251. At 09:46am on 15 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    237. At 02:40am on 15 Jul 2008, Kaka08:

    Sir: I applaud you from the bottom of my heart as an honourable, honest and an intelligent man.

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  • 252. At 10:01am on 15 Jul 2008, U9563463 wrote:

    'Incredible! Ronaldhino famously turned down an opportunity to join Manchester United, a decision which cost him two premiership medals and a Champions League. So why on Earth would he want to join their vastly inferior neighbours, who haven't won anything in decades? It rans equally on both clubs, but only one of them wins anything!'

    Ever heard of a thing called money? He wants one last big pay day.

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  • 253. At 10:05am on 15 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Today, 15/7, Marca newspaper in Spain reports Ronaldinho is in negotiations with Milan and the deal is almost done despite speculation that Manchester City are favourites to capture his signature.

    English fans with a little Spanish can read the full story at www.marca.com

    Maybe half of the contributors to this blog will end up disappointed. I still side with Phil McNulty and believe if the above is true, Manchester City will have had a lucky escape.

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  • 254. At 10:06am on 15 Jul 2008, bwashram wrote:

    Lets be honest, if Ronaldinho was running at 70% of what he can achieve he would be better than 70% of players in the prem currently, this to go with shirt sales (ala beckham to real madrid).

    I agree the money is a little over the top to say the least however when you think of Barry for 18 million + player(s), i agree it could be a snip if he performs anywhere near he did 2 seasons ago, all players have bad seasons even the greats, he wasnt world player of the year twice for no reason was he.

    But on another note the training academy at city is one of the best in England, if thats the case surely a figure like ronaldinho can only enhance the youth coming through and make citys youngsters even better technically, which would not only benefit city, but England and the prem as a whole as competition at the top end of the table is, sadly, predictable and mundane at present.

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  • 255. At 10:15am on 15 Jul 2008, shedtalk wrote:

    I hear where you're coming from teedeepee, a fully fit re-energised Ronaldinho would work wonders for the poor relation Manchester team, however at say 24 million pounds a monumental gamble.

    The Pope is here in Australia today, I'm praying Ronaldinho doesn't pop up at Stamford Bridge.

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  • 256. At 10:21am on 15 Jul 2008, The_Kippax_Kid wrote:

    Never heard of Eastlands? I am pretty sure I was watching him play (and lose) in the first ever game at the stadium.

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  • 257. At 10:28am on 15 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    First of all Phil, you have the characteristics of a hopeless briton, second, its this kind of attitude that has kept this country's football suscess to a mere 1966 history.

    When a player like Ronaldinho switches clubs he has always given his best, you know why? because I have met him and he's a humble guy, despite all that surrounds him.
    Let me tell you, Ronaldinho ALONE could win a trophies for any team in the premier league. He's the 'I' missing in 'TEAM'...he makes players better. Did Barcelona win anything without him this past season? He's the reason Eto'O, Iniesta and that kid Messi, will cost from £25million upwards. No player on earth has Ronadinho's capabilities.
    Because of his humility he'll always pay back the faith instilled in him. he's not the reason why he didn't play last season, in-house fracas, injury and consistent benching by the team's management led to him not being as prominent on the pitches as he was.

    Do not follow in the footsteps of all this stupid and senseless fans that under-estimate players, do not because Ronaldinho's qualities has NEVER been produce on british soil...Not even George Best (bless him) can compare.

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  • 258. At 10:33am on 15 Jul 2008, The_Kippax_Kid wrote:

    I agree with most of your post Phil, and I am neither pro or anti Ronaldinho, I am just going to sit back to see what happens however anyone that cant see a few possible plusses from signing a player of Ronnies calibre is being a bit naive in my opinion. This is all based on the key word IF, but IF Ronnie gets back to his best, IF he looks as this as his final challenge and IF Hughes can get him back into shape we have one hell of a player on our hands. From a marketing view it puts us back on the map and any player in the world would love to play alongside Ronnie so when it comes to attracting signings as well, he can be a very powerful figure. Like I say though, I am not pro or anti Ronnie, but there are pro's can con's to every scenario, but it is all based around the key word... IF.

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  • 259. At 10:42am on 15 Jul 2008, Bergysdeftflicks wrote:

    Spot on Phil. Its a measure of what football has become in that these levels of cash are thrown around on spent forces, has beens and never beens. Its turned long standing supporters off the game, such as me and i never would have dreamed that i would ever say that. Still love my Club, but its the last season for me as a season ticket holder. It just isnt worth it anymore. The City fans will no doubt get ripped off in the long term to pay for this character.

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  • 260. At 10:44am on 15 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    There is an indication by "The_Kippax_Kid", the question of IF lies in he's agreeing to ply his trade in City. Convincing him to come to the midlands is the issue, not whether he can deliver. Ronaldinho is the only football god I know of in this 21st Century. He's pulling power is tremendous (I personally think the thought of playing beside him is the reason they have a whole lot of world class payers in Barcelona. Not to say that Barcelona isn't a world class club, but the football players that I discussed with have indicated that were it not for Ronaldinho's presence in Barcelona, many of the players in sign to tha Catalunian club would have preferred Real, or rather go to Italy).

    I think the possibilities of Ronaldinho, if he becomes a city player, would be tremendous both in and out of the field. I kid you not, if they succeed in landing "the wizard", you will see an influx of world class palyes to City (Just like Chelsea; signing one big player- Veron, next thing you know they've won 5 throphies in 3 years, a feat that has not been achieved before in the history of the premiership). Manchester United beware!

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  • 261. At 10:55am on 15 Jul 2008, Sackeyprince wrote:

    Phil, have you watched Ronaldinho before? or have you watched Barcelona? Because if you have done the former, you wouldn't even dream of wrotting this article. Infact if the thought had come to you in your dreams, you would have woken up and recite Lord's prayer, emphasizing on "...Lead un not into temptation, but deliver us from all eveil (thoughts)... (or which ever form of prayer you offer).

    I read this article and I see that, because you've probably recognised that you've written the most outrageous article ever, you bend, towrads your last paragraphs, on wanting to make us see that you somewhat are on City's side.

    I know you're supposed to be a journalist and as such not take sides, but c'mon! how worst can Ronaldinho be compared to what Beckham is playing in LA Galaxy? or the embarassment that is Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Owen in Madrid.

    This potential signing DOES NOT HAVE a downside...period.

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  • 262. At 11:01am on 15 Jul 2008, fear_my_googly wrote:

    Hmm, I wouldn't wipe my rear end with that marca 'news' paper even if there was no bog roll left, the morning after a spicy curry.

    This deal, should it go through, would potentially be the start of the Man City global franchise. They would have appeal reaching further and being stronger than ever before in their history.

    Even if Ron doesn't play electric football every week, his name would ensure the ground is full, that is until the novelty wears off. Should he find that magic and regain his full ability, then they're going to have a great player and a focal point for publicity.

    However, I think people are being too short-sighted about the problems. It's not this transfer alone that is worrying, it's the fact that Man City's owner is highly volatile. To me it seems like he could just get up and leave at any time, with all his money. Or he may even be forced to leave, with regards to the non-sporting news circling around him.

    How then will they pay the £x million per week in total wages, and keep everything afloat?

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  • 263. At 11:08am on 15 Jul 2008, goldenbales wrote:

    Sorry Phil but your wrong on this one. Ronaldihno is not "past his peak", how at 28 you can write of someone who has been twice world player of the year, that ability does not vaniish over night. yes he has had a poor past 12 months but thanks largely to injury and fierce speculation on him, his life outside of footy and future. Ronaldinho is probably the most gifted natural fiitballer to walk this earth and if man city to pick him up and get even half of his ability on the pitch however they pay for it will be worth it.

    Because he has featured in no real action for six months and has not performed at his usual outrageous levels you have wirtten him off, i have read many of your articles before and tend to normally agree with your train of thought but on this occssion you have not put that much thought into this, talent does not just evaporate and if he wants it he can do it, its up to Hughes to motivate him in the right way.

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  • 264. At 11:12am on 15 Jul 2008, blue-eyedSELECAO wrote:

    I find your lack of respect for Ronaldinho astounding.

    What planet are people on when they don't rate him as a player.

    Ronaldinho would become the greatest player in the history of most clubs.

    He's won the World Cup, Champions League, 2 La Liga titles and was twice world player of the year and your talking about him as if he's a complete mug.

    He didn't play as many games for Barca this season and where did they finish in the table? He didn't even play that badly.

    Actually, yeah you're right, I'd much rather have Vassell.

    When have you EVER been the best in the world at ANYTHING?....never?
    Then shut up!

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  • 265. At 11:32am on 15 Jul 2008, adamuabbasmusa wrote:

    Ronaldinho is a starter player man city may need him in order to advance to another level in the primeirship . so It is good for them to have him but who are his combination ? He has to joint milan than Maancity.Where there are best and good players like kaka, piolo.

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  • 266. At 11:34am on 15 Jul 2008, Liverpool Andy wrote:

    55. At 1:12pm on 14 Jul 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:
    my view is that Ronaldinho is past his best at 28 - but are there any cases of players (let's keep it to outfield) coming to their peak after 28?

    ____________________________________
    Andriy Arshavin?

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  • 267. At 11:35am on 15 Jul 2008, randalthor1812 wrote:

    A few pointers for the city knockers on here ...

    1 WE are in the same competition in Europe as Milan
    2 We are a small club but we make the 20 richest club list in Europe every year (without European competition as well!)
    3 Jo and Ronaldinho were on holiday together recently so perhaps City was mentioned....
    4 Our Profile went up last year because Sven joined how much more is it now regardless if this transfer is made or not.
    5 Anelka joined us after a slump in form and as a look at derby clips scored a few nice goals. (the 3-1 springs to mind)
    6 Last year we finished ninth without a decent striker for most of it we now have JO and Benjani ( and hopefully a fit Bojinov) ok we slumped at end of season but should be top six this year.

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  • 268. At 11:40am on 15 Jul 2008, bigli wrote:

    I have to say that when I first heard of the City move for Ronaldinho it seemed rather outlandish and smacked of a publicity stunt, however, it does seem now that they are being serious, that said though, i feel that the only gamble in question would be the man himself in footballing terms, financially I don't think it would be a massive gamble, the shirt sales would go through the roof worldwide (look how many English and Japanese girls started wearing Real Madrid shirts purely because it had Beckham 7 on the back, the Beckham brand had paid for the player before he had even kicked a ball). It would also show Man City as a team of major ambition to some of the many young and up and comming stars who still look on Ronaldinho with awe, by all acounts Eastlands is a fantastic stadium with great facilities, Mark Hughes is a man of extreme passion who could "sell snow to the Eskimos" if he believes in the product and the Man City fans are some of the most dedicated and passionate fans in the premiership (these are guys that drove in their hundreds from Manchester to Gillingham to try to get tickets for the 99 division 2 play off final even though they had already been told they were sold out).
    Ronaldinho signing would be a major coup for City even if his football isn't all it should be any more, it would give them a serious platform to become major players in english football and give them a serious shout of breaking up the"big 4" domination of the premiership, remember, Chelsea were no more than a lower mid table team until the Russian came in and started buying his way to the premiership

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  • 269. At 12:03pm on 15 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    Sackeyprince # 257, 260 and 261.
    Can I respectfully make a suggestion?
    Why don't you send your Curriculum Vitae to Manchester City Football Club or the BBC?
    From your missives it is clear you can do a better job than both the current board of the football club and a, (presumably), University educated journalist.
    Failing that, perhaps give your intended posts a quick read before hitting the "Post Comment" button.

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  • 270. At 12:25pm on 15 Jul 2008, GunnerVelafan wrote:

    theres only 1 man that cud get this guy back to his best n thats arsene wenger but thats never gonna happen!!!! man city shud stay away. if he cant do it for barca why wud he wana be bothered tryin for city

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  • 271. At 12:35pm on 15 Jul 2008, Incapability_Brown wrote:

    Talking of past their sell by date ex- international superstars signing for City, does anyone remember George Weah?

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  • 272. At 12:37pm on 15 Jul 2008, TheBoyRonaldo wrote:

    He's just doing the same thing that he did with us back in 2003. He (or his agent) used United to get Barcelone to put a serious bid in for him and you get he impression that they're doing the same with Man City and AC Milan.

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  • 273. At 12:47pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    Phil,

    Entitled to your opinion, but what a load of absolute rubbish. The lack of respect you show to a great of our beloved sport astounds and angers me. "Ronaldinho is looking back" you say in response to a blog, how do you know that? Have you examined his psyche? Have you talked at length with him about his current mind set? Did he reveal his inner most thoughts and feelings to you? Or is that just speculative, unsubstantiated rubbish designed to support a weak and entirely flawed piece of writing? The latter methinks...

    So Ronnie is "looking back"?...THE GUY IS 28 YRS OLD!!! The most talented footballer of his generation by a mile, world cup winner, champ league winner, la liga winner twice, worldplayer of the year twice... all this and according to you past it at 28 (a footballers prime). By this logic he must be unambitious and devoid of all motivation, not the traits of someone who has achieved the above. And on top of that, you seem to assume his magical ability has upped and left...all because of a season or two where he didn't reach the heights of previous years. Complete and utter tripe.

    I know journo's like to find an angle, and it is much easier to be negative than possible, but come on Phil, really. Even before you consider the massive marketing potential he brings, a former world player of the year, at 28, for 22.5 million? Bargain of the century. Not a couple of years ago he was valued at treble that.

    Terrible article, stinking of negativity and disrespect for a player who has done so much for the game. I'd expect this in some cheap tabloid rag, but I use this site to escape that rubbish. I at least hope when Ronnie proves you wrong, wherever he goes, you can admit that you were as spectacularly wrong and off the mark as you were about Sven.

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  • 274. At 12:53pm on 15 Jul 2008, TheBoyRonaldo wrote:

    Every so often a playe comes along that is recognised as one of the best of all time. Pele, Maradona, Cruyff etc. I honestly think that (along with Zidane) Ronaldinho is the only player of recent times that will be remembered in the same way (Ronaldo may join this elite group if he continues to play the way he has). Ronaldinho has had one bad season, but I think he will be back to his best very soon.

    He's 28... that's supposed to be when midfielders play their best football isn't it?

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  • 275. At 12:56pm on 15 Jul 2008, jam tomorrow wrote:

    Yes Phil, nice to see you apologise for not knowing he had graced the Eastlands stage once before, but that aside I think you are missing the point. To me at least this has very little to do with on pitch affairs and more about global profile, lets face it these guys who buy clubs as play things are desperate for media attention, the Dr has already spent over 100million on buying the club and players, to get City recognized on a global stage he now needs to either provide funds to challenge the big boys i.e. circa 300million quid, or he can make a signing that the world will hear about for lets say 25million plus the 10million a year in wages. I should imagine when Hughesy signed for City the conversation with new Executive Chairman Garry Cook went something like "Mark, we're trying to get Ronaldinho in to boost the global standing, sell a few shirts and cut some TV deals, but dont worry if he's not interested when he gets here, we'll ship him out to AC Milan next summer, oh and we'll also give you a transfer kitty to get team sorted away from this deal". In todays world of money its not a gamble just a transaction, any positive influence on the pitch is a bonus.

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  • 276. At 1:05pm on 15 Jul 2008, lawrenceFowler wrote:

    I think city have a great chance of signing him. Something as little as allowing him to play in the olympics could give them an edge over Milan.

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  • 277. At 1:08pm on 15 Jul 2008, Inferno Coral wrote:

    for all the flannel spouted about the premiership being the best league in the world, its common knowledge that the true elite of world football, players such as Kaka and Messi, would sooner work in McDonalds in Coventry High Street than they would play here. The Premiership doesn't attract the true superstars, it just pays phenomenal amounts of money for very good but not great ones. Chelsea are the only ones who tried to sign players universally recognised on a global level with Ballack and Svechenko (who was poorly motivated and past his prime). Torres was good but not a superstar when he came though this is changing. Ronaldo was pure potential when he arrived but not much else. Most of Arsenal's signings are in the same mould (even Henry was unwanted at Juventus). Are our United friends posting on here a little jealous that City might (but, ok, probably won't) sign a player who is bigger than anyone who has ever signed up to play at the Swamp?

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  • 278. At 1:09pm on 15 Jul 2008, TheBoyRonaldo wrote:

    Phil

    Regards to your question about players coming to their peak after the age of 28 - I believe Ian Wright signed for Arsenal aged 28 and Les Ferdinand signed for Newcastle aged 29. Both played their best football at these cluns.

    Eric Cantona signed for Man Utd aged 26 - you could argue that he reached his peak around 1996 - aged 30.

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  • 279. At 1:13pm on 15 Jul 2008, TheBoyRonaldo wrote:

    Completely agree with Galocoura. The premiership doesn't attract the world's best players like Spain and Italy do.

    We attract players past their prime, players with potential, or players unwanted by their clubs. Ronaldo, now recognised by many as the best in the world wanting to go to Real Madrid re-inforces this view.

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  • 280. At 1:28pm on 15 Jul 2008, bigli wrote:

    To bluedefence, i couldn't agree more mate, the entire thing will give Man City a standing in world football they have never known before, even if it is only 1 season of mediocre football from Ronaldinho, and that can only be good for the premiership to have a "new kid on the block"

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  • 281. At 2:06pm on 15 Jul 2008, pound2pound wrote:

    To say that Ronaldinho has lost it is a farce. Perhaps the most naturaly gifted footballer of all time is still naturally gifted, so the idea that he has all of a sudden lost his ability is a bit far fetched.
    Ronaldinho suffers from bieng to good, his performences from two seasons ago were mind blowing. His performences now are of that of a human, still special but not quite as special.
    A player such as himself constantly needs new challenges as he does not have to work hard to be as good as he is, in turn I believe a new challenge would allow him to rise from these apparant ashes. From this respect Man City would be an ideal destination. He would be playing in a team again where the pressure lies on him, where as at Barca the pressure lies on him, Eto, Messi, Iniesta just to name a few.
    Watch him bloom in the limelight!

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  • 282. At 2:09pm on 15 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    Phil, you never answered my question, who do you support?

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  • 283. At 2:09pm on 15 Jul 2008, Jim Parshall wrote:

    No one can predict the future - lets look at the facts. Bacelona and Ronnie have fallen out therefore they will sell him for whatever they can get.

    Ronnie wants to play in the Olympics - the world stage - therefore there is a fair chance he will get himself in some sort of form just to get in the team (not guaranteed). (Deco played much better for Portugal in Euro 2008 than he did for the previous 4 months with Barça, Etoo did the same in the African Championship)

    Its all down to personal motivation.

    As far as money value - this is a no brainer (as other posters have mentioned - Ronnie will recoup his fee from off field activities alone, and boost Man City's profile no end)

    So the question remains, if signed by Man City what motivation will Ronaldinho have, and more importantly who will motivate him.

    Personally I cannot see Ronaldinho being happy in Manchester - he'll miss his family, and the language and if he turns to parties and drugs then Manchester will have the same problem as Barça had. I don't think Mark Hughes has the experience with this type of 'star' but would love to be proved wrong.

    If Ronnie did get his mojo back then it would be a joy to see him in the Premiership.

    Pete
    Barcelona

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  • 284. At 2:20pm on 15 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    You were born in Liverpool, but along with most people, would think that you support the Blue side and not the Red side?

    Had I not know that you born in Liverpool, I would have thought you were a Man Utd fan.

    ....back to the topic

    I still think that Ronladinho would be a magnificent acquisition for Man City. Both on and off the field.

    Juninho, Elano, Emerson, Gilberto Silva, Alex and Belletti have not been too bad in the EPL and Ronaldinho is capable of FAR more than any of them, even at half-mast.

    His job will be to find the final pass and be a MAJOR threat from any/all set-pieces.

    If, going back to my prediction of who you support (Man Utd), you do support Man Utd, then I am beginning to understand why you dont think Man City should have Ronaldinho.

    It would be quite funny to say that he turned Man Utd down, but agreed to play for Man City. What a day he would have on derby day.


    ps: Tell us who you support Phil!

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  • 285. At 2:54pm on 15 Jul 2008, mvfoe23 wrote:

    Completly agree that the money could be better spent elsewhere, think it is a smokescreen to see if AC Milan's intentions are true but hopefully Sparky will look elsewhere. For 22Mil we could put more into the youth system and get someone in a more needed posistion like right wing or left back. £20 mil for Bentley and Warnock sounds better to me!

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  • 286. At 3:06pm on 15 Jul 2008, alan0161 wrote:

    he`s still a great player, if city can get him ,it shows that city will become a force in the next seson.

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  • 287. At 3:10pm on 15 Jul 2008, didou_sait_tout wrote:

    The problem with English football is that the appetite for mediocrity has grown so vast that no amount of real and truly outstanding talent can convince spectators and pundits alike that the world should be otherwise.

    Perhaps Ronaldinho has had a bad run of form over the past two years and the poiltics inside the Barça dressing room were poisoned. To then - simplistically - assume that he is well past it at 28 is a bit daft.

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  • 288. At 3:11pm on 15 Jul 2008, genocidefish wrote:

    This blog proves one thing: if you're dumb enough to call the Daily Mail a reliable source, then you're dumb enough to dismiss Ronaldinho.

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  • 289. At 3:14pm on 15 Jul 2008, slaveKING wrote:

    Well said genocidefish!

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  • 290. At 3:18pm on 15 Jul 2008, Stu_SAFC wrote:

    How can anyone apart from Ronaldinho himself say he is past his peak? The man's 28. I'd love to see him come back to form at City and fire them into the CL, unrealistic though that seems...

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  • 291. At 3:25pm on 15 Jul 2008, 1978 Shoot league ladders wrote:

    The wage alone is obscene.

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  • 292. At 3:29pm on 15 Jul 2008, CheerUpPlatini wrote:

    I can see where the gist of this article is coming from, BUT it's not your money and if Shinawatra wants to throw HIS money around then you might just have a tasty talent at Man City. He will add on numbers to the attendance and all the kids up there will buy/steal a shirt with Number 10 on it. The problem lies still with the Chairman. If he goes to jail or walks away then you are left with a big debt. But if he has the money and stays with the club, then why not. You don't go from being the best in the world to a pub player. The talent is there; Mark Hughes and his team need to get that out of Ron. I saw a fat version of the man last September when Brazil played the USA in Chicago and I tell you what, there may not have been much running but the skill was subliminal (albeit against USA. Haha). Kids of all ages will be mesmerised and copying moves in pub leagues and playgrounds all over. In summary you don't win the lottery without buying a ticket. and if it fails then you are no more out of pocket as a fan; maybe disappointed but nothing else. And the profile of Man City will increase dramatically. (Admit it though, his agent is really telling him Manchester UNITED right? and then at the last minute....)

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  • 293. At 3:51pm on 15 Jul 2008, tugarca wrote:

    Even at 50 Ronaldinho will outplay every other guy at City.

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  • 294. At 3:56pm on 15 Jul 2008, TheBoyRonaldo wrote:

    Just a point on whether he's worth £22mil or not. As with anything else that can be bought or sold, a player's value is what buyer is willing to pay for him.

    Don't see him going to city though... he's not going to miss out on CL football.

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  • 295. At 4:35pm on 15 Jul 2008, raysonmob wrote:

    If you ask any player in the premiership what player from la liga the would want to see in their team, Ronaldihno would be second only to Messi.
    22mil is a bargain compared to 30 mil on Shevchenko and the prospective 80mil on C.Ronaldo.
    At 28 he could have 5 good years left and if he gets his form back, he can destroy any defence in the world.

    Man City should buy him and lend him with their youngsters and form a team to challenge the top 4.

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  • 296. At 4:36pm on 15 Jul 2008, simply_complicated wrote:

    Dont ever write this man off!!! A change could be just the right thing he might need!!! He is always gonna outshine every other player... The question is are there people at MC who can cope up with his level of talent?

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  • 297. At 4:47pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    to THEONE88,

    "Please don't use the term genius to descibe a footballer, anyone can kick a ball round a field".

    You pillock; genius can only be applied to the field (not field in football sense, thought I'd better explain that as you are clearly lacking a brain cell or two) in which someone practices. If you are truly extraordinary in your chosen field, you can correctly be described as a genius. So yes, anyone can kick a ball around a field, but only a rare few can do it the standard of a genius. Don't agree? Take it up with the people who write dictionary definitions:

    Genius:

    a) "Extraordinary intellectual or creative power" - Ronnie is arguably the most creative footballer we have ever seen.
    b) "A person of exceptional talent" - nuff said.
    c) "A strong natural talent, aptitude or inclination" - agin, nuff said.
    d) "A person who has great influence over another" - the millions of kids with Ronaldinho 10 shirts on their back strong enough for ya?

    So, theone88, Ronnie fits every dictionary definition of a genius. Perhaps next time you decide to be a patronising idiot, get your facts right. If anyone can kick a ball around a filed, surely anyone can look up a word in a dictionary?

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  • 298. At 4:50pm on 15 Jul 2008, ramesh kudva wrote:

    Ronaldinho is pure footballing brilliance. It is much easier to put endurance and fitness into him than to put talent into the present starting eleven. Whip him into shape and he will light up England coast-to-coast like Torres did last season. The key question is whether he will allow this to happen or whether a couple of female curves will influence him more.

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  • 299. At 4:52pm on 15 Jul 2008, theone88 wrote:

    THE TERM GENIUS CANNOT BE APPLIED TO FOOTBALLERS. ALL THEY DO IS KICK A BALL AROUND A FIELD. GENIUS CANT BE LERNT.

    NOW GO SHINE MY SHOES BUTTWIPE.

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  • 300. At 4:54pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    to THEONE88,

    "Please don't use the term genius to descibe a footballer, anyone can kick a ball round a field".

    You pillock; genius can only be applied to the field (not field in football sense, thought I'd better explain that as you are clearly lacking a brain cell or two) in which someone practices. If you are truly extraordinary in your chosen field, you can correctly be described as a genius. So yes, anyone can kick a ball around a field, but only a rare few can do it the standard of a genius. Don't agree? Take it up with the people who write dictionary definitions:

    Genius:

    a) "Extraordinary intellectual or creative power" - Ronnie is arguably the most creative footballer we have ever seen.
    b) "A person of exceptional talent" - nuff said.
    c) "A strong natural talent, aptitude or inclination" - agin, nuff said.
    d) "A person who has great influence over another" - the millions of kids with Ronaldinho 10 shirts on their back strong enough for ya?

    So, theone88, Ronnie fits every dictionary definition of a genius. Perhaps next time you decide to be a patronising idiot, get your facts right. If anyone can kick a ball around a field, surely anyone can look up a word in a dictionary?

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  • 301. At 4:56pm on 15 Jul 2008, theone88 wrote:

    Please do not disgrace the word genius ever again.

    Footballers = opposite of genius.

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  • 302. At 4:56pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    Posted again for you theone88 as you obviously have difficulty reading.

    Buttwipe? Intelligent arguement mate. Some might call it genius.

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  • 303. At 4:57pm on 15 Jul 2008, theone88 wrote:

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

  • 304. At 4:59pm on 15 Jul 2008, OWAF wrote:

    phil i completely disagree with you as always and im fed up with your columns

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  • 305. At 5:01pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

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

  • 306. At 5:03pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

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

  • 307. At 5:05pm on 15 Jul 2008, theone88 wrote:

    Oh deary deary me. Point and case. LOL.

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  • 308. At 5:08pm on 15 Jul 2008, magnaJimmyMagic wrote:

    Your a sad little man. Find something to do with your life mate! Love you.xx

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  • 309. At 5:56pm on 15 Jul 2008, very_bad_robot wrote:

    You say that Ronaldinho had probably never heard of Eastlands. Can i point out that he played there for Barcelona against City a couple of years ago in a pre-season friendly.
    That about sums up the article i'm afraid. Badly researched and a total lack of factual information.

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  • 310. At 6:26pm on 15 Jul 2008, movedllc wrote:

    my brother-in-law owns a restaurant outside of barcelona and is very excited to see the end of ronnie there. he says that ronnie's a full-fledged alcoholic, and has seen him at numerous events nearly passed out, and being carried out by handlers.

    he says this is fairly common knowledge in catalunya. my question is why this has never been reported on during this city/milan drama? and can you imagine a better country for a drunk to move to??? he'll fit right in...

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  • 311. At 6:33pm on 15 Jul 2008, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    I think that people are judging Ronaldino by his own very high standards. Ronaldhino has never been and never will be 'rubbish'. He will be better than players like Carrick, Bent, Gareth Barry etc, utill the day he retires. I guess that there will be be lots of opinion if Ronaldinho transfers to city for £18 m compared to Carrick going to ManU for the same amount. The comparison is wrong, but you can understand when people compare Ronaldinho to Ronaldinho when he was at his best, and not Gareth Barry or Michael Carrick, when they are at their usual.
    Ronadinho will probably not be the one he was in the 05/06 season, but for sure he will be the best of the lot at City, or even in Manchester - if Ronaldo leaves.

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  • 312. At 6:38pm on 15 Jul 2008, England1957 wrote:

    ha movedllc!...nice post....I wonder if city would buy back Joey Barton to show the new guy how to have a good time lol...those two would make a right pair!

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  • 313. At 6:45pm on 15 Jul 2008, <===21 Rafael The Second 21===> wrote:

    I hope that City are awaken to the fact that Ronaldhino is indeed past his best and shows no desire to be at the club, I think he believes that he would be bigger than the club. Any player with that sort of delusion does not belong there; City are simply excited at the prospect of signing someone who WAS the best player in the world. If they sign him it wont be long before he goes back to being lazy and having a bad attitude - COME ON MILAN, SIGN HIM UP!

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  • 314. At 7:17pm on 15 Jul 2008, Mattanddanshow wrote:

    Ronaldinho went downhill after the world cup 06, he has been plagued with injuries and he seems to have developed a taste for the spanish nightlife. His fitness is poor and it seems that Barcelona have given up on him BUT surely a move to Man City could be a fresh start for the former world player of the year???
    A move to the premiership would be great for Man City and the league so long as ronaldinho's attitude changes he could be back to his best no longer crowded out by the Henry's and Messi's in Barcelona...

    http://www.myspace.com/themattanddanshow

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  • 315. At 7:22pm on 15 Jul 2008, aaj2377 wrote:

    I think your being a bit harsh on the poor boy, you said it, he was the best player in the world at one time, and come on 28 years old and he's past it, i really don't think so, yes £22m is an awful lot of money but this is the crazy world of football where real madrid are willing to spend £75-80m on ronaldo, i'd say £22m would be a not bad bit of business.

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  • 316. At 7:27pm on 15 Jul 2008, djavue wrote:

    I totally disagree with Phil because as PL is getting one star down ( C.Ronaldo ) we need a star like Ronladinho...and about his Attitude and fitness , I've been watchin Ronny since he was in Gremio ...His last year was the worst....but I also didn't forget his last 12 years either ....I think Ronaldinho had a deal with Milan since Last Season....So it was a good try for Man City .....there is a lot of players who can be like Ronaldinho in Brazil :

    -Lullinha
    -Alex (VAsco)
    -Renato Agusto

    I still believe that Robinho will be a good target for Man City.....

    But who is better HUGHES or SCOLARI for Robinho ???? an easy answer....

    as we've seen not a lot of parties were involved in chasing Ronaldinho because the deal was going anyway to Milan

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  • 317. At 7:38pm on 15 Jul 2008, galway98 wrote:

    wow. People seem to have very short term memories when it comes to football. You are looking at the most talented footballer in the world here. Its the faustino asprilla for darlington argument. Hes way too good and talented for man city. I doubt hughes could manage a player with this much ability and i doubt the man city teamates could play with such a talented footballer. He wud be the premierships best footballer if he went, no doubt. Man city or Milan..u cant be serious. Man city have not the potential to be milan within this decade or the next one. Repuations cannot be bought for the real big players..hes just too good and ppl need to realise that he wudnt join any english club in my opinion due to weather, history and style of football. Man city..buy jimmy bullard and be realistic please.

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  • 318. At 7:42pm on 15 Jul 2008, Attila™ wrote:

    Seriously, how many people have to comment on the fact that Ronaldinho has played at Eastlands before? I mean you would think it would be fairly easy to read previous comments, and to see that at least another ten posts had pointed this out lol. Anyways, Ronaldinho will not go to Man City, he will chose Milan, and to be honest, so would most other players given the choice.

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  • 319. At 8:15pm on 15 Jul 2008, MalagaWhite4Life wrote:

    It does seem ironic that the main football page on the BBC site should feature this article, 'Why Man City should shun Ronaldinho' immediately beneath the article titled 'AC Milan closing in on Ronaldinho'.

    Smacks of 'We're going home now and we didn't want to play anyway!'

    As a long-suffering Leeds fan accustomed to a diet of misery and failure, I'm well aware that just basking in the reflected glory of a bid - whether genuine or a stunt - for a bona fide superstar can keep fans happy and optimistic for days and maybe weeks on end.

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  • 320. At 8:32pm on 15 Jul 2008, Tre303 wrote:

    The truth is that whatever he is, a former golden ball winner cannot go to a second-tier team like Man City when he's courted by a team which plays Champions' league finals every other year. He could do it for the money, but aged 31 or 32, not at 28.

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  • 321. At 8:53pm on 15 Jul 2008, Arrian2005 wrote:

    For me the scenario is simple, play for a great club in an average league or an average club in a great league.

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  • 322. At 9:19pm on 15 Jul 2008, MalagaWhite4Life wrote:

    Arrian2005,

    Bit harsh to say Milan are an 'average' club.........

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  • 323. At 9:20pm on 15 Jul 2008, Gunning for the top wrote:

    321. At 8:53pm on 15 Jul 2008, Arrian2005 wrote:

    For me the scenario is simple, play for a great club in an average league or an average club in a great league.
    ----------------------------

    So which is which? That makes no sense, both playing in the same European competition.

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  • 324. At 9:48pm on 15 Jul 2008, mugley wrote:

    why dont all you reds on here go away and worry about whether your little slave boy will be back at swampsville next october after his extended game of hide and seek with Sir Purple Nose!Leave the signing of quality players in Manchester to a club with ambition like City who dont happen to be 600 million up the chuff and are not bothered to haggle over a couple of million when the talent is on the table.The tide is about to turn whether we sign Ronlaldinho or Ronald Macdonald and you are nt going to like it

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  • 325. At 9:57pm on 15 Jul 2008, BestSpam1979 wrote:

    Well, looks like he's about to be sold to AC for 15mil instead of City for 25 mil, according to the AC website. Guess some decisions in football aren't completely swayed by money.

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  • 326. At 10:18pm on 15 Jul 2008, BigGiantHead wrote:

    He's only 28, that's not past it, but he seriously needs motivation or he definitely will be the next Kluivert, Crespo or whoever. I just think that that motivation isn't at Man City. Fair Play to him for not just taking the money and coming. He's made it clear that he thinks he should come to Milan and Shinawatra's millions aren't worth more than that.

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  • 327. At 10:37pm on 15 Jul 2008, Campioni-del-Mondo wrote:

    If you half the figures Man City are offering (both transfer fee and wages) you will get pretty close to what Milan have offered. Fair play to Ronaldinho for effectivly halfing his wages but it's been no secret he has wanted to play for Milan for the past couple of years.
    As a Milan fan I'd welcome his transfer purely on the fact I remember just how good he really was two years ago. Its shockingly obvious that he needs a new challenge and that has to be with a club that can challenge for the title and in Europe, albeit after a torrid season we are in the Uefa Cup aswell. If he was to sort out his social habits and more inportantly his drinking then at 28 there is absolutly no reason that he can't return to the player we all knew and admired.
    I have to laugh at the city fans on here saying he shouldn't and doesn't deserve to play for them. Who do you think you are? Real Madrid, AC Milan or Man Utd? City are and never will be in the same class as the forementioned, just because someone with a bit of money has bought them it doesn't mean you are now on a par with the big boys.

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  • 328. At 10:38pm on 15 Jul 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    "It does seem ironic that the main football page on the BBC site should feature this article, 'Why Man City should shun Ronaldinho' immediately beneath the article titled 'AC Milan closing in on Ronaldinho'.

    Smacks of 'We're going home now and we didn't want to play anyway!' "
    ==========
    No, it's because McNumty hates to take his Christmas decorations down before Easter so he can be sure everyone else has noticed...;-)

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  • 329. At 10:46pm on 15 Jul 2008, Inferno Coral wrote:

    ive spent about 45 minutes trying to work out who´s who in arrian215´s comment. its worse than a rubiks cube

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  • 330. At 10:48pm on 15 Jul 2008, oxshottphil wrote:

    So Ronald-o wants out of Manchester.

    So Ronald-inho doesn't want in.

    Never mind. There's always

    Ronald-MacDonald

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  • 331. At 10:58pm on 15 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    #262 fear_my_googly

    I assume you've actually read Marca or at least had a quick flick through it before using your copy in the lavatory.

    With reports now emerging from Barcelona and Milan, the quality of their reporting wasn't that bad was it?

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  • 332. At 11:22pm on 15 Jul 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    "Ronaldinho is pure footballing brilliance. ...he will light up England coast-to-coast like Torres did last season. The key question is whether he will allow this to happen or whether a couple of female curves will influence him more."
    ========
    So what's wrong with English female curves Ronnie?!!!

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  • 333. At 11:52pm on 15 Jul 2008, markinlondon wrote:

    rubbish article. ronaldinho is one of the best players ever in the world. he is only 28. fitness permitting he could reach a similar level to what he was.

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  • 334. At 01:02am on 16 Jul 2008, hero3279 wrote:

    Settling for UEFA Cup football, shows how low Ronaldinho's ambitions have stooped.

    He is a shadow of the player he once was but it will be interesting to see if it works out with him and Kaka. That midfield pairing has the potential to be one of the most exciting in World football.

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  • 335. At 01:25am on 16 Jul 2008, retiredhatbox wrote:

    A has been has not been bought.
    Thank goodness. MC deserve better than him.
    If the geezer likes his pizza he has gone to the right shop
    It was never on .
    Who in his right mind if on the decline wants to play in the best league in Europe and get shown up?
    Let him go and play tappy tappy with the Italians, it will serve him right for believing his abilility is still world-class, when he is simply a name who is a has been for the past 3 years.

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  • 336. At 04:14am on 16 Jul 2008, blue-eyedUSAchap wrote:

    I believe Ronaldinho to be a talented player but he is not tough enough for EPL football. The weather is an issue and so is the speed and toughness required to play English football. Beside all that I don't believe his work ethic is a strong as it once was. Man City will fair better without him.

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  • 337. At 05:58am on 16 Jul 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    I think Ronaldinho has proved, ultimately, that he is not a great player. Just like Beckham before him, he's gone for what he perceives is the bigger club. Maradona showed true greatness when he joined Napoli and helped them to win their only two championships. That is the stamp of a great footballer. City probably will be better off without him although it would be great if they could make a few more big signings to help them push for that fourth champions league berth.

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  • 338. At 06:25am on 16 Jul 2008, thouston wrote:

    Even with Pol Pot's millions, the likes of Big Phil or Ronaldhino never considered City for one minute. Why go to City when you could just as easily play for Chesterfield or Crewe.
    You had your chance with Sven and you blew
    it. The best you can hope for is David Bentley and 12th place.

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  • 339. At 07:32am on 16 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    Time will come Dihno will be looked upon as one of the players who played for milan, rather than a legendray star who put Man City back track to greatness.

    I want to say it is his loss, sadley it is as much our loss as his.

    Awh well, the world cup is only 2 years away, a new star will rise and I have no doubt that Dr Shinawatra will again try to reel him in.

    Great days ahead.

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  • 340. At 08:13am on 16 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    What a surprise...after all the flirting and assurances of his serious interest in signing for Manchester City, Ronaldinho is joining AC Milan.

    As I have said from the start, I actually do not believe this is any great loss for Manchester City.

    Did you City fans out there actually expect him to arrive at Eastlands? And how disappointed are you that he hasn't?

    I think this is a blessing in disguise and boss Mark Hughes can now focus on younger, hungrier players who have a real desire to play for City.

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  • 341. At 08:35am on 16 Jul 2008, RidRed wrote:

    George Best played his last game for Man Utd at 27. Ronaldinho played his last game for Barcelona at 27. I don't think we'll see more than brief flickers of his former self.

    I wonder if Ronaldinho will pass the medical? There were stories in the Spanish press a couple of months ago that his body is showing a lot of signs of wear and tear.

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  • 342. At 08:38am on 16 Jul 2008, Subsea75 wrote:

    Phill, despite all posts above, saturated with argument for his moves, you continue to claim that this is a blessing for Man City.

    I put down as one of the following two, you are either:

    1- An idealist living in coco land with self denial that the olds days of football as a game of passion are well gone with the wind of TV rights, world marketing, sponsorship deals, shirt sales, etc….
    2- A None-City supporter (Liverpool most likely), anxious of City’s ambitions and glad that one huge opportunity has slipped past us. Come out clean and tell us who you support.

    Are we disappointed? No am actually dancing right now. What do you think!

    But I have to agree with last part of your post, we need to focus now on bringing a left back, a right wing and a defensive MF. So we need at least 3 players. If we could get a R.L. attacking midfielder to cover for Elano and Petrov that would be an extra bonus.

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  • 343. At 09:27am on 16 Jul 2008, DPanna wrote:

    Milan or Manchester? Where would you rather live?

    Pretty obvious he would choose Milan, Manchester is a toilet!

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  • 344. At 09:38am on 16 Jul 2008, Bilal wrote:

    U4000762: You clearly havent been to Milan or Manchester then if youre calling Manchester a toilet. Milan is the proverbial hole with only the cathedral (which needs a good clean) and the museums and art galleries. The rest of the city needs serious investment, public transport and roads falling apart, houses needing knocking down and something being done about the smog. Just cos its Milan and has a fashion week doesnt make it special. The shopping there has also gone down hill from when I first went many years ago. Manchester on the otherhand has gone a huge rejuvination and rennovation and its one of THE places to be in the UK. Check it out for yourself, you'll be surprised at how lovely it is now.

    Anyway, back to the subject of Dinho, he snubbed United for Barca and now its City for AC. I think City would have taken a huge gamble on buying a player on reputation rather than current productivity...

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  • 345. At 10:20am on 16 Jul 2008, Brummerdickens wrote:

    I haven't commented on this whole Ronaldhino to Manchester City transfer saga for it's duration, as I have seen it as completely laughable.

    Why on earth would an ex-world player of the year, champions league, world cup, copa del ray and la liga winning world wide footballing sensation even consider heading to a team that scraped into the UEFA cup through fair play rankings and finished 9th in the Premiership?

    I would have loved to have seen the spanish papers coverage of this ludicrous proposal, as I should imagine they would have been laughing as hard as I have been!

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  • 346. At 10:50am on 16 Jul 2008, Big_Phills_Blue_Army wrote:

    Haha who ever said Manchester is a toilet is an idiot. Manchester is the coolest place to be in the UK. Plus we have Oasissssssssssssss

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  • 347. At 10:58am on 16 Jul 2008, steviep1 wrote:

    Like Ronaldinho was ever going to sign for Man City!
    The media hype made out like it was a done deal. In reality; I bet Man City barely made contact with him.

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  • 348. At 11:16am on 16 Jul 2008, Panurge wrote:

    If anyone else on here writes: 'Form is temporary; class is permanent', I'm going to scream. Does nobody read the other posts? Does nobody realize that about 400 other dunderheads have said EXACTLY THE SAME THING?

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  • 349. At 11:57am on 16 Jul 2008, randalthor1812 wrote:

    He's not coming , didn't think he would and agreed with Phil that it wasn't a good move for City .Better to build our club up a bit at a time and not do a Leeds and get big players in and watch the club go down the pan because some are only interested in themselves and the rest jealous ( why should i try soo hard when he doesn't and he is being paid 10 times more than me).
    I realise that we did end up where Leeds are btw but that was down to poor financing (TG for Dickov).

    Anyway now we have raised our profile perhaps we can get players where we need them defenders and a RW be nice , a few Italians/Germans/Spanish/Brazilians might now be more inclined to join us than before or at least their agents will......(didn't mention Britishers as THEY KNOW how good and big our club is/and can be).
    Hmm now wondering whether Petrov has a Right sided twin.

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  • 350. At 12:04pm on 16 Jul 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    Just one more word about the Ronaldinho to Man City move (I'm surprised nobody else has said this) 'Form is temporary; class is permanent'

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  • 351. At 12:10pm on 16 Jul 2008, U7161659 wrote:

    I know he's fat, I know he likes his nightlife, but remember - Form is temporary; class is permanent.

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  • 352. At 12:21pm on 16 Jul 2008, MacauBlue wrote:

    Big_Phills_Blue_Army
    Manchester may well be a cool place to be but Oasis is not a good reason to be proud of our city. Overrated and too cocky by half!

    Now, about the footie, actually relieved Ronnie's not coming. I wanted him to come and do well but had he flopped it would have been yet another case of Man City being a laughing stock, this time a very expensive one!

    Now, hopefully Mark Hughes can get on with the job of buying some cheaper talent with more motivation!

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  • 353. At 12:21pm on 16 Jul 2008, oifa19 wrote:

    From a Barça fan, remains to be seen if Milan can recover him, he has class but so did Rivaldo and Romario and when they left Barcelona nobody heard from them again. Now let's see if he recovers in Milan or will it be its graveyard like Ronaldo's?

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  • 354. At 12:38pm on 16 Jul 2008, MFC_DB8 wrote:

    To be fair though, form is temporary; class is permanent.

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  • 355. At 12:43pm on 16 Jul 2008, Ilicipolero wrote:

    The Spanish press report today Ronaldinho waived 15% of the transfer fee to assist negotiations with AC Milan, who will pay considerably less than Manchester City reportedly offered, excluding performance related payments. Can only surmise the interest was all one way with the player himself never that keen on coming to Manchester. It will be interesting to follow his progress in Italy, only time will tell if City almost bought a lemon. On the upside, Mark Hughes can now focus on his preparations for the 2008/09 Premiership season without distraction and all the attendant media interest/speculation.

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  • 356. At 1:24pm on 16 Jul 2008, Big_Phills_Blue_Army wrote:

    Oasis

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  • 357. At 1:55pm on 16 Jul 2008, aledo1 wrote:

    Now that we have bought Jo, who is not a Mark Hughes signing, and the fact that we have just wasted two months chasing a has been, it's about time that the new manager was given some money to spend on his own choices. If he is to do well at City, and win over the fans who still think of him as an ex red, then he has got to be allowed to choose his own players, and not the sort picked out by a rich ex politician, who is only trying to make his own street cred look good. Mark Hughes can only be judged on his own decisions, and not on those of the advisors who oversee him. Other teams have been busy in the player market while we have been chasing Ronaldinho, talk about all of your eggs in one basket. Hull, Stoke and West Brom have all brought in more players than us, in fact we are operating at a minus, with one player coming in, and about nine leaving. We start our european campaign tomorrow with a lightweight squad, and we have all seen what happens to teams who are lucky to progress in these sort of competitions. If we are lucky enough to have a good run, then can we keep it going without bringing anybody else in. I doubt it very much. Leave Mark Hughes to spend £20 million on somebody else.

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  • 358. At 2:11pm on 16 Jul 2008, theghost2 wrote:

    What a surprise Ronaldinho decided to go to Milan. I think it must have only been City fans who believed that they had a chance of signing a player of this stature, but then again some are even deluded enough to believe that they have a chance of challenging for the league.

    I agree that Oasis aren't a reason to be proud of Manchester, as you seemed to have missed the point that they've lived in London for almost the past 15 years. If Manchester was that good surely they wouldn be living there.

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  • 359. At 2:19pm on 16 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To theghost2...Interesting times ahead for City now after revealing the extent of their ambitions.

    How do they follow up a move for Ronaldinho?

    On the surface it would seem that they have told the world they have at least £25m to spend on one player and also that they are prepared to structure deals that could give a player almost £200,000-a-week.

    Is there a danger every future move will see a premium of a few million added on top simply because it is City involved in the deal?

    Will City's very public display of their reported riches and ambition work against them as they try to do further deals?

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  • 360. At 2:35pm on 16 Jul 2008, theghost2 wrote:

    It's fair enough to have ambition and attempt to buy the bigger players, but any club could realistically 'attempt' to buy a player, it doesn't mean that they'll actually go to the club. It was clear to see from the early stages of this whole transfer bid, through Ronaldinho's lack of commitment that City would only ever be a second choice.

    What i can't understand about this, is why City have apparently bid £25million for a player, when the selling club would settle for almost half of that. I feel that the board/chairman need some lessons in negotiating.

    A more realistic way of making progress would be for the board to allow Hughes to steadily improve the squad in all areas, and after consistantly finishing in the top six or seven for a few years, then push on to challenge for the top four. Success won't come overnight, even if they do manage to sign one or two 'galactico' style players, success in todays game is built on a strong squad, which City do not have

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  • 361. At 2:44pm on 16 Jul 2008, Tre303 wrote:

    Nogonadstice wrote:
    "I think Ronaldinho has proved, ultimately, that he is not a great player. Just like Beckham before him, he's gone for what he perceives is the bigger club."

    The point is, he probably perceived AC Milan to be the bigger team by looking at their trophy case (largest number of international trophies won on planet earth) and the fact that they are THE reigning world club champions until December.

    And then he'll look at City and find a team whose only claim to fame is having beaten Utd twice in the league with a great coach and average footballers, only to sack the coach at the end of the season.

    That's brushing aside the fact that Milan were already wooing him when he was still THE best player in the world three years ago...and what were city up to at the time?

    Hmm, that must have been a tough one.

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  • 362. At 2:48pm on 16 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    At least Mark Hughes can clear his head and start initiating his own incoming transfer policy.

    Jo and Ronaldinho were moves that were set in motion before he arrived at the club, and now he can move on his own targets.

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  • 363. At 4:19pm on 16 Jul 2008, BarsaRed wrote:

    Ronaldinho was an excellent player till 2006. He has money and glory enough, so he is not now interested in football as he was at the beginning. In Barcelona nobody understand how City wanted to pay so much money for him.

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  • 364. At 8:15pm on 16 Jul 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    We'll see next season what Ronaldinho achieves at Milan. It might be like when Becks went to Madrid and only won one trophy because Barca blew it that year. Roy Keane had the right idea when he was trying to sign David Nugent from Preston last season and the latter was delaying his decision claiming he wanted to go on holiday before making a decision. Keano just told Nugent to forget it. Sunderland might not have set the Premier league alight last season but isn't Nugent now surplus to requirements at Pompey. Shinawatra should try to sign somebody like Arshavin.

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  • 365. At 11:42am on 17 Jul 2008, Big_Phills_Blue_Army wrote:

    Oasis.

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  • 366. At 1:30pm on 17 Jul 2008, ianbarcelona wrote:

    It is worth commenting that Ronaldinho spent much of his time clubbing it in Barcelona last season even when he was injured

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  • 367. At 3:17pm on 17 Jul 2008, Nogonadstice wrote:

    Tre303 wrote:

    ' The point is, he probably perceived AC Milan to be the bigger team by looking at their trophy case (largest number of international trophies won on planet earth) and the fact that they are THE reigning world club champions until December.'

    My point was that if Ronaldinho is such a great player he wouldn't be desperate to go to a club where success is guaranteed with or without his contribution. When Cantona joined Man U in 1992 he joined a team that hadn't won the league for a quarter of a century and he had just helped Leeds United to win the title that year. Ronaldinho obviously doesn't believe he has the ability to make a such difference at an under-achieving sleeping giant in the way Cantona did.

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  • 368. At 6:04pm on 19 Jul 2008, maraniano wrote:

    Yeah you're absolutely right I think. Ronaldinho in MC wouldn't benefit any side. He's past his peak and MC can bring better players for this kind of money. Jo seems to be a very good prospect, but I hope City won't rest idle until the end of the transfer window and make up for the unsuccessful bid for Ronaldinho pretty soon.

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  • 369. At 07:08am on 20 Jul 2008, thouston wrote:

    I just want to thank all the Man City supporters for providing the rest of us a right
    good laugh. Hearing lot bang on as if Ronaldihno ever had a decision to make between City and Milan was brilliant.
    Good show.

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  • 370. At 2:24pm on 31 Jul 2008, bravesophia001 wrote:

    I am an open-mineded single girl and I love sports.
    I want to end my single life by meeting a guy who likes sports too. Let's mingle at the club
    (((((==== Mixed mingle.c o m====))))where love is color blind.(sexysophia there)

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