By guest writer Thomas Rooney
Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid – does anyone even care anymore?
Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo might be going to Real Madrid. Then again, he might not. After a summer of speculation surrounding the future of the Portuguese star, his future is still up in the air with just two weeks to the start until the Premier League season. I have to ask – does anyone actually care anymore?
Obviously fans of Real Madrid and Manchester United are interested in what is going on, but even they must be getting fed up with the uncertainty. I know I am. The latest on this is that Ronaldo is to tell Alex Ferguson his move to the Spanish giants is ‘non negotiable’. Of course, this follows the Manchester United manager’s comments that the player will not be leaving Old Trafford.
Whatever next? Well, if I was to place a football bet on it I would say the next phase of this tedious soap opera would be that Manchester United will again deny that Ronaldo is to leave the club. Only for Real Madrid to say he is and the player to make no official comment. That’s normally how it works isn’t it?
What hasn’t been discussed much, certainly by the English media, is how Ronaldo will fair if he does join Real Madrid. It’s all been about how Manchester United will cope without him. Well, I want to talk about how he would fit into a team that won La Liga last season.
One of the key things in Madrid’s title win last season was the team spirit. Unlike they have been in the past, they were all working together well – as a team. There were no individuals that believed they were better than anyone else. Despite this, they still have a bundle of talent in the side. Players like Guti, Robinho, Arjen Robben and Ruud Van Nistelrooy excelled under Bernd Schuster. They recorded the highest points total in La Liga history and the question I would like to ask is – do they need Cristiano Ronaldo?
There is an argument that Ronaldo’s arrival could cause some unrest in the Madrid dressing room and upset the momentum gathered from last season. If he does arrive, it will occur just before the season starts so he may take some time to settle in. Will this affect the way the team plays in the first few games of La Liga season? It could do. Fair enough, I am looking at things from a rather negative perspective. Ronaldo is a world class player after all. I just wanted to highlight that the effort and the patience it is taking to bring Ronaldo to Real Madrid could be a waste of time. It could do more harm than it does good.
As has become routine for this transfer saga, we have to wait and see where Ronaldo will be come the start of the season. Rafael van der Vaart is reportedly close to a move to Real Madrid and in my opinion this would be a just as good a signing as Ronaldo. He would join several Dutchman in the Madrid squad and showed during Euro 2008 that he has matured into a fantastic player – even at the highest level.
So, in my opinion the imminent arrival of van der Vaart and the possible arrival of Ronaldo will have differing affects on Real Madrid’s hopes for the new season.
I would like to remind Schuster of an old saying before signing off for today – ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it.’ Especially at the definite cost of millions and millions of Euros and the potential cost to team spirit.