Manchester United's Antonio Valencia not interested in becoming Ronaldo II
16 July 2009 04:52
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Antonio Valencia is determined to be his own man and not try to become Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo mark II.
While Ronaldo is still attracting all the headlines as he starts the job of proving he was worth the world record £80million fee Real Madrid paid United for him, Valencia has made a somewhat lower key arrival at Old Trafford.
The Ecuador star might have cost Sir Alex Ferguson £17million but that fee is dwarfed by the vast amounts that have been shelled out this summer by both Real and, rather closer to home, Manchester City.
Yet, with Ferguson declaring his close-season transfer business over, the Red Devils' faithful will look to fill the enormous gap left by Ronaldo.
It is not a position the South American is entirely comfortable with and one he is pretty eager to distance himself from.
'I don't make any comparisons between myself and Cristiano,' he said.
'Obviously Cristiano did very well here but, when I had my first conversations with Manchester United, it was never said I was coming here as a replacement for him.
'What I want is to make sure I do my own job and concentrate on the things I do well.
'That is the main thing for me because I have a real desire to be a success here.'
History suggests Valencia will be compared to Ronaldo until such point as he begins to carve out his own niche in United history.
Earning a Premier League title in his first season would be a start, particularly as it would be a fourth on the trot for United, a feat never previously achieved in English football history.
Meanwhile in Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo is the player expected to lead Real Madrid back to the top of the football world, and he is relishing the chance to prove he can do just that.
'Life is a challenge, and I'm a challenge man,' Ronaldo said at Real Madrid's pre-season training camp near Dublin.
'You need sometimes a little bit of luck, but I believe we have a good team, a good coach.
'All of us have to concentrate together to win championships.
'I'm the same as all the others, and together I think we can achieve that.'
Ronaldo's first match with Madrid is likely to be on Monday when the team plays a friendly against Shamrock Rovers.
He said coach Manuel Pellegrini hadn't told him yet whether he will play at Rovers in a stadium where special stands have been erected to accommodate the more than 10,000 fans expected to attend.
Whether or not he plays, Ronaldo was not prepared to offer any insight into Madrid's opponent.
'To be honest with you, I don't know. I don't know any player,' Ronaldo said. 'Sorry about that.'