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Portugal Knocked Out But Ronaldo Talks

I saw this link directly from the Guillem Balague exclusive interview (from his website) with Ronaldo, after writing this article. [thanks Ben from the comments] So I suggest you read that interview before reading my post, because what I wrote doesn’t really matter now.

So Portugal, after a mini-drama that threatened to spoil my day, got knocked out by a German side that knew how to get things done. To be fair, the Ballack goal was dodgy because of his push. But otherwise, fair play to the Germans. Nani injected some pace into the side after his introduction and was instrumental in their second goal. If he progresses well, then be sure that the likes of Madrid and Barcelona will come knocking in two years’ time.

But, of course, Portugal’s defeat will be reported more like an afterthought. The chief concern for reporters (and United fans) was the post match comments, in the event of Portugal’s defeat: will Ronaldo make up his mind?

So we finally get to hear some soundbites from him regarding his club future and I will quote it here:

The possibilities (of going to Real) are big but it doesn’t depend on me and because of that I don’t want to talk about it,” the 23-year-old winger told reporters after Portugal’s 3-2 quarter-final defeat by Germany at Euro 2008. Asked if there had been an offer from Real, he said: “I think so, I don’t know. In the next few days we’ll see if we reach an agreement. Everyone knows what I want. But in the next two or three days you’ll have something new.” Asked when he had made the decision about his future he said: “Some time ago, before this competition. I didn’t want to say anything because we were in competition and these are important decisions.” He was asked by reporters whether he wanted to leave for personal or sporting reasons: “Personal, it’s something I want, something I dream about, he said before quoting the advice of Portugal’s Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. (It is) a dream, a step forward… For me it’s a very good opportunity. As Scolari says, this only happens once.” He added that leaving Manchester United would be difficult “but I think it could be good for both (of us)”.

Hmm… where do I start? To be honest, I didn’t expect him to make his decision in “two to three days”; I thought he would do it in two-three weeks, so this is a surprise.

But the bottomline is this: he says he’s made his decision much earlier. So clearly he’s looking to engineer a move. Either that or a pay rise. He reckons him moving away is good for both parties — hmm, I’m bitter so I could say that it’s good for us that he moves, but honestly he’s been our best player. So in the short term it’s certainly not good for us, apart from the money.

I have been against Ronaldo of late, but that stand was the most difficult one I’ve had to take — a player that I loved really doesn’t want to stay and continues to keep us guessing about his future even when, in his mind, he’s made it up. His desire to hog the limelight on the pitch didn’t bother me as much as his obsession off it.

I don’t think we can have much complaints about Scolari giving him advice, because Ronaldo reveres him.

I still suspect a scenario like this happening:

Ronaldo says he wants to move to Real. Real approach United with X million quid, and United say: “Er… we’re not sure if we’ve mentioned this before but Ronaldo is not for sale, which means he won’t be sold, which means he won’t be going to Madrid.”

Then Ronaldo will go to Gill who, along with Sir Alex will say: “Son, as we said, cry as much as you want, you’re going nowhere.”

It’s not the smartest thing to do, if you think about it, and the smart money would be on United taking the cash plus a player for Ronaldo. But for everyone’s satisfaction let’s wait and hear what he has to say in two to three days. I can’t be bothered either way, at this point. Keep him at United: good. Sell him to Madrid: good.

What I would really be interested is to be a fly on the wall in a room where Ronaldo sits with Fergie and Queiroz and summons the courage to tell them that he wants to leave.

In Ronaldo related news, he wants to have an operation because he was carrying an injury during the last three months. Well, I must say well done Ronnie for playing through the pain and thanks for such an outstanding season.

Getting back to the issue of Ronaldo leaving United, I read another story on Sky Sports News and he spoke to Guillem Balague. I will just quote a couple of lines from the article, [you could read the rest by following the link] and you can draw your own conclusions from this:

When asked if he thinks his dream will come true, he told Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague: “I really hope so, lets see.” Ronaldo, who did confirm he decided his future prior to United’s Champions League success in Moscow, has stated he does not mind upsetting fans and Ferguson in order to get what he wants. “It is my opinion, that is why I don’t mind if people get upset. It is my decision. It is what I want,” he concluded.

To me it’s apparent where he wants to go. How about you?

Addendum: And this was after reading the Balague interview in full. I say, the boy does not want to stay. Let’s for once prove that we can do good business. Let’s drag Madrid, add all sorts of sell-on clauses + goal bonuses + sneijder + plus sizeable cash upfront. I’m on dream mode right now, but I hope some of it is true if Ronaldo is sold.