One of the most bitter transfer sagas of this summer has been the "will he/won't he" debacle regarding Cristiano Ronaldo. Although currently at Manchester United, the player is a target of Spanish giant Real Madrid, with the player himself stating "it would be a dream to play for such a club."
So incensed are Manchester United about this whole situation that they have (unsuccessfully) reported Madrid to world football governing body FIFA, citing the Spanish club's unethical tapping up of a player under contract. Although I have to think that it's fair karma for United, who have been guilty of the same thing over the years, I do have some sympathy for them.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Selective Memory
Although there is no denying his talent, there is also no denying that Ronaldo has a very selective memory. Much like other players of his generation, he seems to forget who helped make him who he is today, as well as believe in his own importance just a little too much.
At the World Cup in 2006, Ronaldo was involved in the controversial sending off of England striker Wayne Rooney, a team mate at Manchester United. Ronaldo was playing for his national team Portugal, and England were their opponents in the quarter finals of that year's tournament.
Despite the backlash that ensued across England on Ronaldo's return to the domestic scene, the protection and loyalty shown by Manchester United staff, players and fans alike was impressive, to say the least. Yet Ronaldo seems to have conveniently forgotten this.
Better than Ronaldo
Yet does it really matter anyway? It looks fairly settled that Ronaldo will probably end up at Madrid for the 2008-2009 season, but so what? Should United try and hang onto a player that has eyes elsewhere anyway?
Additionally, if the rumour mills are true, a certain Lionel Messi could be Old Trafford-bound and this little powerhouse midfielder could run rings around Ronaldo.
One thing that the Manchester United fans can be sure of-their manager Sir Alex Ferguson will do what's best for the team. He has never shirked from making big decisions, as the likes of Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, Paul Ince, David Beckham and more have found out.
If he feels that Ronaldo will ruin what is clearly another exciting dynasty building up at the Theatre of Dreams, he'll ship him off faster than you can say "selfish brat". The team never suffered too much when the previous wearer of Ronaldo's number 7 shirt, David Beckham, was farmed out-I think it can survive the loss of a certain Portuguese prima donna.