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UNITEDRANT

Ronaldo’s gotta whole lotta love

January 3, 2013 Tags: Opinion 22 comments

Hand it to Cristiano Ronaldo; the Real Madrid forward certainly knows how to court public opinion in both Madrid and Manchester as the clock ticks down to United’s fixture with the Spanish giants next month. The Champions League Round of 16 tie will bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford for the first time since an £80 million June 2009 transfer to the Spanish capital – and the Portuguese forward is keen to ensure his United legacy remains intact ahead of the clash.

No surprise there, with Ronaldo holding a seemingly permanent come hither gaze over the past three years. Indeed, while the 27-year-old has scored at greater than a goal-a-game at the Bernabéu, his has not always been a positive relationship with Madrid’s supporters. By contrast, the Stretford End continues to sing songs of its former hero – like a jilted lover, longing for a partner now stepping out with a new beau.

Nostalgia is no friend of the tribal spirit, and Ronaldo is one of a very select group to actively seek a move away from United in the past two decades, but the forward is guaranteed a positive reception at Old Trafford.

Not least after Ronaldo admitted this week that he still holds a candle for the old flame.

“I still have a great feeling of friendship and love for them, they are a team that have done a lot for my career,” said Ronaldo, who is yet to sign a new contract at the Bernabéu.

“The fans know me well and I have a lot of friends there that I keep close to my heart. But now I’m defending Real Madrid’s colours. It’s a bit of a sad feeling I guess. But I want to score, and for us to win, and that would make everything better.”

How fitting that United travel to Madrid for Ronaldo’s rendezvous with his former team-mates the day before Valentines. The return in Manchester will come a long three weeks later. It promises to be the tie of the tournament to date, with Madrid odds-on with the bookies to triumph over two legs.

Either way, Ronaldo can hardly fail.

Yet, the Portuguese has endured a difficult relationship with Madridistas since he gained the “dream” move to the Spanish capital three years ago – the faithful not always appreciating Ronaldo’s self-assuredness despite brilliance on the pitch.

Nor, indeed, Ronaldo’s apparent obfuscation over a new contract – an issue that has brewed for six months. The forward admitted last September that he was “sad”, amid speculation that Madrid is seeking to cut back on the player’s huge net wages.

Ronaldo earns around €12 million per season before tax – up to €10.5 million net under the current Spanish tax regime. Yet, with the ‘Beckham Law’ now defunct for new contracts Madrid may need to double its gross outlay to keep Roanldo’s take-home pay on an even keel.

The eye-watering numbers put into perspective unrealistic media speculation about a potential transfer back to to Old Trafford, despite the “pact” the player reportedly made with Sir Alex Ferguson over a return to Manchester should he ever leave Real.

“I won’t talk about my contract renewal any more, it’s not important,” adds Ronaldo, who has scored 170 goals in 169 appearances for Los Merengues.

“The most important thing is winning our next matches. We are contesting La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League and it’s important that we all stick together.

“Right now I’m feeling more comfortable with the fans – not just at the Bernabéu, where I’ve always felt good, but outside too. They’ve shown me a lot of love. I want to pay them back in the best way possible, which is playing well, giving my all and helping Madrid to the top.”

Still, with Madrid 16 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, and José Mourinho seemingly on his way out of Real in the summer, upheaval is inevitable at Real. Should the Portuguese remain uncommitted come June, the Madrid club may yet face a dilemma amid the furor of a summer Presidential election.

After all, with just 12 months left on the player’s deal, the asset value may begin to depreciate if a deal remains on the table, unsigned. It is a scenario that might bring Manchester City to the negotiating table and test Ronaldo’s enduring “love” for everything Red.

In the meantime Old Trafford awaits Ronaldo’s return, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson will lionise a player whom he has always offered a sympathetic ear. United’s ability to massage a delicate ego more sensitively than the political bear-bit of Madrid has not been forgotten.

“We had the privilege of him for six years and he will go down as one of the best players this club has ever had,” said Ferguson recently.

“It will be fantastic to have him back. When he comes on to the pitch at Old Trafford he will get a great reception, quite rightly. He came here at 17 and developed himself into a great footballer. We are proud of the part we played in his career.”

Whether that pride will continue through a United victory over Madrid  is yet to be determined. Certainly the Reds’ form has peaked at the right time, although with Real so far adrift in the league Mourinho may do well to prioritise European success.

After all, it is the Champions League that is most desired at Bernabéu – not least because Barcelona has secured the trophy three times since Los Merengues last claimed to be champions of Europe.

Victory, if it comes, first over United and in then in the tournament itself, may yet be Cristiano’s finest moment. United supporters will probably love him no less.

22 comments

dozer - January 3, 2013 Reply

He’ll probably join City or Chelsea, and rightly so if he gets the money. United will have to dig deep in their pockets, the club may have an advantage – they ought to be able to get him by paying him slightly less wages when compared to the other sugar daddies.

If he’s got only 12 months left next summer then 35-40m is the maximum price Real can realistically expect.

I say kick Rooney out to free up this wage budget, buying back Ronaldo isn’t as implausible as many people think; if he’s leaving Real.
At least Ronaldo will guarantee a consistent return of world class performances 90% of the time. He’s even more consistent than Van Persie and much more lethal.

Mongoletsi - January 3, 2013 Reply

Kind of agree. I just remember Ronnie in his last season; absolutely miserable, didn’t get stuck in at all (not that he often did), and his attitude stank of I DON’T WANT TO BE HERE.

Rooney seems to have gone/be going the same way. Pretty fed up of his lack of consistency. He’s not worth £250k pw!

madmax - January 3, 2013 Reply

Yes he would be world class for 90% of the time and look where his team is even with Ozil,Di Maria and Benzema.

Rooney is the reason we are watchable half the season. It’s stupidity to even consider letting him go. He may not score shit loads but he is what that makes us tick. We’ve never given him a team he deserves. Fergie shafts him left right and centre and people question his class. Utter utter stupidity. We’ve taken him for granted for far too long.

Violent Banana - January 3, 2013 Reply

He’ll have two years left on his contract come the summer; it expires summer 2015.

Denton Davey - January 3, 2013 Reply

The issue with TheReturnOfCR7 is that the guy isn’t a team-player while SAF has done his utmost to foster the belief that “there’s no “I” in team” as we can see from RVP’s remarks this week.

In the NFL/NBA/NHL there’s a perpetual discussion surrounding “drafting” young players – do you go for the best available player ? or the player who best fits your needs ? Clearly, CR7 would be considered in the first of these two alternatives; he’s a wonderful athlete – fast, strong, driven by ambition, skilful, and rarely gets injured. BUT he’s given his best years – the “prime cut” of his career, as it were – to TheVirus and it seems likely that he won’t/can’t continue to operate at that level as he passes his 30th birthday.

I don’t think that money is a big stumbling-block in re-acquiring Ronaldo; the massive infusions of ca$h from the Nike, Chevrolet, and EPL television deals would essentially be eaten up by his fee/wages. The question for the bean-counters would be – will he provide surplus value in terms of
“brand recognition” ?

On the field-of-play, the question would be somewhat different – would the presence of CR7 mean that the team will again revolve around him and his “needs” as was the case in his two most productive seasons (2007/8 and 2008/9) ? An adjunct issue would be how the others – TheWayneBoy and RVP in particular – feel when/if SAF pushes their noses-out-of-joint to accommodate CR7.

It’s also important – but much less significant, in my opinion – to ask what becomes of Chicharito, DannyTheLad, Nani, AshleyYoung, AV7, and KagawaBunga ? I’d imagine that Chicharito might be part of the price UTD pay to acquire Ronaldo while the three wingers would be essentially bench-warmers (or sold off) so as to balance the books to accommodate CR7’s massive fee/wages.

If we assume that MUFC do re-acquire Cristiano Ronaldo can we assume that SAF is going-for-broke ? Or would such an acquisition mean that he’s now abandoning his long-term strategy of team turnover/renewal in order to cope with the new challenges of petro-/gas zillionaires ?

Finally, given that winning the CL is such a crap-shoot – in the past decade alone, Porto, LiverPoo, and CSKALondon were complete surprises that won through a mixture of the mutual-destruction of the favourites, their own favourable draws, and no small measure of luck. Fortune may favour the brave – and SAF has continually shown himself to be a bit of a gambler – but in the CL it doesn’t necessarily favour the best team.

Mongoletsi - January 3, 2013 Reply

TheWayneBoy
TheReturnOfCR7
DannyTheLad
AV7
KagawaBunga

Given that you insist on giving footballers (grown men, who you don’t know) nicknames that a girl/5 year old boy would think amusing, I’m going to sink to your level. You are now DentonDickhead

Hope you approve xx

gabagool - January 3, 2013 Reply

Agreed… Denton usually has something worthwhile to say, but these nicknames are twisting my melon man

Alfonso Bedoya - January 3, 2013 Reply

madmax said:
Yes he would be world class for 90% of the time and look where his team is even with Ozil,Di Maria and Benzema.

Rooney is the reason we are watchable half the season. It’s stupidity to even consider letting him go. He may not score shit loads but he is what that makes us tick. We’ve never given him a team he deserves. Fergie shafts him left right and centre and people question his class. Utter utter stupidity. We’ve taken him for granted for far too long.

This…

Mongoletsi - January 3, 2013 Reply

I dunno mate… giving him £250k pw is hardly taking him for granted! My prob with Rooney is that he’ll be anonymous for a few games (picks up bookings when he’s not doing well), then he’ll have a few good games and score some. “He’s back! He’s amazing!” we cry, and then… he goes off the boil again. He’s not *consistently* worth the money he’s paid.

Denton Davey - January 3, 2013 Reply

Mongoletsi @ 7:25: ” I’m going to sink to your level. You are now DentonDickhead”

Be that as it may be, knowing that my nicknaming UTD players really gets up your nose I can not envisage stopping.

Mongoletsi - January 3, 2013 Reply

I appreciate your impeccable forum quotation skills. Perhaps I’ve judged you harshly.

However, your player nicknames are – as they say in common parlance – a bit “special”.

Good evening to you, sir.

dozer - January 4, 2013 Reply

Commenter said:
I dunno mate… giving him £250k pw is hardly taking him for granted! My prob with Rooney is that he’ll be anonymous for a few games (picks up bookings when he’s not doing well), then he’ll have a few good games and score some. “He’s back! He’s amazing!” we cry, and then… he goes off the boil again. He’s not *consistently* worth the money he’s paid.

Exactly, for the reported 250k a week he should be giving us the consistency of what RVP, Ronaldo and Messi gives to their teams, even if it’s not of the same quality.

Are forummers here actually saying that if getting Ronaldo meant letting Rooney go, then they’d stick with Rooney?

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 4, 2013 Reply

rooney is utd

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 4, 2013 Reply

rooney is utd

Alfonso Bedoya - January 4, 2013 Reply

dozer said:
Exactly, for the reported 250k a week he should be giving us the consistency of what RVP, Ronaldo and Messi gives to their teams, even if it’s not of the same quality.

How often do you see Ronaldo, Messi or Van Persie used as utility players to prop up some ridiculous formation experiments by their managers?
Ronaldo, Messi, and Van Persie are treated with the respect that their talent deserves… they’re not used… they’re played, in their best positions, and asked to do what they’re best at… they’re not asked to stifle their natural ambitions for the good of the team… they’re allowed to play to their strengths, and follow their instincts… for the good of the team.
You want consistent performances fron Rooney???… Leave him alone to play the game the way he grew up playing… consistently.

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 4, 2013 Reply

if taggart ever tried to get ron to do a man marking job on a fullback or some other shite ron would tell him to fuck off

Ben Hulston - January 4, 2013 Reply

Unc and Alf are correct

And now I feel horrible on the inside.

Alfonso Bedoya - January 4, 2013 Reply

It’s not just me and Knobby… most football fans agree that Rooney is the best talent to come from England in a long time, and Ferguson should have built a team, and a system around him… instead, he uses Rooney like duct tape, in a team full of leaks…

Damian Garside - January 7, 2013 Reply

Good analogy that one Alf. Give yourself a gold star. Denton to the corner in the conical cap until he stops the nicknames.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - January 7, 2013 Reply

it seemed like hed finally woke up to how rooney should be used last season

but this year hes just given him all the jobs he used to give to park

sidney - January 7, 2013 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
if taggart ever tried to get ron to do a man marking job on a fullback or some other shite ron would tell him to fuck off

And that’s partly why England hates Ronaldo, because not tracking back is second only to being an illegal immigrant in the massive cunt stakes.

You want your most talented forwards up front. Let the midfielders and defenders win the ball back.

sheesh - January 7, 2013 Reply

sidney said:
And that’s partly why England hates Ronaldo, because not tracking back is second only to being an illegal immigrant in the massive cunt stakes.

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