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Ronaldo answers the doubters

European Football Manchester United
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Cristiano Ronaldo had only one question left to answer in his flawless season - the whispered accusation that he had not delivered when it mattered in Europe.

It was a doubt that had the whiff of desperation from critics, and opposition fans, who were at pains to find a fault in the man who is currently the world's best footballer.

So it was almost inevitable that Ronaldo would be the catalyst for a United performance that underlined their credentials as Champions League favourites.

The facts back up the argument that Ronaldo is a key figure both at home and abroad - his goal against Roma was his 36th of a prolific season.

It was also his seventh in Europe this term to make him the Champions League's top scorer in the current campaign.

Ronaldo's heading ability is occasionally overshadowed by his dribbling skills and a happy knack of scoring goals of every type.

But his physique and spring make him a formidable force in the air, and it was a prodigious leap and header that set United on the path to victory against AS Roma in the Champions League last eight clash.

He also struck a post and volleyed just over in a performance that gave the lie to those desperate to pick holes in his extravagant gifts.

And Ronaldo's performance was symbolic of a United display that suggested the old uncertainties in Europe might finally be a thing of the past.

Given United's domestic successes in the last 15 years, one Champions League trophy is actually a meagre return for Sir Alex Ferguson considering the talent at his disposal and the opposition his team has faced in Europe.

Too many late stumbles. Too many defensive fragilities when placed under the unique pressures of Europe's elite competition. Too many missed opportunities.

There is no doubt this is something he is on a mission to put right in this year of all years - the 50th anniversary of the Munich air crash.

Those inside Old Trafford may feel the fates are on their side, but more importantly they have a team that is growing into the competition.

The attacking triumvirate of Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez will always provide a threat, but a major development has been Rio Ferdinand's new-found maturity.

He was imperious in Rome, marshalling United's defence when the home side threatened a goal, especially once Nemanja Vidic was carried off after half an hour.

But it is Ronaldo, with the shadow of 1968's European Cup talisman George Best accompanying him, who represents United's greatest hope of winning the famous trophy for the third time.

And for those who had doubts about his European pedigree when they entered the Stadio Olimpico, they could banish them when it was time to leave.

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comment by U10891264

posted Apr 3, 2008


And as for Bristish Sporting values Gerrard, Ashley/Joe Cole, Owen etc. Not a dive between them, ey? (And how did 'so honest never got booked' Lineker win that penalty in the dying minutes against Cameroon when we were on the verge of losing?) Not to mention the always sporting behaviour of the likes of Rooney, Terry, Lampard and many other English players who never cheat, act petulantly or violently, get involved in sleaze, miss drug tests etc.

Maybe if some of the English players showed some of the guts and determination that Ronaldo does we wouldn't be so consistently poor at international level and our players might not be so willing to wimpily limp out of every major tournament knowing that a)they are already rich, and b) they can blame a scapegoat for THEIR failure!!


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The differance is Ronaldo is still young, yet has dived more times than them put together that you list.


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posted Apr 3, 2008

The differance is Ronaldo is still young, yet has dived more times than them put together that you list.

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dont know why owen is in that list.

I think the author was trying to show that ENglish players are not free from blame or theatrics and poor showmanship.

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posted Apr 3, 2008

comment by showaprofit (U9327549)
posted Yesterday

When you score at the highest level then you can lay claim to be the best. Ronaldo is yet to score in a Champion's League semi-final/final or anything similar. When/if he does, then he can say he can lay claim.

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So if United win the Champions League for the next five seasons running, with Ronaldo gaining a man of the match performance in every semi final and final, but not scoring, then he's not a great player. But Vladimir Smicer, having scored in a European Final would be?

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comment by Niqriol (U6756299)

posted Apr 3, 2008

This reminds me of what I published not too far in the past. Check out my link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A31896985.

I still believe that Ronaldo is the best footballer at the moment. 36 consistent goals for a winger is a phenomenal accomplishment.

By the way, there were some doubters a week or so ago. That Man Utd might be outsmarted by Roma. But it does seem that the 7-1 spectre is still hovering above the Roma pack. It might stay so for some time to come.

I do believe that with the incredible efforts of Ronaldo and Rooney, Man Utd will lift this year's CL trophy. And they've done it without Nani! Nani doesn't get mentioned a lot, but he is some talent too. To have Ronaldo, Nani, Rooney, Tevez ... in the same team is a fearsome reality. I take it Ronaldo will this time be crowned World Player of the Year? However, in England, I feel that another top-drawer player is Cesc Fabregas. He's a marvel to watch. I like the way he marshals the midfield. His ball-distribution is flawless, no profligacy there. He's the heartbeat of the Arsenal team. Even then, Ronaldo has had a more phenomenal season.

Man Utd have shown what a powerhouse they are, both domestically and abroad. I don't see Barca getting past Man U. I relish that tie. A tie, on an individual level, between Ronaldo and Messi. [Note: With Chelsea losing, there are now just two teams yet to lose a single match in the CL this term. That's Barca and Man Utd.]

PhilMcNulty, you got it spot-on.

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posted Apr 3, 2008

Re:comment by Voronins_ponytail

the comment about not in keeping with British sporting values, at what point did the premiership suddenly become a beacon of British sporting values? It may be the "best league in the world" but that is built on the wealth of foreign talent and money, (not necessarily a bad thing mind) so as such why should he be forced to subscribe to your so called values. add to that the fact that he was on international duty at the time, playing for a conspicuously non-English (i.e. proficient) team.
Also your tone indicates you don't like him on principle, probably because he isn't scoring 36 goals a season for your club, but a against it.

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posted Apr 3, 2008

Strikers are supposed to bang in lots of goals!

But Wayne Rooney is Man Utd's main striker this season and he hasn't been scoring enough goals!

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posted Apr 4, 2008

CR7 is just the nutz man he makes England look Gladys Knight but er he runs like the road runner

meep meep

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posted Apr 4, 2008

Just like Henry did! We'd work on that. Thanks for advice.

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posted Apr 4, 2008

I might not particularly agree that CR7 is gorgeous in his looks, & if he surely does dive then he's culpable to some extent, which shouldn't debride him of his other magnificent qualities.
However, the spade is: he is by far & so far,arguably the best football player in europe for this year. Hopefully, he shall soon be embellished with the PL & CL medals, golden boots etcetera.

When the crowning comes, then our silence could be appropriately replaced with words that seem like the leg-overs of our CR7.

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posted Apr 4, 2008

'Rob', u can't pilfer this one!
From a ManU fans view; perhaps because:
•He plays for MUFC!
•He's young.
•He's been our highest goal scorer(back to back[PL])
•He's a gr8 entertainer.
•Arguably the best 7 (maybe 11 too, lest I forget 9?)in PL in current times.
•He doubles as the highest goal scorer(CL)
•He is amazingly skillful, talented, & has pace.
•Seems to have an xtra brain for his legs & feet alone.(Excluding dance steps)
•But, mostly because his positives surpass the negatives really.

Would you be proud if he played for your team? Be a genius, & be reasonable.

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