The whole Ronaldo thing is really quite simple and there’s three different ways it’s going to get resolved. All of them depend on the motivation of why, exactly, Ronaldo is saying one thing to the English press and another to the Spanish. What this does demonstrate, just from the outset, is the fact that Ronaldo is a shrewd media operator. Not made in the affable “aw, shucks” mold of David Beckham, he is as calculating as any girl you’d see on the Hills.
A) He really does want to leave. If Ronaldo really does want to go, it’s because he thinks he’s accomplished all he can at Manchester United (prem title, league’s best player, Champs league). I think this is bogus because he’s really only had one truly outstanding season and we will find out next year whether this was a one-off or not. He may also want to leave because he thinks he’ s bigger than the club… And I personally don’t think even Cristiano’s narcissism is at that level… Yet.
B) He wants to stay, he just enjoys the attention. This is the one I’m hoping for. I have a feeling that a lot of the media coverage happens to be due to Euro 2008 starting this week and the Spanish and Portuguese press needing something exciting to talk about. He keeps them guessing by playing coy about everything and this may be a subtle way to segue into option C.
C) He wants more money. This is the most likely reason why he’s doing what he’s doing. Abd I can kind of see where he’s coming from with this one as, in his mind, he was being paid the same amount when he was a 15 goals a season man with a few assist here and there. Now he’s racked up almost 50 goals and become the league’s best player. While he is being handsomely rewarded as it is, he is likely looking to become the league’s highest paid player. And there is a legitimate argument for that.
I believe that Fergie is right to come out guns-blazing (or Glazing) when he insists that the team’s owners would happily sit Ronaldo in the stands rather than sell him to Real Madrid just because he wants to spend more time on the beach and become the Spanish Press’ favorite person for the next few months until some Spanish soap star falls off a balcony or gets addicted to coke and everybody forgets about C. Ronaldo and the unimpressive year he’s having adjusting to the monotony and crap that goes on in the Spanish league. I don’t think Real should be reported to UEFA, but I do think they are crossing the line a bit by using their proxies at the Marca to unsettle Cristiano and keep the media attention on him. If he wants to leave, I think it will take a cool 150 million pounds to force the move. I think the Glaziers are that stubborn. And good on them for that. A PLC would jump at the chance to sell Ronaldo for 70 million. The Glaziers simply don’t have to think that way, luckily enough for us United fans.