WE’VE DONE THIS DANCE BEFORE. Another summer and yet more speculation about Cristiano Ronaldo and the future he may have at Real Madrid. GTS has been reluctant to write on this topic because in the early days it seemed like a bit of a non story.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s repeated comments about happiness at Old Trafford, and reaffirming his desire to ‘one day’ play in the Spain was absolutely nothing new. United had heard that before. In interviews we heard the question continue to be asked and Ronaldo again would state his dream to play in Spain in the future.
The story was quickly brought into focus as soon as United had won the European Cup, Ronaldo was away from the club and with Portugal preparing for the European Championships, these are times that worry fans because when players are away from the secure environment of their domestic club sometimes comments can be made to alert potential buyers.
“He still has four years on his contract. Real Madrid think they can ride roughshod over everyone, they are not going to do it with us.” – SIR ALEX FERGUSON, MAY 2008
We all remember when Ronaldo was made public enemy number one after the World Cup incident with Wayne Rooney, Sir Alex Ferguson was desperate to speak to the player amid speculation that he would have to play his domestic football away from England because of the incident. Sir Alex spoke then about how hard it was to get to players when they were with International squads and admitted that he feared his player was ignoring him and planned to move. As it turned out, Sir Alex had Ronaldo’s old mobile number and they did speak in the end, we know now that it ended happily
This is all just a case of history repeating. David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have both had their images made into dartboards by newspapers, after each being cast as the evilest of all evil characters for actions on International playing fields. Both players have been welcomed back by their home fans while the rest of the league hated them, both returned to play the season of their lives after these hard times.
Ronaldo continues to display his best. Breaking records, winning individual awards and being a key player in Manchester United’s success is presicely why Madrid want the boy.
The day after Manchester United’s European Cup victory, Sir Alex Ferguson showed the kind of defiance that the fans would have hoped for. His comments about Madrid favouring underhand tactics to unsettle players that are under contract was spot on but the story would not die. Cue Real Madrid suggesting that they had done nothing underhand, one could not fail to notice the suggestion that any ‘issues’ of unrest were between the player and Manchester United and not the fault of Real.
This really is sounding more and more like Shakespeare, perhaps Othello. After all, the character of Iago creates issues and paranoia for Othello about his wife, purely on the basis of his words. In reality, nothing underhand occured but a few wisely chosen words to the right people and everything crumbled.
Real Madrid appear to accept defeat, believing that you cannot buy a player who is not for sale. For anyone else that would be the end of the issue but not Real Madrid, as they have reminded us before now, signed players like Beckham, Zidane and Figo precisely when they were told not to bother. The time Real Madrid admit defeat is when you should be most on your guard.
Newspapers on Sunday happily wrote inches about how Ronaldo has now won everything possible for Manchester United and that there may be only small delight in repeating this success with the same club. Well, as repetitive as it may sound, it has been good enough for Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and others. If it is too repetitive and mundane for Ronaldo and the hunger to repeat the success has turned into boredom then perhaps Ronaldo will leave.
“Their attitude is, ‘to hell with them’. They’d sit a player in the stand, I’m telling you, absolutely no doubt about it, just to prove a point. Not to give in to these people.” – SIR ALEX FERGUSON, SPEAKING ABOUT THE GLAZERS, JUNE 2008.
The right things are being said, but words at this stage are meaningless. It is proving to be the biggest story of the summer so far, perhaps keeping hold of Ronaldo will be a challenge but Sir Alex Ferguson is the man to send into battle under the banner of Manchester United.
The GTS team should consider themselves on alert – we may be removing a player from our logo very soon.