The fuss that surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo always appeared to be something that amused the winger, which frustrated our fans all the more. His comments about loving “playing in white”, when referring to the colours of his national team’s shirt during Euro 2008 wound us up good and proper. Our club had just helped him develop in to the best player in the World, our fans had idolised him, and here he was cock teasing Real Madrid and leaving us totally uncertain about where he would be playing next season.
Some fairly interesting comments from our Portuguese player have emerged today though, with him suggesting that after all that speculation, he won’t leave United now.
Whilst the general understanding was Sir Alex Ferguson had convinced Ronnie to stay for one more year, only to leave us for Real Madrid next summer, our manager seemed fairly confident of keeping him for longer.
“As he gets older I think he will appreciate being here more and more,” said Ferguson. “The longer people stay at this club you tend to not want to leave. Rio Ferdinand is an obvious example of that. But really I’m just pleased we have managed to put all this Real Madrid stuff to bed. They know what they are dealing with now.”
Ronaldo has today supported that opinion, claiming his future at United is settled, with him having no intention of leaving us.
“The speculation about my future is normal,” he said. “I like it and it amuses me that people around the world are waiting to see what I will do. This is just part of the show. The important thing for me is the talk about me is as a proper professional. Money was not the issue as to why I did not go to Madrid. Life is more than money. Now I am happy at United. We sat down and fixed things. I will not leave England now.”
I suppose the only dubious part in this statement though is his use of the word ‘now’. Is he saying that he is planning on seeing out his contract in England, that he plans on staying at United forever, or we don’t need to worry about him jetting off to Spain in January?
Whatever the situation, we now know that if Ronaldo leaves the club, it will be on our terms alone. We have proven that we can fight off other clubs and if want to retain him next season, we will do. If he is sold, it is because the manager has decided that is what is best for the club. Either way, we win.
For now, whether it’s talk of staying or leaving, I’ll take any comments Ronaldo has to make about his future with a pinch of salt.