One City, Two Ronaldo's?

Chris DowdingCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2008

When Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers to take up the reigns at Manchester City, there was feverish talk of Ronaldinho ditching the sun and sangria of Barcelona and joining Hughes for a pint of Boddingtons in the rain. As we all know, the move never transpired, and Ronaldinho pitched up at AC Milan.

Since then Hughes has found his fledgling tenure at Eastlands beset by problems in the boardroom, and indifferent performances on the pitch. Today a story broke, albeit tentatively, linking Ronaldo with City. Not the world beating, transfer touting Ronaldo of rival Manchester United, but the other Ronaldo. Oh come on, you must remember him.

Brazil, PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Flamengo, buck-teeth, lots of goals, nearly as many injuries, three transvestite prostitutes on a night out? Ring any bells? That's right, the player once considered the best in the world, might be on his way to the City of Manchester Stadium. Amusing, is it not?

If ever a sign that City officials are on the verge of losing the plot, this is it. If Ronaldo had not had the problems, which have been so well documented, this would be a move of epic proportions. By the same token, if Ronaldo had not had those problems, this is a move that would never even be considered.

If City thinks that they're getting a player who can set the Premiership alight and score them a hatful of goals, then they're mistaken. Sad though it may be, Ronaldo is finished. The injuries he has had to endure, in addition to the pounds he has piled on over the years, have ripped his once incredible pace away from him, and that was by far his greatest asset.

Sure, he was an incredibly accomplished finisher and his build up play was more than reasonable, but mentally he knows he cannot hit the same heights again, admitting after his most recent injury that he didn't know if he would play again. In addition, here we are, with him being linked to the blue half of Manchester.

Some of City's signings over the last twelve months or so have been astute - Corluka, Elano and Petrov among them. They have a talented young manager who, given time, could turn them into a team that regularly competes in Europe.

However, the boardroom shenanigans and a seemingly overwhelming desire to out-do Manchester United could be City's undoing this season. There seems to be an almost needy requirement for a "superstar" to play in blue, one that might rival the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

If City buy Ronaldo they may have their superstar, but they won't have a player who can inspire his team and perform when most needed.