The message which has been coming from the press today is that Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly on his way out of Manchester United. Portugal were knocked out of Euro 2008 last night meaning Ronaldo finally had to comment on his current situation, after weeks of speculation linking him with a move away from the club.
The quotes from the press all came from an exclusive interview Ronaldo gave with Guillem Balague.
The headlines: “Ronaldo drops quit hint” (Sky Sports), “Ronaldo keen to force ‘dream’ move to Real” (The Times) and “Ronaldo Vows To Quit United” (The Sun).
However, if we look at the interview in its entirity, you will see clues that suggest maybe Ronaldo has been planning to stay put all along.
There have been quotes in the press from ‘sources close to the player’, which claim Ronaldo banned Ferguson from the training ground with Portugal, not wanting any contact from him and rejecting his calls.
Guillem: Is it true that you never took a call from Ferguson?
Ronaldo: It is not true
United fans will remember that in the aftermath of the European Cup final, Ronaldo was asked several questions about the match and his future. The final question, before he rejoined his team mates to celebrate, was whether he was leaving United next season. “I stay,” he said with a grin.
In the interview yesterday, without saying what his decision was, Ronaldo claimed his mind had been made up for some time.
Guillem: When did you take that decision?
Ronaldo: Some time ago, before the Champions League final
If Ronaldo had made his mind up before the Champions League final that he was staying, then his post match comments would suggest that he has known all along that he is staying with United.
However, the clearest indication that his intentions were to stay with United came later in the interview. As we are all very aware, United fans are generally none too pleased with the way Ronaldo has conducted himself in recent weeks. If he knew he was going to stay or go, then he should have come out and told the fans, rather than stringing us along.
In yesterday’s interview, Ronaldo was asked him what he felt about the fans’ frustration.
Guillem: You know that when you return to Manchester people will be upset with you
Ronaldo: But that will pass, a couple of good goals and people will be happy
Ronaldo was playing games with his comments about ‘white shirts’ last week, and I’m starting to wonder if he’s playing games again now. When he talks about his ‘dream’, people assume he is talking about Real Madrid, however that could just be more cock teasing from Ronaldo. In a few days time, he could reveal his dream is to stay in Manchester (assuming United bump up his contract, possibly?).
Do you think Ronaldo is planning on staying?