Ronaldo Will Be In Madrid After Fergie Retires

ThomasSenior Writer IAugust 9, 2008

"As he (Ronaldo) gets older I think he will appreciate being here more and more.  The longer people stay at this club you tend to not want to leave," Sir Alex Ferguson said.

Fergie, usually you're right; but this time, you're dead wrong.

While us Americans were watching the Brett Favre saga, the rest of the world was watching the Ronaldo saga.  Thankfully, that saga wasn't as bad or as boring as Favre's.  In the end of it all, Ronaldo has decided to stay with Manchester United...for now.

However, the possibility of Ronaldo going to Real Madrid is still very, very real.  Ronaldo was very close to going and the only reason he has decided to stay is because of Ferguson.  In an interview with Portuguese magazine, Publicito, Ronaldo stated the extent of his admiration to Fergie:

"Believe me, it makes me proud to know how much he thinks of me. And he knows I feel exactly the same way about him. He has been one of the most important people in my playing career. Not only because of what I've learnt and continue to learn from him in sporting terms, but also in human ones as well.

"I love the passion he has for football. If it were humanly possible I would like to have him always by my side. Of course it's not possible but it shows how much affection, admiration, and respect I have for him. He has always been like a second father to me at United.

"I'll never forget it was him that explained the significance of the number 7 United shirt, which will always be my shirt. When I was at Sporting I had a number of offers, some of them very lucrative. One of them offered eight million euros just as a signing on fee and meant that I would play for Sporting for one more year and then leave as a free agent. But money isn't everything. Real, Barcelona, Inter, Milan, Juventus, Valencia, and practically all the big clubs were also interested."

The only reason Ronaldo wanted to be transferred was because he's just bored of winning in England.  Since he's been there, Manchester United has won everything possible.  Now, Ronaldo feels like there's nothing left for him in England—nothing but Sir Alex.  Ronaldo is at a point in his life when he's the most wanted player in Europe.

As I said before, Ronaldo was so close to transferring to Madrid.  He had a few reasons to leave.  In that same interview, Ronaldo said:

"After we'd won the Champions League, I felt that in five years I had helped win everything there was to win. We'd won the Premier League twice and I'd won a host of individual awards, including the best goalscorer in the Premier League, Champions League, and in Europe.

"So I felt that maybe I needed a new challenge. I never hid the fact that I wanted to play in Spain, at Real Madrid in particular, and I thought this could be the right moment. United and Real are probably the two biggest clubs in the world and it would never be an easy decision to make.

"Apart from the challenge, everyone realises that Spanish and Portuguese culture and lifestyle are more similar. Those were the reasons that made me consider the change.

"Apart from the reasons I've just given, I also have to recognise that my family would welcome the change. The chance of being an hour's flight from my mother and the rest of my family was very attractive, even more so playing for a club like Real Madrid.

"I know I have to deal with these circumstances, even though it's difficult sometimes, but it's harder to ask the same of the people I love the most. The best proof of what I've just said is the fact that I've just made a major investment in a house in Manchester, even though I didn't have to. I did it not just for my own comfort but also for those closest to me.

"The people at United, particularly the manager, understood my reasons. But we all eventually concluded that I should continue to wear that number 7 shirt. It's no sacrifice for me, it's a great honour. I have important things to win in England. I will give everything I have to United.

"I want to defend the European Cup and help United become world champions, not forgetting the league and other cups."

Ronaldo will always be a Manchester United legend.  However, once Sir Alex leaves, everyone knows that Real Madrid will come knocking at Ronaldo's door.  This time, he'll have no reason to stay and go to his dream team, Real Madrid.  For now though, he'll play his heart out for Manchester United.


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