Posted by: Zel Ram | October 14, 2009

Nani and Ronaldo Pal

NANI will ask old pal Cristiano Ronaldo for advice to help put his Stoke horror show behind him.

The Portuguese winger had an awful afternoon at the Britannia Stadium with Manchester United looking much stronger after he was subbed off.

Stoke fans taunted him with chants of ‘You’ll never be Ronaldo’ and he was hooked by boss Alex Ferguson early in the second half. Then his replacement Ryan Giggs inspired a 2-0 win.

Nani will call Ronaldo before Wednesday’s home clash with Wolfsburg and said: “Cristiano and I talk a lot. We speak about my own game and he gives me confidence to go out and perform.”

Ronaldo said: “Nani is an excellent player and I am sure that in a few years he will be among the best players in the world.”

Posted by: Zel Ram | October 14, 2009

Evra Vs Ronaldo

PATRICE EVRA is predicting a Euro showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid.

The Manchester United left-back is convinced fate will see him face old pal Ronaldo in the Champions League this season.

Evra said: “I know we will play Real Madrid. I can’t explain it. It is just a feeling.

“But I think we will play them, maybe even in the next round.”

Evra is confident he would be able to shackle Ronaldo, who made an £80million world-record move to Real from United in the summer.

He added: “I once played against him in an Under-21 international but remember, I used to face him every day in training.

“He knows it could be very difficult for him.

“Ronaldo was a close friend and I was sad to see him leave. But you need to accept it.

“And the thing about Manchester United is, no one player is the star – the club is the star.

“Alex Ferguson tries to maintain that every year.”

Posted by: Zel Ram | October 14, 2009

Ronaldo Vs Rooney

CRISTIANO RONALD0 has laughed off Wayne Rooney’s comments that he hopes Portugal do not qualify for the World Cup.

England and Manchester United strike ace Rooney said “it would be nice” if they failed to qualify.

Portugal knocked England out of both Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

But Real Madrid star Ronaldo claims his former United team-mate was having a joke at his expense.

He said: “Rooney knows he doesn’t have good memories of Portugal.

“Wayne has played against us several times and never won.

“He said it in jest, I don’t believe he said it because he doesn’t like us.”

Portugal will miss out on the finals in South Africa if they fail to beat Hungary tonight in their penultimate group game and Sweden beat Denmark.

Portugal’s final game is against Malta.

Posted by: Zel Ram | September 2, 2009

Ribery is better than Ronaldo

ZINEDINE ZIDANE has handed a shock snub to Cristiano Ronaldo by insisting he is not as good as Franck Ribery.

The Real Madrid legend is set to re-join the Spanish giants as an advisor this summer.

But he will not put his weight behind a Bernabeu bid for Manchester United star Ron, claiming he would prefer Bayern Munich’s Ribery.

Ex-France ace Zidane said: “Ronaldo is a great player, of course, because he was chosen for the Golden Ball and could achieve it again this year.

“He is a formidable player but if you ask me who I prefer, it is very clear I would pick Ribery.”

Zidane’s return to Real will be sealed if Florentino Perez is named as the club’s new president.

He added: “If Perez is elected, I am willing to do anything to help Real Madrid.

“There are many issues that need to be resolved.”

Posted by: Zel Ram | September 2, 2009

Why C.Ronaldo wants out

AS Manchester United’s dejected players left Rome yesterday, one star made a statement without speaking.

One by one they traipsed on to the team bus. Everybody was wearing the club-issue suit, shirt and tie knotted to their collar.

All, that is, except one.

Cristiano Ronaldo hooked his designer sunglasses where his club tie should have been — ignoring the club’s instruction on dressing for the journey home.

With everyone else complying to the ‘win as a team, lose as a team’ ethic, the winger appeared to be distancing himself.

Still bristling with frustration after defeat by Barcelona, Ronaldo’s decision to rebel did not look like an innocent mistake.

Neither was his condemnation of the tactics Alex Ferguson employed in the Stadio Olimpico, which contributed to losing the Champions League final.

Only the stupid, or those who know they are on their way out, take on the manager of Manchester United over football decisions.

Ronaldo is not stupid.

The player is, however, unhappy, discontented and increasingly disillusioned with his career.

True, he enjoys the adulation of the fans and the kudos of playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

Ronaldo also likes his £118,000-a-week salary — but he firmly believes that his goals, effort and talent mean he earns his money.

The downside for the 25-year-old is he has become tired of his surroundings and yearns for a new challenge.

In his five years at United he can now say he has won every club honour open to him — the collection was completed with this season’s Club World Cup.

His outstanding contribution to winning the Premier League and European Cup last season was recognised with the FIFA World Player of the Year trophy. In short, Ronaldo has done it all at United.

A close pal revealed: “Cris loves United and has loved his time there. He knows how much he owes the club and especially Ferguson.

“The manager’s guidance and knowledge have helped him become the player he is.

“But it’s natural for anyone at the top of their profession to think about a fresh challenge. He came very close to joining Real last year and it was Ferguson’s intervention which made him stay at United.

“Cris agreed that this could be an historic season for the club and bought into the manager’s vision. Now the dream is over and it’s time to think again.”

In the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat on Wednesday night, Ronaldo pointedly refused to say if he would start next season at United.

That was in stark contrast to an interview he gave a week before.

On that occasion he claimed: “I don’t care about what happens at Madrid, I only care about the Champion League final and next season at United.”

But now it seems the gruelling saga of his on-off transfer to Real is about to open a new and potentially conclusive chapter.

The imminent election of Florentino Perez for a second term as president of Real means another crack at luring Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.

And while people are queuing up to cite reasons why anyone would be mad to leave the champions of the ‘best league in the world’, Ronaldo has heard it all before.

He has spent the majority of his adult life in Manchester and is getting bored of the same places and claustrophobic atmosphere for the city’s footballers.

Ronaldo also feels he is unfairly singled out when things go wrong for United.

After scoring 41 goals last season and finishing top scorer again this term, he believes his contribution is above question.

However, when United play badly he feels it is his performance which is automatically analysed and held up to be sub-standard.

Ronaldo is fed up with accusations of diving and sick of being kicked by players who can’t stop him any other way.

One recent incident made the winger particularly angry when he felt forced to apologise to United kit man Alec Wylie.

Ronaldo snatched a training top after being substituted in the Manchester derby with United leading 2-0.

Images of him sulking on the bench afterwards sparked a debate about his state of mind and he was accused of being disrespectful to Ferguson.

A momentary loss of temper was turned into a full-scale inquiry and Ronaldo felt unfairly victimised.

As the United team touched down in Manchester yesterday afternoon, the players returned to Carrington to collect their cars and went their separate ways.

Which route Ronaldo takes is again open to question. “He’s a young man who has spent five years in the same place,” Ronaldo’s friend told SunSport. “It’s natural he might want to experience new things, have new adventures.”

Maybe, just maybe, Ronaldo and Manchester are no longer united.

Posted by: Zel Ram | September 2, 2009

Manchester United , No leader ?

THERE’S nothing much wrong with Manchester United that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres couldn’t put right.

Sadly for United punters, I believe these two are already spoken for.

The fact remains, though, that Alex Ferguson has never replaced Roy Keane or Ruud van Nistelrooy.

One a skipper in the true sense of the word, the other a focal-point centre-forward with an unerring propensity for putting the ball in the net.

What United missed more than anything in Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night was a leader in the Keane mould.

A man that team-mates look to when the road grows steep.

A man with the bloody-minded ruthlessness to get in among players like Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

A man like Keane, who didn’t shrug his shoulders and admit the game was up when Juventus went 2-0 ahead inside 11 minutes in the Champions League semi-final second leg in Turin in 1999.

Instead he dug deep, piled into Zinedine Zidane and Edgar Davids, pulled one back himself with a header from a corner and, from then on, there was only one team in it.

When United went 1-0 down against Barcelona, their players looked around for salvation — and saw nothing.

With shoulders drooped and confidence draining away, United were rudderless.

From the early Nineties, the club has been blessed with certain players who stamped their huge character and personalities on games.

And the opposition when required.

Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes, Eric Cantona and Keane all spring readily to mind.

Leaders of men, hard as teak, driven individuals who never looked for excuses — least of all from themselves.

One of Ferguson’s main regrets will have been his failure to sign Michael Essien when the chance arose — even more so with the injury-prone Owen Hargreaves completing just 17 league games in 21 months.

What a difference the rock-solid Chelsea all-rounder would make to this current side.

Or Frank Lampard, of whom Ferguson spoke so glowingly the other day. Or, in your dreams, Gerrard.

There was only one player out there on Wednesday with a similar capability to rouse a team — Wayne Rooney.

But the England man was so preoccupied with trying to find an effective role for himself within United’s swaying framework that he was caught between a rock and a hard place.

And where is the orthodox striker United need so badly?

Part of the problem pre-Rome is that they may well have been duped by the ease of their semi-final destruction of Arsenal.

Rather than coming to the conclusion that Arsene Wenger’s team was a soft touch, they congratulated themselves on the enormous success of playing Cristiano Ronaldo down the middle.

When they tried it again against a real team, they were found out.

At the same time, let’s not forget this United side has had remarkable success — three consecutive titles, a record 25 European games without defeat and back-to-back Champions League final appearances.

In many ways, it is testimony to Fergie’s ability that he has got so much out of a team that lacks certain fundamental strengths and one in which he has been forced to play too many square pegs in round holes.

Though some will say he has only been overcoming problems of his own making.

Yet as Ferguson suggested only this week, there have been a number of occasions when only good fortune and the failure of the opposition to take advantage of United’s frailties have kept them going — on both the domestic and European fronts.

Had Liverpool, beaten only twice in the league, been more ruthless at Anfield — where they dropped a staggering 14 points — they would surely have been champions.

Had Guus Hiddink been in charge of Chelsea all season, they too would have run United closer.

So what now for Ferguson?

Sadly, it would appear both Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have had their time.

They were an integral part of the great era under youth-team coach Eric Harrison, rolling sublimely off a production line that, for the moment, has dried to a trickle.

Even more so when you consider that seven of the players who started for Barcelona in Rome came from their academy.

Are Park Ji Sung and Nani really good enough?

And what of Anderson, who blows as cold as he does hot?

And, surely, United cannot squander another £26million on Carlos Tevez?

Yet the greatest conundrum of all is Dimitar Berbatov.

It would have been almost inconceivable at the time he signed for £30.75m to predict the Bulgarian would not even make Wednesday’s starting XI.

For him then to suggest this week he would be none too confident if called upon in a penalty shootout said everything about his character.

Ferguson, though, will be intent on seeing Berbatov succeed.

For that to happen, he has to either play Rooney in front of him (which is difficult seeing as Rooney loves to drop deep) or bring in a striker like Lyon’s young Karim Benzema.

Or cut his losses.

Then there’s all the talk about Franck Ribery — an outstanding performer but, at the £40m price quoted, one seen more as a replacement for Ronaldo considering the growing concerns about United’s finances.

Most important of all, though, is the putting together of a DVD with all the composite qualities required in a new midfield powerhouse.

Perhaps they could call it “Looking for Eric, Roy and Robbo”.

Posted by: Zel Ram | September 2, 2009

Wayne Rooney, I’m not like C. Ronaldo

His pledge will be music to the fans’ ears as the England star celebrates five years at Old Trafford.

Rooney, 23, has been United’s main man since Ronaldo joined Real Madrid.

But he is coping brilliantly, with five goals in as many games.

And he insists there will be plenty more to come, because he plans to spend the rest of his career in a Red Devils shirt.

Rooney declared: “I’ve always said I love this club and, as long as I’m wanted here, I’ll play here. It’s as simple as that. I can’t see one reason why I should want to move.

“I’ve everything I want. My family are just 30 minutes away, I’m settled and I honestly can’t see me going anywhere else unless I’m told otherwise by the manager.”

Rooney has hit 102 goals for United since boss Alex Ferguson snapped him up from Everton on transfer deadline day in August 2004.

Yet according to team-mate Dimitar Berbatov, Rooney will not hit his peak for another five years.

Berbatov said: “When he reaches around 28, he’ll be even better.”

Owen Hargreaves, out for a year and who has had operations on both knees, will be back in training with United on September 23.

Posted by: Zel Ram | August 2, 2009

Ronaldo Bid Starts


UNITED have accepted an £80million offer from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has long been a target for the Spanish giants, who signed Kaka for £62m on Monday.

Real president Florentino Perez vowed earlier this week to do ‘everything possible’ to take the 24-year-old to the Bernabeu.

United insist they were forced to accept a world-record bid for Ronaldo after the winger revealed he wanted out of Old Trafford.

A Red Devils statement said: “Manchester United have received a world-record, unconditional offer of £80million for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.

“At Cristiano’s request — who has again expressed his desire to leave — and after discussion with the player’s representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player.

“Matters are expected to be concluded by June 30. The club will not comment until further notice.”

Ronaldo, currently on holiday in Los Angeles, told United boss Alex Ferguson that he wants to quit the Theatre of Dreams for Spain.

Ferguson flew out to Lisbon last summer to persuade Ronaldo to stay with the club after a summer in which the player pushed for a move to Madrid.

But Fergie will not go chasing the Portuguese ace this time — and feels it is time for his star player to go.

SunSport revealed before the Champions League final that Ronaldo had told close friends he wanted a new challenge.

He is now relishing the chance to be part of the revival at Real under returning club supremo Perez.

Posted by: Zel Ram | August 2, 2009

Nani to Replace Ronaldo


Ready-made replacement?

“I can have more opportunities now. Cristiano was very important to Manchester but now I can show my value and they will gamble more on me.”

– Nani As United are linked with a host of new signings to replace the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo, Reds winger Nani is confident of rediscovering his best form and showing his true value.
The former Sporting Lisbon winger is certain Ronaldo will be a success at the Santiago Bernabeu, and he is similarly confident of stepping up to the plate in his countryman’s absence.
“He has been doing an excellent job so I think he deserves it,” Nani told Portuguese news agency IOL. “It is a fantastic amount, excellent and fair value for what he has done. Real Madrid are a great club and will be good for him.
“I think I can have more opportunities now. Cristiano was very important to Manchester but now I can show my value and they will gamble more on me.”

Nani struggled to replicate the impressive form of his maiden campaign last term, but has still made 72 appearances and scored 10 goals since arriving from Portugal in the summer of 2007.

Posted by: Zel Ram | July 19, 2009

Ronaldo set to join Real Madrid

“Alex Ferguson is a great judge of a player, he’s very brave with his decisions and that’s why he’s been a great success. Who the players will be I don’t know, but they will be worthy of putting on the shirt for Manchester United.”

– Sir Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton is confident that Sir Alex Ferguson will make the right signings to compensate for Cristiano Ronaldo’s impending departure.

The Portuguese winger is set to join Real Madrid for a staggering £80million, prompting a whirlwind of speculation over who will be replacing him.

Speaking at a press conference in China to launch United’s sponsorship deal with aigo, Sir Bobby said: “I’ll have to leave that (deciding how to replace Ronaldo) to Alex Ferguson.

“He is a great judge of a player, he’s very brave with his decisions, he’s very decisive with his decisions and that’s why he’s been a great success. Who the players will be I don’t know, but they will be worthy of putting on the shirt for Manchester United.”

Charlton concedes that there was little point in trying to coax Ronaldo away from his childhood dream of joining Real, although he feels that hindsight may show the winger that his best days of his career were at Old Trafford.

“He is a great player,” he said. “He’s been with us for five or six years and in that time he has improved beyond all recognition. I suppose, in time, he will reflect, and say that the best time he ever had in football was when he was at Manchester United. It was better for him and it was fantastic for the club.

“But we have no divine rights, we talked him out of it for one year but he’s gone and we move on. Ronaldo leaves us because as a young boy he always dreamt about playing for Real Madrid, so if he leaves us, it’s with our blessing.

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s a little bit soul-searching. You never know if you’ve made the right decision until the start of the season. It’s an enormous amount. We will make sure we will use it properly and our club will be better for it.”

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