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.

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