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Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: a good move
Published : 11 Jun 2009 14:33:07Rss feed
When Real Madrid began their overtures this time last year the Portuguese was roundly ridiculed for his loucheness, for those pap pictures of him topping up a mahogany tan by a Los Angeles swimming pool, but he left little doubt that he also wished to play his football with the sun on his back. Malaga or Majorca in May eclipse the dubious charms of Ewood Park on a drizzly January night. No one pretends that Ronaldo is motivated solely by such shallow concerns as the weather, but a move to Madrid edges closer to some cherished home comforts. There is a chance, for a start, that his mother, Dolores, might be at the Santiago Bernabeu for support, having made little secret of her desire for Cristiano to escape England at the earliest opportunity. The family affinity with Real runs deep, Ronaldo claiming that he had loved the club since he was a boy and betraying an affection for them he could never quite muster for Manchester United. His ambivalence towards United undoubtedly stems from his reception among English supporters. For all the treats and trickery he has bestowed upon the Premier League, Ronaldo always seemed to be at a cultural remove, every cheer at an audacious free-kick drowned out by a cat-call at a theatrical dive. Even United's own supporters had little stomach for his histrionics - first it was the step-overs, latterly it has been the sheer petulance - but Ronaldo's brand of 'ole' football is assuredly less of an acquired taste in Spain. The charade has simply gone on for too long. Sir Alex Ferguson performed an act of diplomatic brilliance in persuading Ronaldo to stay for another season but the player has moved beyond the point of succumbing to persuasion. His mind is set. United have accepted the only sensible course: to let him go.