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Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Cristiano Ronaldo must be the luckiest man in football. Had it not been for that slippery patch next to the penalty spot, or for Nicolas Anelka's almost total absence of professionalism, his spot-kick miss at the Luzhniki Stadium would have cost Manchester United the European Cup. In this parallel dimension John Terry's tears would not have been spilt, Roman Abramovich would have realised his dream and the world would have watched in bemusement as Peter Kenyon danced in the Moscow rain with the trophy above his head. After 'that miss' against Barcelona, cynical columnists would be lining up to accuse Ronaldo of lacking a big-game temperament and of cracking under pressure. Oh, it could all have been so very different.

You would think then that, having survived such a fortunate turn of events, the mercurial frontman would have thanked his lucky stars, put his head down and got on with his Euro 2008 preparations without drawing any attention to himself. Ah, but no. With a shiny Champions League medal stuffed into his back pocket, he has now apparently turned his attentions towards the Bernabeu, flashing a bit of sun-tanned thigh at Ramon Calderon and winking suggestively at Bernd Schuster.

I say 'apparently' because we never really know the full details of these sagas, but two things are very clear. Firstly, we know that something is wrong because Manchester United are so angry that you can the steam pouring out of the boardroom. Carlos Quieroz has launched a extraordinary attack on Real Madrid accusing them of unsettling his player and then, quite magnificently, of stealing Christopher Columbus as well. I had no idea that he was on their books. Secondly, and most upsettingly for United fans, we know that Ronaldo could end this speculation whenever he wanted by just coming out and professing loyalty to the club that made him, but he won't. In fact, he seems to be relishing all the attention. The fear is that, like so many wantaway players before him, he will now tell Sir Alex Ferguson that he doesn't want to play for United any more, forcing him into a summer sale.

For the life of me, I can't understand why Ronaldo wants to go to Real Madrid anyway. It can't be the money, can it? When you're earning more than SG$300,000 a week, cashflow can't be that much of an issue anymore. It can't be the size of the club either. Madrid are huge, but United are the reigning European Champions and the best suppported team on the planet. He certainly can't be desperate to link up with their players because one of them is his old nemesis Ruud van Nistelrooy, the man who reportedly told him to, "run away and cry to your Dad," just months after Ronaldo Senior passed away.

The American owners of Manchester United, the much-maligned Glazers, haven't got many admirers, but they'll have one here if they go through with their hilarious threat of sitting their sulking prize asset in the stands for the next three years. How would that work exactly? If Ronaldo did refuse to play for United, I can't imagine that he'd be too popular with his team-mates, or indeed with the Old Trafford faithful, so that rather limits the amount of seats he could park his bottom in. He could sit with the away fans, of course, apologising for his four seasons of diving, but he might not survive until full-time.

Perhaps we've all underestimated Malcolm Glazer. Maybe he's got something up his sleeve. I mean, he hasn't actually specified whose stands he'll sit him in, has he? Ronaldo might be the luckiest man in football, but right now he's behaving like the most spoiled as well. If I was Glazer, I'd buy him a season ticket at The Reebok Stadium and condemn him to three years of Bolton Wanderers. That'll teach him.
 

Irish_Shrimper

Ant from across the Pond
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
5,310
Location
Limerick, Ireland
Haha very good Slip. Fully agree, getting very tired of hearing his name on the football websites. You could argue that he has now won everything at Utd and wants a fresh challenge - but I do think he should show a bit of loyalty to Fergie and stay a bit longer in Manchester.
 

Bob Cratchitt

Devil's Advocate
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
7,777
Location
Near the Baby Jesus
Playing Devils advocate here,

How much exactly have you paid out for this article, or even this journalist, I would wager it would be less than a ha'penny a year. So the argument about paying for such journalism is in my book a moot point.
 

Slipperduke

The Camden Cad
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
4,333
Location
North London
Playing Devils advocate here,

How much exactly have you paid out for this article, or even this journalist, I would wager it would be less than a ha'penny a year. So the argument about paying for such journalism is in my book a moot point.

That's a very good point, but the problem runs deeper than just a simple transaction of licence fee for content. If the BBC didn't have a sports website then the millions of people who use it would be forced to go elsewhere. This diaspora of readers would flood onto the other sites, bringing with them the increased revenue of rocketing hit rates, thus allowing the quality writing to be rewarded.

The fact that the BBC's site does exist and that its presence therefore damages the competition, doesn't strike me as very fair. It would be acceptable if the content matched the commitment from the BBC to provide material that is entertaining and/or informative, but that Russian preview was neither. It was, at best, 30mins of surfing on and then some bullet points. It doesn't say how they play, who plays, what they might do. The only salient point is that, "the final game could prove crucial."

Thanks. For. That.

As a writer for a foreign paper, it doesn't really affect me at all and I'm probably just ranting because I accidently woke up too early. As a consumer, it bugs me because there is good writing out there and no-one can fund it because of this obselete and mandatory protectionist tax that we're all paying. We're not being hit in the pocket, but we're not getting what we, as enthusiasts to a ludicrously popular past-time, deserve.
 
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