May 12th, 2009
05:29 PM ET

Ronaldo rumors could prove true ... this time

The end of the football season is just around the corner and that means the transfer rumor mill will soon start to turn at a frenetic pace. Front and center of most of the market talk will be one of the most protracted on/off transfer-sagas going, namely Cristiano Ronaldo. Will he go to Real Madrid? Will he stay with Manchester United? Well, let me give my opinion on the matter.

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo soon to be Real bound?

Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo soon to be Real bound?

I really don't see Cristiano staying another season at Old Trafford. Manchester United is a fantastic club and the Premier League is probably the best in the world right now, but I feel that my compatriot needs a new challenge. He has won everything there is to win with the Red Devils, especially if this season ends with the retention of the European Cup and league title; he has also grown tired of criticism from English fans and the media, and he would also like to move closer to home.

I remember watching Ronaldo's first ever game for United. It was back in 2003, and he came on as a substitute at Old Trafford in the second half of a league game against Bolton. United were leading 1-0 but struggling to impose their superiority on a stubborn defense. And then, with 29 minutes to go, a skinny 18 year-old Ronaldo came on and with a display of verve, pace and audacity changed the game. The Red Devils went on to win the match easily 4-0.

A lot has changed since then and the last five seasons have featured many goals, titles and awards for the Portuguese winger. by the age of 24 he had won every team and individual accolade as well as establishing himself as the world's premier player. Last year was especially prolific with Manchester United winning the Champions League, Premier League and World Club Cup. Ronaldo then picked up the Golden Boot, Balon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award to add the icing to an already substantial cake. He's done it all.

Ronaldo has fans all over the world, but there are many skeptics in England who still haven't forgotten his role in Wayne Rooney's sending off at the 2006 World Cup match. There is also a percentage of supporters who criticize the Portuguese international for his demeanor on the field, claiming he is arrogant and often dives in order to gain free-kicks and penalties. I know for a fact that Ronaldo doesn't let his detractors affect his performances on the field, but I also know that he has grown tired of people not appreciating what he has done for the Premier League and English football as a whole. There are only so many times that you can ignore criticism... it gets tiring after a while, and Ronaldo is only human.

Proximity to Portugal is another reason why Ronaldo would be tempted by a move to Spain. He has promised his family that he would eventually live closer to them, and the time may have come to fulfill this vow. Culturally, Madrid would be a better fit for the winger than the often cold and rainy Manchester. He has a great house and a great life and he loves the club, but the weather is nothing short of miserable and he misses some Latin flair in his everyday life.

So if you ask me if he's leaving, I say yes. My only concern if he becomes a Galactico would be about his ability to deal with all the glitz and glamor that comes as part of the package. At Manchester United he has operated under the paternal protection of Alex Ferguson. In Madrid, the stern Scot won't be around to tame him and those around him.

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soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Tarik Hussein

    Considering that Real Madrid was hammered by all and sundry this season, "challenge" is certainly the word. He might as well go to Watford or Cardiff...

    May 12, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  2. Daud Farooq

    Pedro, I do agree with you to the extent that Ronaldo seems unhappy the way he is treated by the English press and the fans. But I cant see him moving to Madrid next season for one reason in particular. Real Madrid are a team now of mostly has beens and dont have enough decent players to defeat a top european club, let alone winning the leauge. After their recent thrashing by Barcelona, I doubt he will join Madrid by next season. As for him staying at United, Ronaldo can go even higher by claiming more European glory and geeting his name written alongside all time greats at United. Media and fans in Spain wont be forgiving as well.... but one things for sure...Ronaldo would have his dream move to Madrid....eventually.

    May 13, 2009 at 6:54 am | Reply
  3. Gathuki

    Where man management is concerned,Sir Alex is peerless.Depending on your affiliation,some may tend to disagree,but he's never shied away from acquiring the most controversial of talent.Eric Cantona was a freak show at Leeds till he turned up for the old fox.And he was still a nut.Paul Ince,never the same man after his grandpa called him a Charlie.Keane,never seemed to find another manager he wanted to play for,ask Mick McCarthy.Schmeichel pretty much lost it after he vacated the posts at OT.Paul Scholes,of the mistimed tackle and not wanting to see Mandela fame,would have frustrated any other gaffer to death.Alex was probably the only man who understood that wee bald Frenchie Barthez.And van Nistelroy?What was he before and after the man he still says is like a father figure to him.But his best work has been with the trio of Rio Rooney and Ronaldo.They came in as showmen,angry young men,or laggards.There was no worthwhile product to these players efforts most of the time.But Ferguson found their true genius.

    May 13, 2009 at 8:17 am | Reply
  4. Gathuki

    So Ronaldo's leaving is a two sided coin.If I was Ferguson,I would have sold him last season.At the end of the day,this is business.If someone wants to play in the region of 100m in whatever currency for a player,let him go.And with those Glaziers hanging a millstone around United's neck,they need all the money they can get.And I feel Nani where Ronaldo is concerned is a bit like Scholes while Veron was still in the mix,doomed to underachieve.Plus the boy Ronaldo does seem to have a bit of an attitude problem.Being world player of the year actually comes with a requirement for much more responsibility than the petulance he so often displays,and more so at the weekend.I'm sure Alex can iron this out in the long term,but he's running a club,not an orphanage.But for Ronaldo,leaving will probably be a bad move for him.No one seems to find much success after United.Sir Alex wasn't mad when he said he falls in love with his players.He takes good care of them,ask Giggs.800 appearances is not a fluke,its calculated

    May 13, 2009 at 8:40 am | Reply
  5. INYANG LINUS

    Ronaldo is arguably the best player ever in the history of the EPL, considering the fact that he is the only EPL player to have won the Fifa world player of the year. He has done enough for Manchester United and English football as a whole, so his decision to leave united for real madrid should be respected.

    May 13, 2009 at 9:30 am | Reply
  6. Noy Pee

    If I were Ronaldo I would not leave Man U for a few years more. This is the best Man U team ever and they will get all the major trophies. Sir Alex has assembled the best team with everybody contributing. If Ronaldo goes to Real Madrid next season, I don't think he will have a big impact in the team. La Liga games are slow and boring which does not fit Ronaldo's game(Only Barca have an attacking game so far). I don't think he will score as much, and besides there is a curse to those players who join Real Madrid,coming from EPL.Their careers went down....examples are: Owen(benched), Van Nistelrooy(injured),Beckham(struggled).Will Ronaldo be the one to break the curse? I don't think so.He will struggle in the slow, defensive games of La Liga. So whatever Ronaldo decides to do. I will respect him. Meanwhile I will continue to support Manchester United even without him.Ronaldo will not be a great player without Sir Alex's help and hair dryer treatment.

    May 13, 2009 at 10:54 am | Reply
  7. sunny oli

    Football is a team sport,but you need legendary individuals to make the team world beaters.
    These individuals need challenges and motivation,the challenge of repeating a feat archieved in the past is a very difficfult one. Ask great players who tried to win the world cup back to back.
    The point am trying to make is the challenge for Ronaldo if he stays in MANU next year is going to be the above mentioned one,which is really not mentally easy.
    He needs to move on and believe me,this player has it all as regards qualities.If he was not in manu last year they definitely would not have won the champions league,
    Real is not going to stay weak like this fr a long time,
    they definitely are going to rebuild and christiano ronaldo will make this transition back to greatness smoother..

    May 13, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  8. Faith Mackenzie

    If ronaldo leaves man.u i really wish him the best. But i will continue to support Man.u even with out Ronaldo. Who knew we(Man.u) could win lots of trophies without Beckham?

    May 14, 2009 at 5:04 am | Reply
  9. Khalid Khan

    Being a Real Madrid fan, I think Real should not buy Christiano Ronaldo. For one thing, he will be very expensive. Real could use spending such outrageous sums on securing 2-3 excellent players. He would be that much expensive.

    Last year Ramon Calderon just got so obsessed with CR that it didn't really help in concentrating on other options. I would be very infuriated if I hear the same again after current season closes.

    For second, Manchester United does not want to sell him. He's their star player.

    May 14, 2009 at 10:03 am | Reply
  10. Ben

    TARIK are you really serious? You are comparing Real Madird (9 European Cups, 31 La Liga titles and so on) to Cardiff and Watford, two awful teams not in the premiership. You obviously are one of those people who know nothing about football. I believe that Ronaldo should leave Manchester after this year. This would be the perfect time for him to give himself a new challenge and to help Madrid win back La Liga and improve on their recent Champions League form. He has achieved all he can at Manchester and he should move on. If he doesn't this summer then I personally feel he should never go to Madrid at all.

    May 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  11. zoheb

    he should b gone now coz he need to show wat he cn do in spain n sum
    people are happy to see him gone

    May 14, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  12. Rima

    i agree with most of Pedro's insight. It has to be said that Ronaldo's talents are perhaps unequalled. What he needs is a large dose of humility. So he has won everything and that makes him what? Bored? Lazy? His behavior during the match against Wigan was plain "i didn't get what I want", pouting included. He was not at his best, Ferguson took him out to protect him for Champions. The cultural aspect is the main issue, I think he'd be far happier in Spain. That is not an excuse to be a baby, and you and I both know he is prone to the ol' splash dive. He should go wherever he wants, but should take the example of players who always give 100%: Gerrard, Kuyt, Rooney, Puyol, Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Reina, Van Der Saar. Yes, I am a Liverpool Fan, well fanatic, but precisely because they always, always play their red hearts out and don't leave us walking alone. Ronaldo should take a hint.

    May 15, 2009 at 1:40 am | Reply
  13. Alimi Fatai

    Good for Ronaldo if he accepts the real challenge

    May 15, 2009 at 8:53 am | Reply
  14. Kato

    Hi everyone,
    the truth be told...ronaldo is the best player on planet earth. Manchester has proved that they deserve some titles. Now, real madrid have been known to search for ready made performers and these performers are expected to deliver on their first game or debut onwards. There's plenty of talent in madrid already but also there's equal amount of egos to tame. For footballing reasons ronaldo should stay under ferguson but for business and hope to get married reasons he should go wherever the climate is better. My biggest concerns are why does ronaldo seem to under perform when he's not playing in the united team? Why are ppl always linking players to madrid when the mother club is stil performing? How could ronaldo win the double and head to a club that has won nothing? If rumors were to be believed, ronaldo could be a madridisti but since that break_up with a hot tempering Rooney at the world cup Ronaldo will never regain his place in the hearts of the english fans who're usually called Rooneyghans.

    May 16, 2009 at 3:52 am | Reply
  15. Nishath

    Well Ronaldo will be a superb player to be at Madrid and he has a terrific header to go along with Raul, Higuain and Ramos so set pieces will be better for Madrid and also the kind of pace that he plays will suit Madrid's attack but the problem is what is Real Madrid going to do about there defense. They cant go on to win matches with out a proper defense.

    May 16, 2009 at 7:48 am | Reply
  16. Jem

    Ronaldo's dream may be to move to the Bernabéu but he'd be a fool to move now. Man Utd have three cups this season and could potentially be the only team to ever defend a Champions League title.

    It takes time to assimilate in a new club. Time to adjust to their style of play, to gain the confidence of the manager, time to make an impact. Even if Real were to improve next year its highly unlikely they will be able to match the honors Man Utd have this won year.

    Over the last few years the team has also built their style of play around Ronaldo. Leaving the club while being at the peak of his career playing for the current best team in the England (and quite possibly the world), would quite honestly be a stupid move.

    May 17, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  17. frances

    i disagree. i think MANU being the top club in the world right now is enough to lure him into staying. its not easy to adjust from a top flight club to mediocrity. the most likely club that can give him a big enough challenge is Barcelona. that is a more likely move.

    May 18, 2009 at 7:23 am | Reply
  18. Francis Brobbey

    Having won both the champion league and a couple of the premier leagues, Ronaldo has no more attractive challenges and aspirations with the great Mancester United. At least he has done enough for Manchester, that is the reason why any move by him to go and help bring the glory and fame that were once synonymous with Real Madrid should not be thwarted by anyone.
    Any move by him to the iberian Peninsula will give him an added advantage of drawing him closer to his family. A move he once promised his family .

    May 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  19. yaya

    if Man U believes in themselfs,they should let him do what he wants,and im sure it will be to go to Real.

    May 21, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  20. manneh

    not a stupid move frances,but a new challenge.

    May 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  21. daniel

    Man U should let him go because one does not hold a team

    May 22, 2009 at 11:09 am | Reply
  22. daniel

    Man U should let Ronaldo go and make Tevez stay at Old Trafford

    May 22, 2009 at 11:12 am | Reply
  23. kelvin

    go Man U Ronaldo

    June 1, 2009 at 10:35 am | Reply
  24. ezeobi ndudi

    I AGREE WITH U PEDRO, I THINK RONALDO SHOULD GO. HE HAS WON EVRYTHIN. FOR YRS NOW NO ENGLISH PLAYER HAS WON THE AWARD OF THE WORLD BEST PLAYER BUT RONNY HAS COME TO DO IT WITH UNITED, THAT'S A GREAT PLUS FOR HIM AND THE PREMIER LEAGUE. THEY SHOULD LET HIM GO SO AS TO FACE ANOTHER CHALLENGE WITH MADRID.

    June 4, 2009 at 10:47 am | Reply
  25. Jacques

    I think some of these clubs are going little bit of tracks.Then again RM need to ask Chelsea about the German Pretty boy (Michael Ballack) He became the highest-paid player in the Premiership.what did he do? we all saw the results. so let not get our hope to high for this guy. his is just one of the best player, that 's all.

    June 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Reply

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