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Why Ronaldo is leaving Manchester for Madrid

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Mihir Bose | 14:57 UK time, Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Ronaldo deal is a classic case of pragmatism meeting populism.

Pragmatism on the part of Manchester United, and populism on that of Real - though Madrid's plan will also be laced with hard-headed projections of the number of shirts Ronaldo and Kaka will be able to sell for the Spanish club.

Returning president Florentino Perez's search for new Galacticos is clearly driven by the desire to avenge the humiliation inflicted on Real by Barcelona this season, but the merchandising aspect should not be ignored.

Back in 2003, when another United Galactico Beckham went to the Bernabeu, Real earned US$600m in sale of shirts and other merchandising, increasing profits by 137% in the four seasons Beckham was there.

Beckham sold one million shirts in his first six months, at a time when Real was full of Galacticos like Zidane, Raul and the original Ronaldo.

Professor Simon Chadwick, sports business expert at Coventry University, says: "Ronaldo can be viewed in the same bracket at Beckham when it comes to global marketing impact."

"Even if Real sign one or two of the other stars, there would be a real focus on Ronaldo and Kaka's talents on the pitch, and also their brand off it. That will pay for the transfers many times over, even with the bumper salary package."

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United have made it clear that this sale was done on the say-so of Sir Alex Ferguson. One of the remarkable features of the controversial Glazer takeover, one freely admitted by the United managmenet, is how liberated Ferguson now feels with the Americans in control.

Back in the 1980s when he arrived at United, he was surprised to be told by then-chairman Martin Edwards that United didn't have big money to spend on players. Ferguson always pushed against the restraints put on him by Edwards and the plc - he now finds the lines of authority in control exercised by the Americans much easier.

The Americans, having loaded the club with debt to finance their purchase, have run it with a cold, calculating search for increasing revenue that has rarely been seen in the British game.

Contrast the way they have handled this sale with the drama that preceded the sale of Beckham to Real six years ago.

Normally in a transfer, it is the buying club that trumpets it, with the selling club pretending the sale has not yet been done.

But today Madrid had a bank holiday, and have said very little, while United put out the announcement on their website as if they were getting rid of a subsidiary that had outlived its purpose.

It reflects the nature of the Glazer-run club. The Glazers will have driven a hard bargain with Madrid but what will be interesting to know is how the Madrid payment of £80m is structured.

Back in 1999, when Madrid bought Nicolas Anelka from Arsenal for £23m, the payment was staged over several years, and Arsenal had some problems getting all the money.

Cristiano Ronaldo

It is unlikely United will have cut Madrid much slack on this, and while Madrid will not have paid on the nail (only Roman Abramovich did that in his first year of ownership of Chelsea), the payment terms will have been tightly drawn.

Although United insist this was a footballing deal, not a commercial one, despite the heavy borrowing the Glazers have made, the money will surely come in very handy for them.

As for Real, we have been down this road of populism before with Perez. Whether it brings success on the field or not, the deals he is making do again illustrate what a unique club Real are.

They make their own television deals, something United cannot do, and being the club of Castillian Spain, they have the support of institutions, including those of the state, that United cannot call on. It is worth noting that while they also have huge debts, it is mostly from local banks, not international institutions as is the case of United.

There is no denying the huge gamble Perez has taken but that is inevitable in a members' club when a populist president returns and has to fulfil his manifesto commitments. Such a situation is inconceivable in Britain.


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  • 1. At 4:13pm on 11 Jun 2009, Vox Populi wrote:

    That is actually a very perceptive article, Mr Bose. Your observation that effectively Man Utd have announced this, rather than Real Madrid, is pertinent and very interesting bearing in mind the poor relations that the two clubs had prior to this agreement.

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  • 2. At 4:32pm on 11 Jun 2009, saifur65 wrote:


    Can you give us an insight into the potential signings Manchester United have lined up this summer? Pundits are saying how Sir Alex Ferguson always has a back up plan, but I'm pessimistic. Who on earth out there can replace Ronaldo's abilities? The only player I can think of is Lionel Messi who is untransferable and Kaka who is already at Real Madrid.
    Also, what ramifications do you think this has on the EPL? Three of the world's best players now plying their trade in the Primera Division. La Liga's popularity has already gone up a notch as a result of Barca's resounding win over United in the Champions League Final, surely losing arguably the world's finest player won't help the EPL in any way. In my opinion the EPL has just become less marketable.


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  • 3. At 4:35pm on 11 Jun 2009, united4eva109 wrote:

    silly little boy. yet another victim to fall into the black hole of clubs like real madrid with only stars. he will fall into oblivion and not be heard again bar the odd red card or hat trick until he moves again. manchester united are arguably best club in the world with undoubtedly the best manager in the world and if he is too arrogant to realise he isn't manchester united then he's stupid. he will regret leaving man u and we will miss him. he will leave an unfillable gap just when we got a constant team sheet going and a rhythm with good team harmony, he leaves. no trophies next season then.

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  • 4. At 4:41pm on 11 Jun 2009, Nick wrote:

    Good blog Mihir!! Can you now call and ask Blatter and Platini why they aren't moaning at the size of the transfers that Real Madrid have paid and being in debt as well as ruining football. They did this when Man City tried to buy Kaka in January but suddenly it's all gone quiet with UEFA and FIFA now that a Spanish club has paid out with ludicrous amounts in a time of recession.

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  • 5. At 4:45pm on 11 Jun 2009, Rabster wrote:

    Do we really need three different blogs/articles/columns devoted to this one story?

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  • 6. At 4:45pm on 11 Jun 2009, Dave Harris wrote:

    Sir Alex is well known for offloading players who are no longer so keen to play for him (cf Beckham, Keane in recent years). Cristiano wanted out and the manager knows that the team at United is much more important than one individual, so letting him leave (for the right price) is totally within his MO in improving the club.

    For me, it's the right move by United, despite CR's undoubted qualities.

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  • 7. At 4:54pm on 11 Jun 2009, Giggs4more wrote:

    As a comment on what you said about the way the deal for Ronaldo was conducted by United I have to agree wholeheartedly with you there. With the sale of Van Nistelrooy for just 10 million and Beckham it seemed as if United had no say in any of the events that went on. This time however United and Ferguson had full control of the situation. He played on Real's desperation to beat Barca and remake the Galacticos and constructed a fantastic deal. Unlike Kaka's 57million move and his previous proposed move to Manchester City of 100 million, people aren't astounded by the amount Real can pay but by how well amount United have managed to profit and control the sale of a player(all be it the world's best player) who always stated his desire to go to Real evn before he went to United. The plaudits go to the Machester United sale team for making a 20million profit on the expected 60million move of last year and setting up United's transfer kitty for the next season.

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  • 8. At 4:58pm on 11 Jun 2009, lee fett wrote:

    I see your point #2 however I have to disagree that the Premiership has become less marketable. The Premier League is not just one of the biggest leagues because of Ronaldo, its because the games are often exciting and fast-paced affairs. Teams attack at 100 miles per hour at times and its a tough test for defenders. Also going back to the fact that one player doesn't make the league anymore marketable or enticing, look at Serie A and the way that's ben going backwards the last few years even though they've had Kaka there.

    The Premiership survived and in fact grew after Beckham's departure and the same will be true with Ronaldo leaving. Yes Spain can boast arguably the 3 biggest stars in world football today and the European Champions but it takes more than a few players and a couple of teams to make a league, no matter how good they are. The Premier League still boasted 3 of the 4 semi-finalists in last year's champions league and unless Madrid actually splash some cash on a half-decent defence that's going to be difficult to change. Yes they may have the most exciting attacking talent but can they be confident of outscoring every opposition? I doubt it somehow.

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  • 9. At 5:06pm on 11 Jun 2009, ginge wrote:

    Up until Barcelona beat manu in champions league i did not and have not found the la liga of no interest what so ever. Next season this will change the arrival of kaka and ronaldo at real is exciting and one to challenege Barcelona.
    Man U were well beaton by Barcelona and ferguson knew it. By losing the final and ronaldo will give him a challenge again to build anoher winning squad and gives other teams the chane to challenge for honours. I think overall like before with becks van niselroy etc it is a good deal for evryone

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  • 10. At 5:12pm on 11 Jun 2009, Joe G wrote:

    Definate improvement in your blogs recently Mihr! The key focus between Madrid and United is how their income is structured.

    The difference is not shirt sales, United almost certainly sell more.

    It's not gate earnings, Madrid's stadium is larger but United's tickets are more costly and have a better corporate hospitality setup.

    It's not success as United are certainly the stronger team between the two over the past five years.

    It's TV revenue, plain and simple. The fact that Madrid can negotiate their own TV rights is a stupendous amount of autonomy and in the long run it will progressively create a gap between Madrid/Barca and Premier League clubs over the amount they have to spend on a level playing field. The only real defence English clubs have to this earnings gap is the fact that Billionaire owners with spare cash to lavish seem to prefer English clubs to continental.

    Power in England essentially sits with the top four 'big clubs' more than any other single entity, including The FA, if they can speak as a single unit they overpower all. It seems hard to believe that sooner or later they won't demand to be able to negotiate their own broadcasting rights and when that happens the whole concept of national leagues is surely doomed.

    Is the finale to this current financial expansion the inevitable formation of a European 'super league'? Surely it's hard to see this going any other way.

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  • 11. At 5:14pm on 11 Jun 2009, U11947716 wrote:


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  • 12. At 5:17pm on 11 Jun 2009, Ji-Sung Parks cousin - 19 wrote:

    Do the likes of Kaka and Ronaldo really have the global reach of Beckham? I'm not so sure.

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  • 13. At 5:24pm on 11 Jun 2009, rooney_for_pm wrote:

    what i dont quite understand is why ronaldo and kaka both so desperately wanted to go to real madrid. Obviously not the money because man city offer more, and real madrid arent the team they were at the start of the century, and despite the prestige real hold, they look a very weak side when playing bigger teams (as have man united, but we've won three cups, reached the champions league final and the fa cup semi final). Also theres the risk of falling into oblivion as did owen, beckham (sort of), van nistelrooy, overmars etc i think 80 million is a massive gain for united. ronaldo isnt the player hes cracked up to be. As a man united supporter, i hate the fact he just doesnt seem to care, cries when he gets subs and the general lack of commitment. Bring on frank ribery and david villa!

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  • 14. At 5:40pm on 11 Jun 2009, VillaForce wrote:

    The level of denial amongst the English Media and a large number of United fans is astonishing.

    United have just sold the best player on the planet and one of if not the best player to grace Old Trafford (without doubt the best since Best).

    This is incomparable to the sales of Beckham (28 at the time & only ever likened to Ronaldo due to marketing ability) or the inevitbale departures of Keane or Cantona due primarily to their age.

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  • 15. At 5:50pm on 11 Jun 2009, Markchelseanutter wrote:

    I dont understand how english teams are going to be able to compete with madrid when they are spending hundreds of millions on players. People said Chelsea were bad, but this is a whole new level, and if they get Villa as well... theyre going to be close to £200m on 3 players!

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  • 16. At 6:00pm on 11 Jun 2009, Lowwasps wrote:

    I think that this is a footballing decision.
    Ronaldo is, at times, a liability on the pitch, constantly at risk of getting sent off or doing a Cantona on someone.
    Sure he has scored umpteen goals but he has also increasingly become a "prima donna" figure in danger of spoiling United's family spirit. I, for one, am surprised that Fergusson put up with his controversial antics for so long and it comes as no surprise that having apparently got use of his most fruitful years, Sir Alex is now ready to let him go and profit massively at the same time.
    From a footballing point of view, some of United's other stars such as Berbatov and the upcoming Macheda might now have a chance to flourish and come into their own. Goals from the midfield may be great but United seem to have not been getting many from their strikers since Ronaldo's arrival.

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  • 17. At 6:08pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    It seems unlikely, yet true, that Liverpool FC are suddenly catapulted to the top of the English league in terms of major football stars!

    We boast world class talent in the likes of Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano, Reina and Alonso, whilst poor Utd have to flog their golden boy and will crawl on bended knee to Tevez who they've treated like a dog all season knowing full well that he'd be needed once they inevitably sold their golden goose.

    On the presumption that the Glazers will pocket half the fee to service the debt and £25m for Tevez (and that's assuming he'll want to stay there, and who could blame him for moving on given the shabby treatment he's received by Ferguson?) there's £15m to spend on replacing the best player in the world.

    Suddenly, it doesn't look like such a great deal.

    Liverpool fan. Chortling.

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  • 18. At 6:38pm on 11 Jun 2009, Crazy Paving wrote:

    #9 - To say that La Liga is of no interest before Kaka and Ronaldo signed is a bit short sighted. La Liga has been a thriving and exciting league for years. There are clubs with great tradition and some of the world and Europe's top players play there week in week out such as Aguero and Forlan at Atletico Madrid and Villa and Silva at Valencia to name a few out of the usual Barca/Real circle.

    With the likes of Villareal and Sevilla along with the other usual suspects, La Liga is a great competition. Ronaldo and Kaka will entice new viewers to this league, but I still think the Premiership will be the top drawer league in Europe. Ronaldo is one player, there are plenty of world class players in the Premiership.

    #16 I'm not sure I can agree that Ronaldo has been let go as he is a 'liability'. A lot of the top world class players had this 'mad' streak, Best, Maradona, Cantona, but I doubt very much he was let go as he could get sent off. Keane wasn't sold was he? I think Fergie doesn't want a wantaway player and has managed to get a fantastic amount of money for one player. It makes business sense and he will keep harmony in the team, which has always been a large part of Man Utd's success.

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  • 19. At 6:39pm on 11 Jun 2009, Crazy Paving wrote:

    #17 We'll see come May. Just remind me, what did you win this season with all your world class talent?

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  • 20. At 6:40pm on 11 Jun 2009, Vox Populi wrote:

    At 17. Manchester United still have Rooney, Berbatov, Carrick, Vidic, Ferdinand, Van der Sar and Evra who are all world class gifted players and are the equal of, if not greater than, the players which you list (and Tevez who has not joined anyone else yet).

    Man Utd didn't win what they have with Ronaldo and 10 pub team players, despite what some people are suddenly trying to suggest.

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  • 21. At 6:46pm on 11 Jun 2009, Mr. Do!™ wrote:

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

  • 22. At 6:53pm on 11 Jun 2009, Pride Park wrote:

    Does anyone outside of Surrey and Ireland really care?

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  • 23. At 6:54pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    Unless Man Utd have a major, and I mean major, star lined up already this is patently NOT a footballing decision.

    How do you replace a 24 year old World Footballer Of The Year? The man has carried them on his back for three seasons! Giggs and Scholes are gone and their £40m replacements in Nani and Anderson are so far removed from their aged counterparts its unbelievable.

    I don't believe, as it happens, that Tevez will go back, so at least they'll have the full 40 to spend - as everyone now knows, so Wigan will be rubbing their hands with glee.

    This is brilliant, it really is.

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  • 24. At 7:08pm on 11 Jun 2009, spiritbased wrote:

    @Sam_Red_Galactico, If Rafa has to rely on United's squad weakening in order to catch up, the title will hardly be speeding down the A580.

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  • 25. At 7:13pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    "#17 We'll see come May. Just remind me, what did you win this season with all your world class talent?"

    We're building if, were you to know anything at all about football, you would know full well.

    What we aren't doing is selling our best players - in fact, we're tying them down to longer contracts.

    May I suggest it's not the World Footballer Of The Year you should be jettisoning but, as we're desperately trying to do, the owners of your club who've screwed your club as much as ours? Or, indeed, a manager who is way past his sell-by date?

    Does anybody REALLY believe that this has been done with Ferguson's consent, for instance? Given that he patently favoured Ronaldo over Tevez even given the histrionics from the Portuguese?

    Only a modicum of thought blows the perception wide open on this deal.

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  • 26. At 7:35pm on 11 Jun 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    "May I suggest it's not the World Footballer Of The Year you should be jettisoning but, as we're desperately trying to do, the owners of your club who've screwed your club as much as ours? Or, indeed, a manager who is way past his sell-by date?"

    Its only Liverpool who jetison their manager after winning the league. With regards the owners, you have a point. But your income is a lot less than ours and you will need to fork out on a new stadium so I expect Rafa to start matching Arsene's frugality and you can share in the joy we have of paying for overpriced tickets.

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  • 27. At 7:36pm on 11 Jun 2009, scarolinared wrote:

    We are going to miss him greatly. Having watched United since the mid 50s I would have to say that Best is the only player to excite the way Ronaldo does. Sure Cantona, Keane, Beckham, Dennis & Bobby, Giggs etc have all been fantastic players and a huge influence on the club, but Ronaldo, like Best, had something just that little bit extra.

    Mr Bose comments re the funding of Madrid and Barca with their own negotiated TV rights is exactly the reason why the Spanish league is not as strong as the Premier League - if 2 clubs are creaming off most of the available TV money then the rest are going to really struggle.

    Barca probably the best team in Europe, tho Chelsea fans will question this. Madrid certainly will have an attacking line up which should be way too much for the rest of La Ligue, but Champions League is going to be questionable unless they improve their defence.

    I would not bet against at least 2 Premier League teams being in the CL semifinals in 2010, which will still be enough to claim it is the strongest league in the world.

    The biggest concern is that the 2 players brought in by Fergie to replace Giggs & Scholes - Nani & Anderson still have to prove themselves after 2 seasons and this is creating much greater concern over the loss of Ronaldo as it seems that United now have 4 or 5 positions with major question marks over them.

    The sort of challenge that Fergie thrives on!

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  • 28. At 7:37pm on 11 Jun 2009, Crazy Paving wrote:

    #25 I am aware Liverpool are building, my point is United have lost one player, albeit a supremely talented player. But, he did not want to be there any more. £80m for an unhappy player in todays market is an excellent deal. Anyone who knows anything about team sports knows an unhappy player will cause unrest and de-stabalise the group. Even then best player in the world is not bigger than the team and the club.

    United have plenty of other great players and they will buy new ones. So they may pay a little more, what's new, United, Chelsea, Madrid, all have to pay over the odds anyhow.

    To suggest Ferguson is past is is laughable, you accused me of not knowing anything about football, but to jettison a manager who can build world class team after world class team, I'm embarrassed for you even suggesting it.

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  • 29. At 7:38pm on 11 Jun 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    At #23 - I for one wouldn't want Tevez back at 25 million let alone 40 million unless its to sell immediately for a profit. Let Citeh have him. I really don't know how he will be replaced and spending 80 million straight off the bat would not be the best option although I would get Valencia. Maybe Eto'o as we will be missing a pacy finisher with Ronaldo gone.

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  • 30. At 7:41pm on 11 Jun 2009, Crazy Paving wrote:

    "Does anybody REALLY believe that this has been done with Ferguson's consent, for instance? Given that he patently favoured Ronaldo over Tevez even given the histrionics from the Portuguese?"

    Ronaldo was the better player that is why he played. Simple really. Shall we drag up Robbie Keane if we want to talk about who really controls your club?

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  • 31. At 7:46pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    "United have plenty of other great players"

    Name them.

    "and they will buy new ones"

    And there, laydees and gentlemen, is the clarion call of the Man Utd fan.

    Have you noticed, for instance, the beloved hopes that are coming through?

    They've sold them off and bought them in.

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  • 32. At 7:47pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    "To suggest Ferguson is past is is laughable, you accused me of not knowing anything about football, but to jettison a manager who can build world class team after world class team, I'm embarrassed for you even suggesting it."

    The Allardyce incident proved it.

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  • 33. At 7:50pm on 11 Jun 2009, CM81_MUFC wrote:


    Firstly as a United fan I've got to say Ronaldo is irreplaceable there is no one else in the World including Messi who can do what he can. I think the issue most United fans have is that this season we haven't really seen that. Fair enough he still scored 26 goals and some of them were vital (Villa springs to mind) his performance level dropped. He often gave the ball away needlessly, was greedy when a pass was on and just wasn't interested with helping his teammates. This was because he is no longer interested in the United cause.

    £80 million is an awful lot of money and given we get about £25 million a season anyway plus the sale of a few backup players (about £10 mil) I expect we'll be able to spend most of his transfer fee.

    This brings us to the question of who? I think we need a new right and left winger. Strikers aren't a problem (Tevez or not). So for me Ribery or the cheaper Silva for the left and Lennon, Walcott or even Benzema (can play right wing or as a striker) for the right. I think the style of play will be slightly different and we'll see a lot more from Berbatov and Rooney next year.

    As for the ridiculous comment about Ferguson, it's what all Liverpool fans want. It's a mark of respect you're showing him though you may not realise it. The most successful manager in England of all time. 6 trophies in 3 seasons and his ability to build a squad like no other.

    Liverpool are a good team and do have World Class players in Torres and Gerard. But United have quite a few even without Ronaldo. I don't want to get into a "my dads bigger than yours" with you but results and titles are the currency we trade on.

    Do you think Liverpool will have any spending money this year? Will Benitez have to sell any players to service the Americans debt?

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  • 34. At 7:54pm on 11 Jun 2009, Jimi wrote:

    I reckon good move. Sure we have lost a quality player but he doesn't want to be there. He didn't look all there this season and his attitude would only deteriorate. I also think £80 million is far more than most people would have expected him to go for. I see this as more of an inevitability and next time United need to find (and questionably create - would he have turned out so good at any other club?) another 'best player in the world' make it someone who was always a united fan when they were little. The team might see a small blip from this (maybe not have the best season this season - though Berba and him don't play well together so maybe he'll flourish) but SAF will build em back up.

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  • 35. At 8:22pm on 11 Jun 2009, roadrunnertog wrote:

    Lemme put a cat amongst the pigeon by suggesting that what would be regarded as the world's best players never play in the English premiership.The reasons are twofold.First,before football became a global brand,upto the late 70's,most players at a club were from that country.But after English clubs were banned from Europe for the five long years,they missed out on the foreigner invasion of esp Spain and Italy.And English clubs have never really been keen to burst the bank,the English transfer record is still way below the world record.So it must be that the English premiership does not rely on star attractions,it makes players in the premiership stars.You get what I mean?If U were to have a world first eleven,Buffon,Dani Alves,Evra,Terry,Vidic, Gerrard,Iniesta,Messi, Eto'o,Ibrahimovic,and Ronaldo,how many would be from the premiership?At this time when the hegemony of the English league is at its peak,its the passion of the English game that captures the world's imagination.Not big money transfers.

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  • 36. At 8:37pm on 11 Jun 2009, BigOhGee wrote:


    From a fellow liverpool fan, you are talking out your rear end a bit!

    United do have great players in the rest of the team - it's foolish to suggest they will crumble without Ronaldo. He is 'irreplaceable', but do they need to replace him? In my eyes a decent right winger (Valencia) would be enough for them, as there's quality in the rest of the team. Berbatov and Rooney could be a ridiculously good combination if they start up front all the time.

    Now all we need is a reliable right back, a striker and a good midfield all-rounder. Oh, and a new winger :D

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  • 37. At 8:47pm on 11 Jun 2009, Crazy Paving wrote:

    #31 I was trying to have a reasoned debate about Ronaldo leaving but this post just baffles me. Whether you are a Liverpool fan, United fan or any other fan, there is no disputing that United have other great players such as (as you asked me to name them) Rooney, Berbatov, Vidic, Ferdinand, Carrick, Hargreaves etc etc. Of course they are not in Ronaldo's class, but as a team they are very effective. Obvioulsy as a Liverpool fan you will disagree and now spout about why they are all rubbish players, but I wouldn't want Reira or Pennant in my squad so we'll agree to disagree.

    Of course United will buy new players, pretty much like Liverpool have been, with the amount of money available and the gap in the squad they will have to. However, you're clearly enjoying your 5 minutes of United knocking, like I said, come back in May and we'll discuss the merits of this transfer then.

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  • 38. At 9:02pm on 11 Jun 2009, Dave Manchester wrote:

    I'm hoping Fergie takes this and puts in a 40 million bid for Torres.

    Watching Anfield and Benitez go into meltdown will more than make up for the lack of footie action over the summer.

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  • 39. At 9:09pm on 11 Jun 2009, dodiesmith wrote:

    I shall miss Ronaldo ... have already started to do so.
    He brought STAR glamour and brilliance to Man United.....
    dare I say he made the team sexy? We all know that there are good footballers there who are steady and reliable and worthy....but it's that extra something that players like Beckham, Best and Ronaldo brought to the game of football that MADE it beautiful. Sorry, if nobody wants to hear this - but believe me, it sells tickets. The ManU manager praised them but always showed his POWER .... I will NEVER ever forget the hairdryer incident... It was the work of a thug not a professional.
    Sorry, but it is the players who score the goals and win the games, NOT the manager.... if he is a good one (like Mourinho) then he brings his players along and let's them be. Ronaldo crashed his car but walked away.... he was unhappy and now he can go back to playing HIS game...
    and I say God speed, Cristiano. Be happy.

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  • 40. At 9:33pm on 11 Jun 2009, sharvey19 wrote:

    #22 All the Man U fans in Asia will care too

    Ronaldo realised how many goals he scored, and therefore how good he is, and so wanted to play for a perceived 'better' team. A player who doesn't want to be there will never play to their full potential. Letting go was the right thing.

    Problem is, who to replace him?

    Well, Marc Overmars has returned to football with Go Ahead Eagles...

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  • 41. At 9:42pm on 11 Jun 2009, hunterSWestHam wrote:

    Ronaldo. Good riddance. Way over-rated. Give me Messi or Fabregas any day of the week. Not fit to wear the same shirt as George Best.
    A man-child if ever I saw one. Where was he in the last Euro? Out early.
    A diver. A whiner. A cry-baby.
    Man. U. can use this to renew their midfield, where they were played off the park by Barca.

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  • 42. At 9:43pm on 11 Jun 2009, troymclure wrote:

    Firstly, I don't quite understand how van nistelrooy was a failure at Madrid?! His goal to game ratio has been as outstanding there as it was at united! To be honest, van nistelrooy is one of the best finishers that has ever been at united but the lack of years and typical Dutch teddy and pram incident means he'll never be remembered as such.

    Secondly, I can certainly see the attraction of Madrid to players such as Kaka and Ronaldo as the La Liga is typically the league they have been likely to follow since they were kids.

    On the subject of Ronaldo, I think it's a good bit of business. £80M is an astronomical amount of money and coupled with any original transfer kitty earmarked for this close season and the sale of Campbell to Hull would amount to 3x world class players, even in an inflated market.

    To me, I think it was time for CR to go. His general attitude and aura has been one of a spoilt, pouting child surrounded by yes men. I think Fergie has had enough now and to be honest most united fans I've spoken to agree, especially after the debacle that was the man city substitution!

    Add that to the completely non-amusing 'sky sports interviewing' that Keys and co. roll around laughing at every 5 minutes along with cupronal man interviewing himself?!! Well let's just say no wonder his face always looks so greasy when his head has disappeared up his own . . .

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  • 43. At 9:46pm on 11 Jun 2009, eccles45 wrote:

    I am absolutely amazed and very amused by the time and effort Sam_Red_Galactico has put into his many posts here. The phrase "whistling in the dark" comes readily to mind.

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  • 44. At 9:58pm on 11 Jun 2009, john wrote:

    Mihir, interesting blogs and to those replying..

    ..To those who think the EPL is now less marketable, was it less marketable when the EPL lost Henry? Okay, United are a bigger club then Arsenal, but both were/are (IMHO) the best club player in the world at their time of sale/possible sale. The EPL still shines bright as an example of quality football, succesful management on and off the pitch (other leagues copy our TV deals, merchandsing and match day setups consistently) and successful branding. IMHO, no other league matches the EPL on all three points.

    ..As for the rest of the summer, well, lets see what happens when the english clubs start to spend. As yet, United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham have yet to open their purses (with the expception of Barry) . Lets see where the EPL and La Liga stands in two months time at the start of the next season. Because lets face it, in La Liga their are two clubs who can spend like Madrid currently are but in the EPL, there are at least three - and four or five others who will have to spend big.

    ..To those who think La Liga was nowhere without Kaka and Ronaldo, please, heads out of the sand lads!

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  • 45. At 10:04pm on 11 Jun 2009, Enlightened wrote:

    'the original Ronaldo'
    Hahahahhahahahha that is how i always felt.
    Cristiano will never earn the respect that Ronaldo Luis Nazario gained not only at club level but on the world stage for Brazil.

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  • 46. At 10:06pm on 11 Jun 2009, john wrote:

    One can laugh at Sam_Red_Galactico for his comments. I too feel happy that Arsenal have suddenly seen the gap close between them and United - without Arsenal having done anything!

    But to suggest that United will struggle now..I seem to recall United are currently back to back EPL champions and appeared in the last two CL finals - winning one and losing one.

    Tell me, did Ronaldo save the penalties that won the CL final against Chelsea? Did Ronaldo make many off-the-line clearances or last ditch challenges to stop an attack or shot! No.

    With £80 million to spend on replacements, United fans do not need to worry. A manager as astute as SAF can easily bring in three or four top replacements for that money. After all, football is a team game and a team is a sum of all its parts not one individual.

    After all, Madrid still have a shocking defense!

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  • 47. At 10:07pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:


    From a fellow liverpool fan, you are talking out your rear end a bit!

    United do have great players in the rest of the team"

    No problem.


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  • 48. At 10:16pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    "I'm hoping Fergie takes this and puts in a 40 million bid for Torres."

    This is the epitome of the Man Utd fan.

    They just don't know.

    No wonder the BBC massages them.

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  • 49. At 10:17pm on 11 Jun 2009, mufc6832 wrote:

    As a United fan I have to admit it is a huge loss. He is our most exciting and talented player. However, people need to realise he is not the kind of player that fans can genuinely admire. For ever breathtaking goal or outrageous piece of skill there was a petulant act, sulk or a dive. When Ronaldo loses a ball you don't see him turn and chase it down with the same snorting menace as a Rooney or Tevez. He was the best player in the world - but he has no heart, at least not for United anyway.
    He is irreplaceable. No other winger in the world scores 40 goals a season. United will change the way they play and build a new system around the existing talent and those who now come in. The number 7 shirt needs a new legend. Big shoes to fill but it always has been. The King is dead....long live the King - whoever it may be.

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  • 50. At 10:18pm on 11 Jun 2009, sweetsmellofsuccess wrote:

    Oh dear, this is nearly as excruciating as Mihir's broadcast on the news this evening. Phil McNulty has more than adequately covered the football side of this story, and the business editor covered Real's financial power and strategy.

    What, exactly, is Mr Bose saying? That Real expect to sell a lot of Ronaldo shirts? That Utd will use most of the money on new players? That Real negotiate their own TV deals and have sweet deals with Spanish institutions? Well d'uh. Been said, been covered.

    I've noticed Mr Bose's tendency to jump onto a story that is perfectly adequately covered by the correspondent of the sport concerned, and then regurgitate the same details. He has done it again here. Can anyone point out one salient new fact or analysis that is not contained on one of the other BBC blogs on this story?

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  • 51. At 10:19pm on 11 Jun 2009, Roonaldos wrote:

    well, maybe fergie will let rooney play like he does for england now.
    i hope we get ribery and valencia. ronaldo has not been a proper winger for some while and was more a striker, but i think we have enough options. our midfielders are not world class, and we dont really have any wingers so we need 2(park and nani are not up to it). in the centre i dont see us strengthening but it wouldnt be bad if we invested there.

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  • 52. At 10:26pm on 11 Jun 2009, marokrile wrote:

    Six years ago After Beckham left United, a new kid was wearing no 7 shirt. He had funny name "Ronaldo", like a famous Real player. Somehow, he remainded me of Beck, but he was too green, and look what has hapened. I think that SAF doesnt nead a replacement, he will make a new one, just wait a litle, and you will see. Zoran Tosic, next United No7. Maybe in a few years we will sell him agin to Real.

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  • 53. At 10:31pm on 11 Jun 2009, eccles45 wrote:

    re 44@ @GoonerMadrid

    To be honest, I only started watching La Liga when Beckham got transferred to RM. Tried to keep in contact ever since though.

    RM are fine attacking - but defensively ? Perez, during his previous reign, flogged Makele to Chelsea, and never replaced him. Watching RM this season was a tad painful - made me realise why my lot got shot of Heinze.

    How is Robben going to react ? His injury problems appear to be behind him. Sure, he will rival CR for theatrics, but his positional sense and passing have been a joy to watch this season

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  • 54. At 10:38pm on 11 Jun 2009, littlejklc wrote:

    To say the EPL is unhealthy, I found it even worse in the Spanish league. They can have a club to spread huge money on players, probably only 2-3 of them, while all the other clubs are struggling on cash, Valencia as an example, they are one of the CL club.
    BTW, it looks like the Italian league is really dead which is not good either. We need more leagues to complete rather than just two.

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  • 55. At 10:43pm on 11 Jun 2009, darren wrote:

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

  • 56. At 11:43pm on 11 Jun 2009, The kid from Fuenlabrada wrote:

    The difference with this off-loading is that Ronaldo has many more years of prime football. Van Nistelroy, though he has done well in Spain, might have been slowing for the more demanding English game. Same goes for Beckham. Ronaldo, on the other hand, had many years left to contribute 20 odd goals a year. This was clearly driven by Ronaldo's love of warm weather, Spanish women, and the club he supported as a kid (apparently) along with his infinite ego. Good bit of business for United, coming from a Liverpool fan. I'm just glad that Torres is so loyal to Liverpool and came to the club for the right reasons, because he liked the city, the fans, the ethic of the club. Same goes for Benitez.

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  • 57. At 00:45am on 12 Jun 2009, richardwhitester wrote:

    Great business by MUFC and this from an LUFC fan. One player does not make a team in the premiership,MUFC have a few "decent" players ! Mihir - to the point and spot on !

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  • 58. At 01:16am on 12 Jun 2009, Tori_torres8 wrote:

    It was expected and it happened.almost inevitable.but what i'm surprised to see is the reaction of most united fans.they really are they even have a little respect for the messiah who carried them when all likes-of left away?beckham,keane,van-nistelroy. in part the old wheel of giggs,scholes and new tires of rooney,tevez they ran 3successive seasons only on his back,his enthusiasm and his inspiration rather than SAF tactics. What more they ask for?
    Respect his feeling guys.every player born in that time when as a child club football was better known for real madrid than itself,lofts to be lured away by real.if it is his dream,i congratulate him for he is worth be mentioned in the name of dreamers who fought and filled in.a player with magic can produce magic everywhere. i hope he does it well in spain.
    As for the fans,you guys are manU fans but not football fans. When he scored for you,you guys ran after him. Now he wants to fulfill his own pursuit,you're saying hes better a scuba-diver.come on,leave acting like boys,behave like man. Didn't barcelona teach you how to be man?by the way manU that day looked like boyU except for this magician.good luck.

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  • 59. At 01:25am on 12 Jun 2009, dmrichkt wrote:

    United are getting nowhere near 80 million up front. After Lisbon take their cut Utd will end up with 15 million a year spread over 4 years. Wow! Ronaldo probably earned them more than that in marketing!!!Top deal.Now United have to go out and replace the world player of the year. Easily done?Really? Was Ronaldo worth 4pts to united last season? Of course. If Torres had been fit all season would Liverpool have garnered more points? Well, yes. So, United are now playing catch up. By the way, Mihir, your blogs are supercilious and didactic, which is why most people dislike them.

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  • 60. At 01:55am on 12 Jun 2009, kopendshanks wrote:

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

  • 61. At 02:02am on 12 Jun 2009, scarolinared wrote:

    I suppose you have detailed knowledge of the contract terms before it has even been signed!

    A small test for you, please rearrange these words to make a phrase relevant to your last post (59):
    kettle black pot calling

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  • 62. At 05:29am on 12 Jun 2009, sychow wrote:

    Great blog as usual, Mihir.

    Tell much United make on all those CR shirt sales over the years. Also Beckham, Giggs,Cantona etc. Would be interesting to compare with Real.

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  • 63. At 05:42am on 12 Jun 2009, plumpjack wrote:

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

  • 64. At 06:43am on 12 Jun 2009, icekathy wrote:

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

  • 65. At 07:13am on 12 Jun 2009, God-Supports-ManUnited wrote:

    When it comes to player sales, Fergie's decisions are always made in the best interest of the club. United will stutter for 3 to 4 games then all will be well and people will forget about Ron. Did united miss Beckham, Heinze or van Nestroy? Not at all. Stam? Maybe.

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  • 66. At 07:22am on 12 Jun 2009, wongwckz wrote:

    As a Utd supporter, great to cash in and get rid of a winker ! 80 millions can bring talents with team spirit back to Utd and SAF can bring the team to another level.

    Sure will miss his tricks in Premier league but Utd still have fantastic and promising youngsters. Only midfield and defence needs to be strengthened if Utd wants more UEFA trophy - play the Italian way as I hardly remember when Italy lost to Spain on international stage.

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  • 67. At 08:53am on 12 Jun 2009, fearlessmanabouttown wrote:

    I'm a United fan, for 50 years. As great a player as Ronaldo is I'm glad to see the back of him and thus end all the newpaper rumours, promoted by Ronald and his agent, surrounding his transfer to Real Madrid. He has never been a United favourite, and will not be held in the same regard as our true greats. Plus the money paid for him was way, way over the top, so good business.
    Liverpool fans can stop chortling as we all know that their two man team will not win the League in the foreseeable future.
    I fully expect next season's Title chase to be between United and Chelsea, with Arsenal pulling up third. The fourth place will be fought out between an over rated Liverpool, Villa and Spurs.
    Goodbye Ronaldo, good luck in Madrid

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  • 68. At 08:59am on 12 Jun 2009, Gooner Broxi wrote:

    I don't know what I'm more shocked at. The £80m fee or the 2nd good blog in a row from Mr Bose. Keep up the good work!

    As a non Man Utd fan I can only say this is a stonking deal. £80m for a moaning diving egomaniac, and you get to spend the lot on new players - Tevez, Benzema, a decent attacking midfielder? That has to be the biggest no-brainer in football history!

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  • 69. At 09:08am on 12 Jun 2009, richard crisford wrote:

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

  • 70. At 09:28am on 12 Jun 2009, LordThornber wrote:

    OK, I might be living in the past, call it whatver you like, but £80m for one footballer, (or £136m for two), surely is the thickish end of the wedge. None of this money will filter down through the leagues as it did once.

    Yes I appreciate the game has changed but I really believe that in X number of years, football as a whole will be facing the same sort of problems that's affecting us globally.

    Too much borrowing from too little earnings = bad news.

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  • 71. At 09:34am on 12 Jun 2009, Matttt wrote:

    I dunno if all the Man U fans are being sincere when they say they're glad to see the back of him - i'd always wondered how many of you actually liked the guy as a character, not as a player.

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  • 72. At 09:55am on 12 Jun 2009, Matttt wrote:

    Also, all the people who mock Mihir's blogs , fair enough, you probably have some valid points, but why bother? I mean, sure our licence fee is going in his back pocket, but if he wasn't blogging, what else would he be doing?!

    If you don't rate it, don't comment, or, get yourself the job of Sports Editor and have a go at trying to keep a laod of pretentious football know-it-all's happy!

    Some of us are actually grateful for some nice easy reading in the morning while trying to look busy at work.

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  • 73. At 10:18am on 12 Jun 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Nope didn't like his character, didn't like his selfish play either. I thought it spoke volumes when he was holding the premierleague trophy and was left singing on his own with the camera close up on him. At that point I thought, his teams mates don't like him that much.

    As for the transfer, it's scandalous, Madrid are effectively a government owned institution and are hugely in debt. I am not sure shirt sales cover it, if that was the case, United would have cleared their own debt.

    I wonder if the players new at the champions league final Ronaldo was leaving? United were well off colour. I am not making excuses for Brilliant Barca where just that. I think some of the other players in Ronaldos shadow might have space to develop, Berbatov will improve, and I think genuinely without buying anyone, United will be a Better TEAM next season

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  • 74. At 10:21am on 12 Jun 2009, Cheesymunky wrote:

    To be honest it probably isn't a structured process at Madrid at all.

    They are probably just throwing money at players trying to create instant success and won't have much money or patience to invest in later seasons.

    I crazy the amount of money they spending, i would of thought Man City would be the only ones to splash it about like that.

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  • 75. At 10:29am on 12 Jun 2009, messino wrote:

    Do the likes of Kaka and Ronaldo really have the global reach of Beckham? I'm not so sure.
    whilst beckham was the one of the least talented and most overrated footballers in the world - a one man circus - he was the most marketable because of his looks, his marriage to posh spice, the 1998 WC controversy, the greece goal, the penalty against argies, fergies boot, his apparent affair, his move to MLS and huge contract, move to madrid, move to milan, 100+ caps for england. all these things kept him in the news and the media helped with the ridiculous hype that people still beleive today.
    i think ronaldo will make 2/3 of what beckham made for madrid (recession, stronger euro currency, stronger barca team, stronger EPL)

    madrid have spent 56 + 80 = 136 M in 2 weeks. they will make 600M back in 5 years from both and then from ronaldo (kaka will be older) then 200M from ronaldo over 3 years. i hope they sign messi for 120M.

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  • 76. At 10:35am on 12 Jun 2009, Jayrleo wrote:

    Manchester United fans have to content themselves with the fact that selling Ronaldo is a poor footballing decision but an excellent business decision.

    Unfortunately, good football leads to a successful business, not vice-versa. Should Manchester United start to dip in form and achievement post-Ronaldo then all those fickle fans (probably a significant proportion of their base) will move on to Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool/Wherever FC.

    It's too early to call but this has the potential to be disasterous because, ultimately, every true football fan knows that Ronaldo was a fool, but a vastly, supremely talented fool and even £80,000,000.00 cannot replace him. He was unique.

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  • 77. At 10:38am on 12 Jun 2009, Iammoney wrote:

    As a united fan all my life I do not see how we could have turned down that cash for Ronaldo. He has outrageous skill and physically he's the perfect footballer but the way he has carried on is just an affront to the male species. SAF knew he was off, he knew he'd have to replace him (irreplaceable in a sense as he's unique) by buying a couple of players and tweaking the system. Its not all doom and gloom, its like we never won anything without him before. Good luck to him in Real, he gave us 2 fantastic years not to be forgotten. He's joining a sham of a football team though and to be honest its fitting he went to Real where his theatrics and play acting can be applauded.

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  • 78. At 10:39am on 12 Jun 2009, messino wrote:

    even thogu i never rated him as better than messi, kaka or ibra i beleive united fans should respect him. ronaldo, when growing up in (born in 1985) was watching barca and milan until mid 90s dominate. juventus and then madrid after that. remember when united signedd him madrid were the most successful team and galacticos. all that changed though. so to grow up and support them (which he says so himself) and then play for them is not as bad as you think. both clubs would give him upto 200K a week (that is the truth). nowadays players in their mid 20s to 30s like serie a and want to play their (if it had the money) because they beleive juventus and milan are better than united historically because they watched them win as kids. in 15-20 years players will like the big 4 even if they no longer dominate.
    UNITeD FANS ARE SO FICKLE it is no longer funny. all of a sudden they hate ronaldo. loyalty is nice (maldini, scholes, giggs, gerrard, delpiero, totti) but if that was the case then he should have stayed at sporting. i see manunited as finished. hallelujah!

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  • 79. At 10:49am on 12 Jun 2009, Pendle_Witch wrote:

    Mihir Bose talks about Cristiano Ronaldo on the Six O'Clock News before Fergus Walsh gives us the news on the flu pandemic.

    Is C.Ronaldo that important?

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  • 80. At 11:39am on 12 Jun 2009, collie21 wrote:

    No one is saying they hate Ronaldo, not united fans. What they are saying is he is great footballer, but a bit a twerp. Did United get a lot out of him? Only an idiot would say different. Will United be worse off without him? I don't think so and I think United fans realise that this season, brilliant as he has been, he hasn't been playing a team sport. That is what United Fans are saying. We love his football, hate his petulance and don't fear his going.

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  • 81. At 12:11pm on 12 Jun 2009, shahjhussain wrote:

    To replace legendary number 7's like robson, cantona, beckham and still continue to be successful shows that ronaldo can be replaced. A new number 7 will be born and time for ROONEY to step out the shadow! ronaldo leaving does not compare to cantona retiring.

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  • 82. At 12:16pm on 12 Jun 2009, Jacob Rafferty wrote:


    World class talent?! you have two players, torres and gerrard, mascherano is pathetic and his temper has got him into trouble on numerous occasions, whilst reina is at best a shaky goalkeeper.

    man utd do not buy big names, with the exception of berbatov and perhaps tevez, all players improve whilst at utd, ronaldo wasnt the best player in the world when he came to united and, unlike liverpool they can win without him whereas liverpool rely on gerrard and torres for results.

    as for benitez, he has to be the most unpopular, unprofessional manager on the planet, unable to accept defeat, "the best team does not always win the league"-well clearly it does, and secondly he is blissfully unaware of sporting etiquette.

    i hope liverpool go into administration and die a slow death.

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  • 83. At 12:18pm on 12 Jun 2009, joebloggins wrote:

    I Think he will be a sore loss to Man Utd and to the premier league and I ain't no Man U fan either. I Don't think it is such a balmy deal as Real M. will earn a lot from both Kaka and Ronaldo. I Am old enough to remember the fuss made when Spurs paid 99,999 for Greaves and then the incredulity that Tony Hateley was worth £1m. What can Utd replace Ronaldo with ?, Ribery isn't going to be cheap or worth what Bayern
    think he is worth. You have to suspect that Ferguson made an agreement with Ronaldo last season that he could go....if he stayed that extra year.

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  • 84. At 12:23pm on 12 Jun 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    Does anyone know if this deal is 80 million cash on the table now, or is it spread out over many years? Are there any other conditions? Ronaldo has a minor hernia that needs to heal, which might be stumbling block.

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  • 85. At 12:31pm on 12 Jun 2009, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    Nothing about Ronaldo on the official Real Madrid website, only the Kaka signing.

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  • 86. At 12:43pm on 12 Jun 2009, Dave Manchester wrote:


    Nice try, but I'm not a United fan - Bolton actually. I just enjoy tweaking Scousers, it's such easy sport!

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  • 87. At 1:29pm on 12 Jun 2009, yimjim wrote:

    Great analysis of the situation! I, for one, am glad it's over. Goodbye Ronny and thanks for your efforts until you won all those awards; too much too soon! Throughout the whole of last season Ronny's body language said a lot, I thought that he was already playing at RM in his head. It's a pity his body was detached from his brain!
    The botton line is no-one person is mightier than the club. Others have tried but none have succeeded!

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  • 88. At 1:41pm on 12 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    "the best team does not always win the league"-well clearly it does"

    I think you'll find that this very season proves his point perfectly.

    "and secondly he is blissfully unaware of sporting etiquette."

    Such as conspiring with your mate to slander your opponent with lies about making unsporting gestures, for instance?

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  • 89. At 1:55pm on 12 Jun 2009, Jacob Rafferty wrote:

    in what way were liverpool any better than man utd this season: they lost the league, they were knocked out of the carling cup, fa cup and champions league before man united, they dont have the consistency and strength in depth that other teams such as man utd and chelsea have. they wont be a contender next year and can only perform in cups, which they couldnt even do this year.

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  • 90. At 2:23pm on 12 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:

    In every way - better play, more goals, stunning performances, no reliance on £80m showponies or refereeing 'decisions'.

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  • 91. At 2:55pm on 12 Jun 2009, Jacob Rafferty wrote:

    you are a typical liverpool fan, reluctant to be beaten fairly, in no way at all did liverpool play better football than man united, who were not at all reliant on merely ronaldo alone. with him gone rooney will be able to play in a less sacraficial role and he is just as apt as ronaldo at scoring goals.

    what is the only ship never to dock in liverpool?

    the premier-ship.

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  • 92. At 3:21pm on 12 Jun 2009, Professor Techno wrote:

    Mr Bose,

    Why do you NEVER reply to any comments/questions that have been sparked by your BLOG?


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  • 93. At 3:45pm on 12 Jun 2009, bannedgunner wrote:

    Good blog Mihir!! Can you now call and ask Blatter and Platini why they aren't moaning at the size of the transfers that Real Madrid have paid and being in debt as well as ruining football. They did this when Man City tried to buy Kaka in January but suddenly it's all gone quiet with UEFA and FIFA now that a Spanish club has paid out with ludicrous amounts in a time of recession.


    Better still, can you ask yourself and rest of the English media that they never mention anything when Platina and Blatter criticize other teams and people like you love to play victom.

    Learn and read other langauges and see that Platin and Bladder HAVE SPOKEN about it. Just bececase it is not mentioned in your little island, it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Quite franckly English whinning about Paltie and Bladder is is becoming too predictable and boring. Platin lets out some gas from his rear end Englihs Whine, Bladder sneezes English go on hussy trip.
    Go read papers around the world. I used to think us Americans were insulated.

    Enough of whining about Platini etc.
    Platini in fact had shown real concern about debts before it became fashionable in English press.

    Platini didn't like Chelsea's spending habit (Neither did much of the English public), but Chelsea were not a team that he viewed as example of team in trouble due to debts. Nor did he picked on Arsenal. He rightly thought that clubs spending themselves into debt and trouble (Pool Valencia and MAn United) should be checked. He disliked the spending habits of Chelsea and Madrid but he knows their debts are not a danger (not at least in near future) to their well being.

    I know you English love to moan and cry about every thing, but once an while a good slap in the face to to get you out of your one track mind is well called for.

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  • 94. At 3:47pm on 12 Jun 2009, Desiderius Erasmus wrote:

    "We boast world class talent in the likes of Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano, Reina and Alonso, whilst poor Utd have to flog their golden boy and will crawl on bended knee to Tevez who they've treated like a dog all season knowing full well that he'd be needed once they inevitably sold their golden goose.

    Suddenly, it doesn't look like such a great deal.

    Liverpool fan. Chortling."

    Sorry? What did all that "world class talent" win last season? Oh,nothing!

    If Man Utd only had one world class talented player (and he's left), it doesn't say much for all the "world class talent" at Anfield that they ended up with nothing.

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  • 95. At 3:50pm on 12 Jun 2009, bannedgunner wrote:

    How is Robben going to react ? His injury problems appear to be behind him. Sure, he will rival CR for theatrics, but his positional sense and passing have been a joy to watch this season



    In fact his injury problems have devalued his Market value so much so that
    teams Like Spurs (No desrespect to them) are in contention to sign the sick note.

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  • 96. At 3:59pm on 12 Jun 2009, bannedgunner wrote:

    #17 We'll see come May. Just remind me, what did you win this season with all your world class talent?


    They won nothing. Just the Pundit (mostly exp Pool players) told them they had a great finish.
    MAn United were the best. They won the PL reached the finals of CL. If one is to base the best team on how they finish, then Chelsea looked 10 times stronger than Pool.
    If any team beside Man U that can claim (by twisting the meaning of what is best) is Chelsea. They smacked Pool at Anfield, they smacked Arsenal at away from home, they gave Barca a big scare. But then Chelsea fans knows you can't be the best if you don't win.

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  • 97. At 4:29pm on 12 Jun 2009, adampsb wrote:

    He is going because he knows that he is now THE WORLDS MOST EXPENSIVE FOOTBALLER EVER and that suits his ego. While Platini may object to the fee publicly.. in private he will be rubbing his hands in glee.. how dare an English club have the World Player Of The Year. Why doesn't he play in france, italy or spain.

    Wlel, Mr platini now he will be and we will see whether he is up to the task in spain. However if we were to get injured for a long period this could turn out to be the worst bit of business Madrid have ever done

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  • 98. At 4:36pm on 12 Jun 2009, Rita Cocking wrote:

    Am I the only person who thinks that Ronaldo leaving United might actually be a blessing in disguise?Now that he is gone surely it will be easier for Wayne Rooney to play in the tradional centre forward postion where he thrives rather then being stuck out on the left which just does not work for him.What United reaaly need is a plyer who is capable of putting in passes for Rooney to run onto.What about bringing back Beckham?After all ,it seems to work for England.Well Capello seems to think so and that's good enough for me!

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  • 99. At 4:55pm on 12 Jun 2009, coffeeandnan wrote:

    The only reason he is famous is because he hangs around with Paris Hilton.

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  • 100. At 5:16pm on 12 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    I'm a Liverpool Fan and I still believe that Man U will win the title without Ronaldo. Everyone has quite right focussed on the Champions and how they won the title. I'm sure Ferguson has done the deeper analysis. Man U won the title becuse without Ronaldo and Rooney their second and third combination of players won games which Liverpool's could only draw. It was won becuase Berbatov and Tevez where better than Babel and Bederyoun. Ronaldo didn't perform in the Big Games, and that includes the European Cup final.

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  • 101. At 5:28pm on 12 Jun 2009, goodfell4s wrote:

    again people are forgettng one vtal pont....manchester made ronaldo who he s...wthout them he was nothng...he would have carred on playn n that poxy lttle club lsbon...he dd get too bg for hs shoes and am happy he has left the englsh league as a me he wll be forgotten and never talked about agan...the meda can also make a person a star..and wth less englsh meda present n real he wll not be mentoned agan....also he was good but now he wll have to compete wth the lkes of kaka.... hope he can lve wth the fact that he wll be lvng n kakas shadow!

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  • 102. At 5:40pm on 12 Jun 2009, Ironic66 wrote:

    How many new shirts will Manchester United sell on the back of this deal. Kids cant wear their Red Ronaldo shirts now!

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  • 103. At 5:41pm on 12 Jun 2009, Mike Mullen wrote:

    90. At 2:23pm on 12 Jun 2009, Sam_Red_Galactico wrote:
    In every way - better play, more goals, stunning performances, no reliance on 80m showponies or refereeing 'decisions'.


    Yes those two 4-4 draws were 'stunning', and what was the outcome? Knocked out of the CL and two points dropped that .ade Man U's job easier. As to refereeing decisions you do know Liverpool got the most penalties awarded to them and had the most opposition players sent off? But donm't worry I dion't expect mere facts to overcome your delusions.

    As to the actual topic of the blog I wonder just how the Real manager is going to cope with all these egos in his dressing room? Ronaldo has been a prima donna at Man U, how is going to behave now he's the most expensive player in the world, never mind all that other expensive talent?

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  • 104. At 6:10pm on 12 Jun 2009, whittle1 wrote:

    Messi, Kaka and Ronaldo all in La Liga. Obviously the English clubs have some serious competition. A Barcelona - Real Madrid final would not suprise me.

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  • 105. At 6:38pm on 12 Jun 2009, eezy_squeezy wrote:

    Anyone who saw CR's display in the champion's league final against Real's arch rivals Barca (think petulant 13 year old who has just been told he can't have that new I-pod he wanted) can be in little doubt that this was nothing more than him showing off to the fans of his new club. In saying that, his performance on the night was amongst the better ones for United.

    To cut through all the debate on this one though:

    Ronnie, we loved you (on the whole). You were amazing for us and helped us win a lot of trophies. Now you've gone we are sad. However - we got a stack of cash to replace you and the team you've joined is being run by a showbiz man, not a football one. And you represent nothing to him but a shiny and lucrative new toy.

    We'll replace you a lot easier than you'll replace us...

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  • 106. At 8:19pm on 12 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    I'm still not sure this has cost Real Madrid anything. The beauty of the fan onwned club is that some very rich people can also be fans. A typical fan of a big Champions Leugue club might spend 10% of their disposable income on a season ticket and going to away match's in Europe. So why shouldn't a mega rich fan offer 10% of his disposable income to be elected Club President?

    Only Real Madrid can do this. Football crosses all social and economic barriers in Spain. How many millionares would be queing up to be President of Liverpool, or even Man U, in the UK? Not enough to cough up 150 million every two years!

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  • 107. At 9:22pm on 12 Jun 2009, okanaganred wrote:

    Hasta la vista Ronaldo.... it's not like he has given years of service to the club like Scholes and Giggs, they are going to be harder to replace when the time comes.
    Over priced and over there GOOD RIDDANCE.We got the better of the deal.

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  • 108. At 11:39pm on 12 Jun 2009, Leye wrote:

    CM81_MUFC: why do you think theo would leave arsenal for united? except of course united are willing to part with 50million of that 80million you potentially have from that as yet unfinished ronaldo transfer then you're dreaming :D

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  • 109. At 11:40pm on 12 Jun 2009, RushFowlerTorres wrote:

    Does having Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles, Beckham, and Butt laid at his disposal for years really make SAF such a great manager? Very fortunate but I don't think so really.

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  • 110. At 01:11am on 13 Jun 2009, Kennys_Heroes wrote:


    No-one, but NO-one, not a single individual, should have any right to splash the kind of money that Perez is exkreting while there is a single hungry soul left in Africa or anywhere else.

    This has been creeping up on us & as we get used to it the general attitude is continually "that's just the way it is"...

    It is. But it shouldn't be.

    I will not be paying a PENNY on football this coming season. Last season's budget is now earmarked for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).


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  • 111. At 09:32am on 13 Jun 2009, whackercarthy wrote:

    Real may be in the enviable position at the moment in that they control their own TV contracts.
    However, as broadcast TV is now obsolescent (e.g. cuts in salaries to the "stars" Wogan and Clarkson etc., at the Beeb and fall-off in ad revenues in the commercial TV)all clubs will soon have their own Internet/TV channels selling their product direct to the consumer WORLDWIDE and bi-passing BSKYB, etc.
    Therefore, clubs are about to increase their off stadium revenues many times over and clear current debts with this new increased revenue stream.
    The Glaziers, the Arabs and other foreign purchasers of EPL clubs know this and are queueing up to get in on the new opportunity.

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  • 112. At 09:56am on 13 Jun 2009, jhfgdsaw wrote:

    #110 Kevin_on_Earth

    You're not the Messiah, you're a very naughty boy

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  • 113. At 10:34am on 13 Jun 2009, Red Yuli wrote:

    Cristiano Who?
    Ruud who?
    Gabrielle who?
    And some Bloke called Beckham.
    I do know though who are EPL Champions, none them are bigger than the Club.

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  • 114. At 10:58am on 13 Jun 2009, internetpioneerscouk wrote:

    Not a United fan, but I'd hate to see that man's ego being fed if Chelsea or Liverpool beat them to the title.

    of course Real falling on their face in Spain and Europe would make it ok.

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  • 115. At 11:28am on 13 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    One should never judge greatness by success alone. Everyone in sport is of "their time". Was Shumacker the Greatest Driver? How would he have faired driving cars which broke down regulalry and might kill you if you had an accident? Ferguson himself has Jock Stein as his idol. Many Man U fans would still put Sir Busby as theirs.

    Records are statistics and should be judge in that light.

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  • 116. At 11:32am on 13 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    And how many games would we see? Once a joint TV deal dissappers then so will many of the minor clubs which make up the bulk of the match's the big clubs play. It could end up like a Harlem Globe Trotters tour with each big club having to pay to have a "pet" team of professionals to play against!

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  • 117. At 12:16pm on 13 Jun 2009, goonergetit wrote:

    It's the easy option for the stars, 50% chance of success, Rangers, Celtic, Barca, Real, nice weather, the Premiership is where it's at, is where the best test is, undoubtedly. The money has dried up at Old Trafford but now Fergie has 40 big one's to spend, next year he could sell Rooney for 120, the Glazers have been lucky, if Fergie goes and Man Utd finish 5th that £750 million debt may force them into administration, the "Championship beckons" It's the same at Anfield.
    It's only Lady Luck that makes the difference.

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  • 118. At 12:34pm on 13 Jun 2009, Edinburgher wrote:

    However Mr Bose looks at the cold accountancy of this deal. Its a disaster for man utd.

    Their number one player, most shirts sold, top scorer and statistically most successful/important player for them in last two years has left.

    80mill is a substantial amount of money for sure but even if the Glazers allow Mr Ferguson to spend it all he cant buy Messi or Torres.

    So he can improve the best squad in the premiership for sure...but he has a weakened first eleven.

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  • 119. At 12:38pm on 13 Jun 2009, twotonegrey wrote:

    BBC - Please moderate your bloggers. THREE blogs on one topic.

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  • 120. At 1:22pm on 13 Jun 2009, smokeAndLasers wrote:

    I am very sorry to see Ronaldo go. It's not (just) about the man - he has pretty Euro looks and a fine physique, for sure. It's not (just) about the club - I'd be disappointed if Torres left for Real, and Man U have won stuff without Cristiano. It's (also) about the national game as a whole. Football is a form of entertainment, not a religion. The English Premier League is fortunate to have the likes of Torres, Ronaldo and Drogba playing here. Even when they're bad (petulance, diving, abusing refs etc) they are the pantomime baddies we love to boo at. They're the reason people cough of thousands of pounds for season tickets each year. Our game will be less without Ronaldo, his antics, his outrageous free kicks, his lightning speed, his step-overs (we call him "Riverdance" in our house) etc. Plus he was inspirational at times - he took his abuse after the Euro championships where he got Rooney sent off on the chin, and became a better player for it. I don't buy the "not a team player" accusation. When he's played in a 5-4-1, what else is he meant to do? Nope, sorry to see him go, and I wish him well.

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  • 121. At 2:23pm on 13 Jun 2009, Hatfield_Rover wrote:


    Platini has already criticised the amount of money Real are spending (on both Kaka and Ronaldo). See below for an extract;

    How Real can afford Kaka, Ronaldo, Villa (talks reportedly in an advanced stage) and god knows who else to come later I don't know. No other team without an owner bankrolling them can come anywhere close. Utd might spend around £50m in one season but Real must be spending at least three times that if they get Villa.

    Has to be a huge boost to the Spanish league though - unarguably the three best player in the world playing there now in Messi, Kaka, and Ronaldo, plus Xavi and Iniesta who I would say makes it the best five players.

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  • 122. At 3:29pm on 13 Jun 2009, Colm Shanahan wrote:

    I wonder how many goals Ronaldo will score this season?
    It is a lot easier to score in Spain than England, and if you want proof, ask Diego Forlan, two times Pichichi in the four years after leaving United.

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  • 123. At 4:55pm on 13 Jun 2009, TENNEWUNSANDAFRESHUN wrote:

    I have just read that the 80m for the boy wonder will be paid in 20m instalements.I am neither a UTD nor any of the clubs mentioned supporter,but this transfer madness must be worrying a lot more people than me.
    So unless I dont get this, does that means if United replace him with say the 2 touted players-Etoo and Valencia they are actually further in debt not profit!
    No wonder Newcastle United and Leeds ended up in the mess they are.
    Despite how they try to convince us, it seems clear that rational and logical business people become blithering idiots losing all logic and reason simply to say mines bigger than yours when they get involved with football clubs.
    I am convinced that Utd could not have stopped the lure of the latin lifestyle again for Ronaldo and 80m is a great deal if you get it now.Today.Without further ado and no messing.
    But this looks pathetic and obviously the purchasing club cant actually afford it so why would the policing of these transfers allow it to happen?
    I suppose United could say that Madrid are good for it!
    Perhaps its insured?
    Wonder who they bank with?
    Perhaps its a bank not in any current trouble at all - a Swiss institution perhaps with a AAA rating-are there any left?
    Somehow I doubt it and this whole nonesense should be looked at by the governements of the countries involved.
    Its simply ridiculous that the economies of Europe are in the state they are and Football continues to be allowed to work this way with these type of amounts.
    I know its been quite a common practise over the last 5 even 10 years but the numbers now are more than some major company profits in 2008-9
    I love our game dearly but this will end in tears and it will not be long before even the big boys are going to the administrators.
    Liverpool beware!

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  • 124. At 5:37pm on 13 Jun 2009, kingstonmike wrote:

    First of all, Ronaldo will not have the same overall commercial appeal as Beckham had. Beckham has always comported himself in a professional manner while Ronaldo carries on with his petulant childish behaviour. It has become a very tired act. While his talent is undeniable, his selfishness detracts from his overall worth to his team. Take note of his tremendous impact on his national team's performances. They are a talented team as well but he is as invisible there as he will be with Real. They will miss the World Cup just as Real will continue be a notch below the top clubs in Europe. He will find that SAF had made his career with shrewd management and had put him in the position to be successful. With the many egos being bought by Real, they will need more than one ball on the pitch to satisfy them all. Good riddance and thanks for the economic booster package.

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  • 125. At 11:07pm on 13 Jun 2009, Virtuet wrote:

    Mihir how can Raul be described as a Galatico. He comes from Madrid he joined Real Madrid after Athletico said he was too small. I thought a Galatico was someone like Ronaldo who they had to pay a lot of money for.

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  • 126. At 06:14am on 14 Jun 2009, bigbadbobbolton wrote:

    Here we have Cristiano Ronaldo, a very talented player but without the work ethic of say a young David Beckham or Ryan Giggs. Ronaldo's ego boosted by being rightly voted the best player in the world now rides the crest of the wave; held aloft by the adulation of millions. But adulation only lasts as long as the talent remains or more correctly the availability of the stage to display that talent. Ronaldo will now move into a team where his talents are not as unique, in a league that is not yet dominated by the club that he now plays for. I doubt whether defenders in La Liga will allow him to play with the freedom he was afforded in the English game, because let's be honest English referees do afford talented players a degree of protection, maybe not as much as they should be allowed granted but some protection nevertheless.

    When the frustrations begin and the performances suffer, when the adulation wanes and worship becomes scorn I think Cristiano Ronaldo will long for the days spent in the Premier League?

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  • 127. At 7:10pm on 14 Jun 2009, MMZ-PPZ wrote:

    CR7 did not realize he's in a best club in the world - MU.
    Well - if this move was his childhood dream - then good luck.
    Obviously MU will miss CR7 but never underestimate sir Alex. I am sure he'll use $130 mills wisely and MU will be even better coming year.
    I hope Ronaldo will sell enough jersey's at Real to justify this astronomical fee.

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  • 128. At 7:37pm on 14 Jun 2009, ravitanand wrote:

    Dear Mr Bose, I have applied to study Sports Journalism at University this September and having viewed your article on the transfer saga of Ronaldo along with other articles of the same topic, i have produced my own analysis that i hope you have the time to look at and consider. If you agree or disagree with my thoughts than please provide me with feedback at [Personal details removed by Moderator], many thanks, ravit anand

    Transfer Fee Mathematics

    Football has and always will be simple mathematics. The team who wins the league will have the most points on the board or will have a superior goal difference, or in the case with the Spanish La Liga; a superior head to head. Regardless of the scenario it will be simple mathematics that there are 11 players on a pitch and those eleven players will aim to win for three points or salvage a draw for a single. Mathematically a single player cannot beat an eleven man team on his own, it is virtually impossible, however great a player may be, he still requires the support of his team mates. But what happens to the team when the star player leaves, is the team no longer a team? It is simple mathematics that team minus star player equals no team?

    Ask Manchester United fans and AC Milan fans and they will protest that despite losing their pivotal and influential player, life does go on. Much has been said how transfer fee records have been broken first by Kaka and then by Ronaldo, the culprit in question is of course Real Madrid and how it has erupted the notion of transfer caps for star players during what we thought was a global recession; apparently not according to Florentino Perez. Much has also been said also how the Premier League has lost one of its key and commercial players, and the same can be said for Italys Serie A with both counterparts losing out to the capital of the reigning European Champions. £60 + for Kaka and £80 + for Ronaldo seems like very good business for the English and Italian clubs. But who are the real winners in this epic financial transfer saga. Madrid have of course spent over £140 million on two of the worlds best players and this money will, there is no doubt about this, be recouped in shirt sales. David Beckhams £25 million transfer fee was apparently recouped within a week through sponsorship sales. Dare I say Ronaldo and Kaka have more about them to suggest they could go one better and recoup shirt sales within a single day? Whilst Real Madrid have taken on two new recruits which will surely revolutionise the Galatico era, there are still many forms of protests ongoing. Manchester United and AC Milan fans will feel aggrieved how their star players have been snatched away for prices that, Michael Platini protests, are excessive. Now pundits are protesting how the Premier League, having lost a key attraction such as Ronaldo, are losing their financial muscle and global reputation over their Spanish counterparts.

    Although an avid Liverpool fan, the transfer of Ronaldo does not affect Liverpool as I am viewing this transfer fest as a neutral and this is the view everyone should attempt to take. Look at the bigger picture here; the global football picture. Apart from fans protests, pundit suggestions and a claim from FIFA, what has really occurred. Ronaldo and Kaka have moved to Real Madrid and will be joining who? Former United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Madrid legend Raul, last seasons best player for Madrid Robben, up and coming Higuain, Dutch play makers Schneider and Van der Vaart, former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Diarra. I say this for one reason in particular, next season could be two of the greatest matches at the greatest sporting arenas, the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou. El Classico could take itself onto a whole new level from one that has possibly taken a back seat due to the evolving and domination of Barcelona in recent years. For one second think as a neutral. Do not consider Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, consider the individual talent that will be on show. Imagine Christiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Van Nistelrooy, Gonzeles Raul, Arjen Robben, Lassana Diarra, Wesley Schneider and Rafael Van der Vaart vs. Thierry Henry, Samuel Etoo, Lionel Messi, Xavi Fernandez, Iniesta, Yaya Toure, Eric Abidal and Daniel Alves. Granted not all could play at the same time, regardless this could yet be the most explosive El Classico one will witness in recent history.

    This match alone will bring together THE best players in the world on one grand stage. Arguably, and mathematically, La Liga win. Kaka + Ronaldo = best players in the world in one league.
    Manchester United - Ronaldo = £80 million transfer funds.
    AC Milan - Kaka = £60 million transfer funds.
    (English Premier League - Ronaldo) + (Italy Serie A - Kaka) = Spanish La Ligas gain.
    From a neutrals point of view La Liga are the true winners of this transfer saga. Not Real Madrid acquiring two of the best players in the world, not Manchester United for cashing in at £80 million and nor Milan cashing in at £60 million. The real winners are La Liga who will have the honour and privilege to have such players playing in their division and enabling two matches that will showcase football talent at its very best.

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  • 129. At 9:31pm on 14 Jun 2009, McMahonIsGod wrote:

    I personally find this situation a little baffling. Stepping out of my support position, I think on a personal gain level (for Ronaldo) this is a very risky move, as his main problem's preventing him from reaching the heights he should is his professional attitude, a situation which would have continued to improve at Utd, but at Madrid runs the risk of holding him back.

    Then there is the intriguing structure of the deal, I guess only time will tell on that one, Man Utd aren't stupid so i'm sure they have held tight on that one for their benefit, although I am personally unsure who they will find as a suitable replacement, although some of the names floating around in the rumours are potentially suitable.

    I think that the situation for Real is a little unbalanced, as it's all very well buying all the greatest players, but have proved before it doesn't guarantee a thing, but again time will tell.

    One thing is for sure though, Ronaldo got what he wanted, I feel it's beneficial to Utd as he's shown exactly where his heart lays, so is better off out, they have a nice sum with which to strengthen themselves, and Madrid? Well, I still feel they'll be hard pushed to displace Barcelona in La Liga!

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  • 130. At 9:58pm on 14 Jun 2009, Gods_an_Owl wrote:

    Real Madrid can spend all the money thet like attracting all the best players in the world and yet La Liga will still not be anywhere near as popular as the Premier League.....why?

    1. It's just the warm weather version of the Scottish Premier, a 2 horse race and a bunch of also rans a LONG way behind!

    2. Premiership football is faster, more attack orientated (outside of the top 2) and is marketed by the biggest TV corporation in Europe if not the world (Sky).

    3. The average foreign armchair fan outside of Europe is attracted by the fact that they are watching footbal being played in the country that INVENTED THE GAME!

    As for 'No-one, but NO-one, not a single individual, should have any right to splash the kind of money that Perez is exkreting while there is a single hungry soul left in Africa or anywhere else', as far as I know, these countries have thier own governments, who, like ours, are charged with looking after it's population. Why should we be constantly reminded that basically an entire continent is full of countries whose people expect to live on handouts from us? I'm sick of listening to bleeding heart liberals telling us how we should pay to feed people on another continent!

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  • 131. At 09:09am on 15 Jun 2009, Mutt wrote:

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

  • 132. At 1:13pm on 15 Jun 2009, signori wrote:

    Hmmmm shortsighted people indeed.

    1. La Liga boasts a large group of teams able to challenge and beat many of the EPL teams

    2. Ronaldo's sale was going to happen no matter what, its all about the glamour of real madrid and yes they are a great club they fall short in europe time after time. Buying Kaka and ronaldo buys no one success. It certainly helps but that defence in europe isnt good enough, they managed 10 clean sheets in a row in La Liga but couldnt handle liverpool away from home.

    3. Shirt sales as mentioned before will cover the transfer fees for both players madrid have signed and more. This isnt just a football deal here at all.

    4.Messi has all the attributes to be as good as Ronaldo in my opinion he is already.

    5.Replacing Ronaldo is impossible the 2 players Kaka and Messi are not going to Man u for obsvious reasons and in my opinion the only players that can replace him.

    6. 1st or 2nd is guaranteed for Real next season however the proof of these buys will be in the champions league if they can get to a final or win it then they will hage proved a point until they do that nothing is proven,

    7.Scoring in spain is not easier and whoever said that is deluded its how a player adapts to a league and how the team play.

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  • 133. At 2:06pm on 15 Jun 2009, Ozman wrote:

    Signori, learn to speak English before posting. Ronaldo will disappear into the black hole of his own ego(quite possibly Paris Hilton?) whilst Sir Alex quietly counts the 80 million....

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  • 134. At 2:13pm on 15 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    "The real winners are La Liga who will have the honour and privilege to have such players playing in their division and enabling two matches that will showcase football talent at its very best."

    It's the last two years which have been the anolomy. When has the Premier League ever had two of the best players in the World as defined by FIFA's World Player of the Year? Yet the Premier League has been the most profitable in terms of world sales for years. Those buying it wern't doing do so watch Galitico's. You could say it is the success of the Premier League which brought Ronaldo and Torres to it, not that the other way around.

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  • 135. At 2:16pm on 15 Jun 2009, socceroo wrote:

    Wall St can burst its bubble and send us broke but it seems there is no end to the Real bubble. Is there an endless supply of money Real has tapped into? Are they and other megaspending clubs and their supporters living in a fools paradise?

    FIFA and Blatter aren't unhappy about the mega spending. Real, MU, Chelsea will pursue new markets in India and Asia and it will be a way for football to spread into these areas and FIFA and its exceutives can ride on the back of the spending and feel the glory and power.

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  • 136. At 2:42pm on 15 Jun 2009, signori wrote:


    You're quite the english teacher!

    posting about Paris Hilton and people counting money!

    absolute brilliant input!?

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  • 137. At 3:34pm on 15 Jun 2009, Joker1980 wrote:

    I've read a lot about this transfer, but one of the most important things isn't mentioned. IMO, the main reason why players like Ronaldo end up in Southern Europe is because the life outside of football is a lot better there. Sure Madrid are a special club and for young boys, especially from that region of the world, it's a dream to play for them. However it's about more than football that makes players go there. Let's be honest, even though the most beautiful football club in the world is from Manchester, the city itself and England as a whole can't compare to Southern Europe unfortunately.
    Let's all thank Ronaldo for his achievements at Man. United and move on. I feel that if we can bring in Ribery, he'll be soon regarded as a new legend at OT.

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  • 138. At 7:58pm on 15 Jun 2009, Itsallaboutwinning wrote:

    Pragmatic? I think that will only be judged when (and if) United buy quality playersto replace Ronaldo and now it seems Tevez. Tell me what other club sell their best players before their sell by date - I know Ronaldo wanted to go but he was locked into a contract wasn't he? Next March, when United are fifth in the League and looking at missing out on Champions League football maybe we will look back and think that they were not so pragmatic.

    I agree entirely with the comments about Platini - he should be asked to resign for showing obvious bias against English clubs - a person in his position should stop making comments about clubs from any country - he is there to support football NOT make snide remarks.

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  • 139. At 8:29pm on 15 Jun 2009, Sweet_Silver_Song wrote:

    Brilliant. United supporters, the same United whose manager said the better team lost after getting battered at home, are calling Liverpool supporters poor losers. Whatever next?

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  • 140. At 10:13am on 16 Jun 2009, jer1956 wrote:

    "FIFA and Blatter aren't unhappy about the mega spending. Real, MU, Chelsea will pursue new markets in India and Asia and it will be a way for football to spread into these areas and FIFA and its exceutives can ride on the back of the spending and feel the glory and power."

    It would be a great pity though if the Game of the People endied up like F1. Fans should support their own clubs and their own country. In F1 fans in poorer countries support teams based in more affluent ones. Even worse, they support individual drivers whichever team they drive for. The Cult which is Beckham is already a fore taste of this. My sister buys her kids Beckham shirts and they no longer have any loyalty to a Club.

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  • 141. At 12:42pm on 16 Jun 2009, poshPompeyblue wrote:


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  • 142. At 6:27pm on 16 Jun 2009, pmjf1977 wrote:

    As a Man Utd (note use of caps to denote importance) fan I wish ronaldo (no caps here) good luck in madrid (or here) he has brought his footballing gift to the epl and shared it with the world on the greatest stage available. As with all things in life once you have done it all at the highest level you earn the right to do things as you see fit. Take a business man who has enjoyed years of wealth, retires early or takes a step back in order to enjoy his family time more as a comparitor.
    To those who cast a view back at the loss of Beckham, RvN, or Cantona we had little to fear from the return of these players at Old Trafford. Beckham and RvN had reached full potential whilst at OT and in terms of producing week in week out SAF rightly felt others were available to fill these boots at OT In Cantona we lost something special but knew he would not come back in years to come and torment us with in the wrong colours.
    ronaldo has yet to reach his footballing peak, the question is will he develop any further at madrid. I think so. It is where his heart has been for at least 2 seasons, and, as is likely since a child. How many of you would over achieve at your chosen club if the chance were given?
    I agree with other posters who think we will now see more from Rooney, this is good for england as well as Man Utd. In terms of replacements, or alternatives then much depends on the strategy that SAF has in mind for the next few years and how much of the £80m is available. Through rose tinted specs it would be ideal to not only have the full transfer made available but to have it as an addition to any existing fund the glazers may have ear marked. With this kind of finacial muscle I think Man Utd could test the resolve of two of our domestic rivals and try to prize two start assets away in the shape of torres and fabregas.
    I hope for nani's OT future he feels a new sense of freedom to play now he is no longer in the shadow of ronaldo. He has the same potential ronaldo had when he arrived but has not developed at the same rate.

    Again good luck to ronaldo enjoy the football in spain. Reach your full potential and learn to enjoy football for the beautiful game it is. Play with pride, passion and commitment to your team, your team mates and your fans and for generations to come you will be mentioned in such exhaulted company as Maradona, Pele, Best, Giggs and Maldini.

    viva Ronaldo viva Ronaldo (ok the caps may be warrented afterall)

    As a personal plee, when you come back to play against us at OT have an "off day" and we will sing your name from the stands. Play well and it will be abuse all the way.
    Fickle? me? never!

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  • 143. At 04:12am on 17 Jun 2009, PostmodernPippo wrote:

    A team is always more than one individual player, Barcelona went two seasons without winning anything despite having Messi, and Milan couldn't even quality for Europe for last season even with Kaká. Ronaldo's a great player but I hope he shows better appreciation for the fans at Real Madrid than he ever seems to have felt necessary for those at United.

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  • 144. At 04:35am on 17 Jun 2009, david_binola wrote:

    i think the real quality in this blog is where you end up once you click on the 'original ronaldo' link above. now there's a player, and WHAT english. maybe this could inspire red galactico whatshisface to direct xenophobic comments at someone other than signori.

    ronaldo will be sorely missed yaddayaddayadda. i do however agree that beckham had more global profit potential than kaka and ronaldo put together. madrid has a habit of homogenising world class footballers, although fortunately its exactly the egotistical moneyswimmin' shin-clutchin' dummyspittin-though-im-really-an-alpha-male-just-look-at-my-car' types like ronaldo who waste themselves there anyway.


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