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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo: I Don't Like Manchester

Cristiano Ronaldo: I Don't Like Manchester

There are new quotes flying around which hint that Cristiano Ronaldo's time at the Theatre of Dreams is more like a nightmare...

XL Canal have quoted Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as saying that he cannot get used to Manchester - a city he dislikes.

The Portuguese ace looked as though he was going to ditch the rainy English city for the bright sunshine of Spain and Madrid during the summer, but the Red Devils were able to fight off Los Blancos.

As far as football is concerned, Ronaldo has thrived at Old Trafford and United's Carrington training complex. In fact, the free-scoring winger was recently crowned European Footballer of the Year when he got his paws on the Ballon d'Or.

Still, the flamboyant Ronaldo has seemingly failed to settle, some five years after joining from Sporting.

He apparently said: "I know Manchester from side to side, whereas I spend most of my time at home.

"It is pretty much different from Portugal. I am missing the beach, the sun and the sea.

"I am used to living here, which does not mean I like it."

Ronaldo, 23, has also been linked with a move to Italian side Inter this week.

Ferguson Bemused By Ronaldo 'Self-Substitution'

Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson was left in the stands wondering what was happening as Ronaldo took himself off against Sunderland this evening.

Following being sent off for taking matters, literally, into his own hands at the City of Manchester Stadium last week, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo left his manager bemused in the stands this evening at Sunderland as he appeared to substitute himself.

Having missed an open goal, the player was involved in a challenge with Sunderland's Andy Reid on 65 minutes. Following the tackle he was left clutching his ribs, and shortly afterwards, clearly unable to play on, he put the ball into touch and walked off the field.

Alex Ferguson, serving a touchline ban and not in his usual place in the dug-out, was immediately seen barking into his mobile phone as he desperately tried to find out what was happening.

As a replacement was not stripped or warmed up ready to go on, the incident was very strange and adds to recent controversy surrounding the way in which Ronaldo conducts himself on and off the pitch.

Two weeks ago Ronaldo was involved in a spat with Aston Villa supporters as he hobbled off the pitch at Villa Park during United's 0-0 draw in the Midlands. He responded to taunts by pointing to the number 7 on his shorts and then indicating he was 'number one' by holding his finger up to the sky.

A week prior to that, the Ballon D'Or winner was branded "a malicious guy" by Brazil's Thiago Silva, who was the victim of a spiteful tackle from Ronaldo during Brazil's 6-3 hammering of Portugal in Brasilia.

The injury was obviously genuine, and Ferguson did not seem angry when he spoke about the issue earlier.

"He got real kick on the hip-joint, just like Wayne Rooney did last year when he was in pain for a while and missed a couple of games," said the United manager.

"There was no need for him to come to the bench, though. The best thing is to get treatment straightaway. It was the sensible thing to do.

"We will see what he is like, although I was going to make changes for the Champions League game against Aalborg on Wednesday anyway."

If Nemanja Vidic hadn't popped up with a late winner for the Red Devils then Ferguson might not have been so even-tempered. The Scot does not suffer those who question his authority: just ask Jaap Stam and David Beckham, who were both quickly on their way out of Old Trafford once they'd displeased the boss.

Ferguson does not take kindly to those who perceive themselves as being bigger than the club, and this issue is bound to fuel speculation that Ronaldo is planning an exit from Old Trafford.

Cristiano Ronaldo Was Nearly An Arsenal Player - And Drug Addict!

It's all coming out now! Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he was metaphorical inches away from signing for Arsenal, while his mother has said his only viable lifestyle alternative was that of a drug addict...

Cristiano Ronaldo has confirmed previous rumours which suggested that he was close to signing for Arsenal in 2003, before eventually joining Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon.

"I was just an inch away from signing for Arsenal,” the reflective Ballon d'Or winner confirmed. "I saw Arsene Wenger three times with my mother.

"It was very close to being a done deal. Really, we were within touching distance.

"Wenger remains someone that I still have immense esteem for and my mum feels the same way. After I signed for United she and I were sitting watching a Premier League game on television and she yelled out 'I know that guy - I liked him!'"

It could all have been so different on the footballing front, clearly, yet Ronaldo's whole life could have been that of a no-good drug addict, according to mother.

Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro has said that her youngsest child was a troublemaker before hitting the big time and could have ended up wasting away, doing drugs.

"The teacher wanted me to tell him off," she remembered, referring to her son skipping school, "But I didn’t punish him. He had to practice a lot to be a great footballer.

"If Cristiano hadn’t have become a professional footballer, he would have been lost.

"He would have certainly become a drug addict or something terrible like that."

Carlos Tevez Mocks 'Old' Chelsea Squad

At a sprightly 24-years old, Carlitos admits that he finds it difficult to recover between midweek matches and the weekend fixtures. How must it feel, he asks, for Chelsea's Pensioners?

Manchester United forward Carlos Tevez has questioned Chelsea's ability to sustain a Premier League challenge over the festive period due to the age of the Pensioners' 'much older' squad.

Sir Alex Ferguson caused controversy over the summer when he suggested that Chelsea's average age would be a hindrance over a long season, and that particular avenue of abuse has been once again opened.

This time, Carlos Tevez is the man to chime in with the mocking words.

The Argentinean forward believes that the powers of recovery of the Chelsea squad would be diminished due to their respective ages, and he also questions the Londoners' strength in depth.

With four league matches in two weeks, starting December 14, Tevez believes that the Blues will be stretched to the limit.

He told Sky Sports News: "I think they are a great team. But I also think that as it is for me, at 24 years of age, it is sometimes very hard to recover and play Sunday and Wednesday.

"I would imagine that for some of the Chelsea guys that are much older it would be even harder.

"I think that the intensive Christmas schedule will take its toll on them because they have some great players but not so much strength in depth."

Tevez has been a shadow of his former self this season, as he has been squeezed out of Sir Alex's preferred starting line-up.

However, the diminutive attacker staked a claim for inclusion against Sunderland this weekend by smashing four goals past Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup midweek.

His manager admits that Tevez's performance has given him food for thought.

Ferguson told the press: "Without question, Carlos has given me a big selection problem and I have been doodling on my notepad over the last couple of days, trying to work out how I can fit all these players in.

"He gave a fantastic performance of energy, aggression and running. He is always a tryer and I admire him for that, but it doesn't make my job any easier!

"It's obvious that he doesn't enjoy not playing. He wants to play, but do I want players who don't like being left out or do I want players who are happy to sit in the stand?

"But I have to manage that as best I can. He wants to play and I understand that, but I want to pick a team that wins, so I have to be as fair as I possibly can. Performance matters and his performance on Wednesday gives me a big problem."

Anderson's Ferguson Bombshell: I Want To Play For Mourinho At Inter

Manchester United ace Anderson has admitted that he would like to play in Italy some time in the future.

The young midfielder signed for United in 2007 in an €18 million switch from Porto. Already, though, the 20-year-old Brazilian seems to be thinking about his next step.

"I am thinking about playing in Italy," Anderson is quoted as saying by Tuttosport.

"Italian football is the best in the world and the most intelligent. Every player wants to play in Serie A, because Italians are the masters of football.

"I really like Inter. I have always liked them from when Ronaldo played there. [Massimo] Moratti has always assembled great teams and Inter can win anything with the players they have.

"I will not hide myself and in future I would love to play for Mourinho at Inter.

"My dream is to be coached by Mourinho."

Anderson's remarks could see Fergie bring out the hairdryer and tell his starlet what he thinks of his ambition.

Mourinho was one of the United boss' biggest rivals when Chelsea fought the Mancunians for Premier League supremacy during the Portuguese tactician's tenure at Stamford Bridge.

Man Utd's Anderson: I could've become drug dealer

Manchester United midfielder Anderson has revealed how his junior days were plagued by major setbacks.

Anderson said: “My father died when I was 10. Aged 11 I was already away from home to earn a living. I could've become a criminal or a drug dealer, as the area I lived in was very poor, but thankfully I was passionate about football and Gremio signed me.

“Then when I played against Benfica in 2006-07, Giorgios Karagounis came in with a horrible challenge and fractured my tibia with complications in the right ankle ligaments.

“I was out for eight months and I admit I feared for my career.”

I Could Have Joined Inter Milan - Torres

Liverpool star Fernando Torres reveals he was close to joining Milan and came back on last season's Champions League tie against Inter.
Anderson loves Italian football - Inter and their 'Special' coach in particular.

Liverpool ace Fernando Torres, who finished third in this year's Ballon D'Or voting behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, revealed he was very close to joining Milan before signing for the Reds in 2007.

"I know that Milan were interested in me and that the clubs talked between them, but never to me," he said. "[His former club] Atletico never told me they intended to sell me before ending the negotiations with Milan, but there was talk about me joining them. It's always nice when the top clubs are interested in you."

The Spanish international did get a chance to play at the San Siro stadium last season, as Liverpool faced Inter in the last 16 stage of the Champions League and Torres scored the winning goal at the 'Scala del Calcio'.

"I was impressed, I had never played in that stadium," he continued. "Everyone had talked to me about it, but playing there is something else. There's a very long tunnel, which added to the atmosphere, and we understood it would be even tougher than we thought."

The Euro 2008 winner also talked about defender Marco Materazzi's sending off in the first leg of last season's Champions League tie, which he admits made it easier for Liverpool.

"When he was sent off last season it was perhaps a bit excessive, they were two harsh yellow cards, and if Inter had remained with eleven men it would have been much harder for us to qualify for the quarter finals...," the 24-year-old said.

No New Chelsea Contracts For Cole And Drogba - Report

The credit crunch appears to have arrived in West London after Chelsea postponed contract talks with a couple of their star players.

Chelsea have reportedly shelved plans to offer Joe Cole and Didier Drogba new contracts due to the current economic situation, according to the News of the World.

The pair both have only 18 months left on their current deals yet according to the paper the players have been informed they must wait until the end of the season at the earliest before talks can begin.

The report is likely to increase the speculation surrounding Drogba’s future as the striker has already been linked with a Stamford Bridge exit, with Inter Milan reportedly interested in signing the Ivorian.

Cole, meanwhile, who has been at the club since 2003, is suffering an injury interrupted campaign which has limited his appearances for the West Londoners.

The paper goes on to quote a ‘source’ as saying that despite not being able to offer the players contracts, the Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has been quick to attempt to talk his players into staying at the club.

The Chelsea source explains: “Scolari has been quick to realise the impact the dramatic change in the world’s economy will have on football

“And that’s why he had told his players they’d be mad to think about moving away from here. He reminded them that they are at a great club, a successful club and a sound club.”

“He told them they are unlikely to enjoy better times anywhere else – either in terms of competing for the big prizes of enjoying such generous contracts," the source continued.

“And he said he know from long experience in the game that the grass is not always greener anywhere else.”

Whilst the news suggests that finances are becoming an issue at Stamford Bridge, manager Scolari has reportedly insisted the club needs to sign a striker when the transfer window reopens in January, although they signs are he may not get his wish.