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Hata la vista, Cristiano!

Robbo Robson | 11:46 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009

I suppose you're expecting some pearls of insight about England's win against Andorra. I have one. What a waste of reffing space.

No disrespect but... put Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein and the Footballing Goats of Skiathos in a qualifying group, so we don't have to watch them scratch and stumble through another good pasting. It's just plain silly.

Some fans had to walk to Wembley on Wednesday, which is more or less what the players did throughout the 90 minutes.

The only problem is when England get comfy against opposition as feeble as this, they start trying to play neat one-twos and crafty give-n-gos and suddenly you realise how limited the players are.

Still 6-0, seven wins out of seven, well done Fabio - and well done everyone in the camp for being downright embarrassed to even consider winning the World Cup. The golden generation couldn't do it, so unless this is the platinum variety we're best to keep schtum. (Mind, judging from some of the Saturday night earlobes on display, it could in fact be the diamond generation).
Cristiano Ronaldo
Anyway, the news in Football Land gathers pace and with Real Madrid newly minted from their spectral bank accounts, the day has finally arrived when the Premier League must say goodbye to the finest and most flaming well frustrating player the league has seen.

Ta-ra, Gelled Tumbler! No more shall you perplex Britain's finest physicists with your bamboozling dead-ball efforts. No more will you rise imperious at the back stick in a way that spawning salmon can only dream of in order to power home a header.

No more will you double-shuffle over a ball for no apparent reason except because you can. No more will you race like some chestnut thoroughbred toward the penalty box and then launch effortlessly into the horizontal before gravity finally takes hold and pulls you into a couple of forward rolls and the final writhing racked-with-pain theatricals that always undermine all the other stuff. Of course, he will still be doing all that, but at the Bernabeu.

I'll miss him. To think, three years ago he was just Nani with a step-over. The lad owes a lot to Ferguson. All the fancy-dannery did nowt for the team but clearly Sir Alex got him to knuckle down and the season of the 42 goals will never be surpassed in my lifetime.

And whatever else we feel about the bloke - and there's no doubt that referees will be pleased to see the back of him - he has scored some of the most remarkable goals the Premier League has seen.

I assume United will be in the market for Ribery now - well let's face it with £80m at their disposal they could probably successfully clone Cristiano 11 times and when they inevitably meet Real in the Champs league, Ronaldo would be up against 11 versions of himself. Trouble is he'd like that.

Not sure it would work, actually. It'd be just 11 poseurs railing at each other for 90 minutes - and United would have to hire an artic to truck in the hair product for every game.

It's good business for United. Ferguson knows when to sell the geese that lay the golden eggs. I have a feeling that while SAF could've pretty much laid down the law to even the stroppiest superstar, Pellegrini's going to have a job keeping a lid on the tizzy-fits.

I've said it before, this idea that you can just buy up the best players and they'll automatically fall into something resembling a bunch of world-beaters is hogwash. They'll need a Mourinho in there to lay down some rules too. Plus a Senna or a Mascherano to sit tight and do the dirty work.

No wonder Alex wasn't too bothered by the over-reaction in the Manchester derby towards the end of the season just gone by. He knew the Madeiran Mope was on his bike any road.
Cristiano Ronaldo
I imagine that as well as Ribery, United will be beefing up the midfield that was so easily out-passed in the Champs League final. If they can buy in an Arshavin or two I don't suppose the neutral will be complaining.

Whatever happens it's going to be one almighty bunfight amongst the rich clubs, and with Benitez's hands apparently tied by the ropy finances of Gillett and Hicks, it looks like there's going to be one major loser in the top flight this summer.

It would be nice to think Liverpool could spend very little and win the title but I doubt it somehow.

Meanwhile the cash carousel of Europe's elite carries on while the rest of us fans are just grateful that we've our local boozer's got a satellite subscription (and it's not Setanta).

In the pantheon of Premier League greats, Cristiano is right up there. Right up there with Zola, Bergkamp, Cantona, Shearer, Henry and of course, Emmanuel Pogatetz. In fact, if you can put to one side all the things we won't miss - the pleading, the plummeting, the ham acting - and look at him in terms of pure football, you have to say he's the best player to have graced the EPL.

He's not the nicest - Zola'd win that hands down - nor is he the fairest - and he may well be the one who looks most like a drag-queen with his wig off in between acts - but you'd have to say for the pace, trickery, aerial power and finishing, he is pound-for-pound the best of the lot. Which is not to say I haven't had enough of the lad.

Good luck in Madrid, CR. Your mum'll be chuffed to bits!

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