Friday, September 5, 2008
Apology by ronaldo to manu fans
Cristiano Ronaldo has reassured Manchester United fans that he will play for the club with his "heart and soul".The Portuguese winger admitted for the first time to the Mirror that he is determined to stay and play for the English champions at least for one season.Ronaldo ended weeks of talk about his future and also said sorry for the row.
The United superstar said: "Ferguson heard my reasons, I heard his and indeed we had an agreement that the best solution for both parties would be if I stay."And before there are any rumours or speculation that I might stay against my will, I want to clear this up right now - whoever says or writes that, is lying."I will play for Manchester United with my heart and soul. I will fight and honour that shirt with all the commitment and dedication that I have always had."I want to say that I was the one who was most responsible for the whole controversy."It wasn't their (Real Madrid's) fault because I was the one that showed in public my will to move to Madrid. I also ended up, even though it wasn't my intention, the one responsible for all the problems between the two clubs."My desire was, for a while, for Manchester to sell me to Madrid. To say the opposite would be cheating people and my own conscience. But I do want to play there one day and my ambition to go there remains the same."
Ferguson had stood by Ronaldo in his darkest hours after the World Cup in 2006 and he has apparently been repaid by the star - even if he has been flirting outrageously with Real for months.Ferguson said: "I knew this was the case. I flew to Portugal and cleared the air. The boy has been through a lot in terms of the approach from the Spanish people."Once he knew my stance he settled down and was very pleased."I think the fans have got to understand it's difficult for him when your head is turned by all of this money."He's a young lad whose father died and he looks after his mother, sister and brother. I can understand that."Cristiano is happy here, he's always been happy here. He has always been treated properly. I have a great relationship with the boy. We will put this to bed now."
Now United can slam the door on his exit for a season or more, leaving Ferguson to plot a raid for a new striker and stuffing the Spaniards whose methods had undermined the club for months.United complained to FIFA about the Spanish champions' persistent attempts to lure Ronaldo.Football's governing body said no regulations had been broken.But Madrid were warned of potential legal consequences of inducing a player to breach his contract without just cause.
Real had been relying on Ronaldo asking for a move, but he always bottled that final act and the way he avoided flying back to Manchester also showed he had lost his nerve to push for a transfer.The key to last night's dramatic developments was that meeting between the player and Ferguson in Portugal just after his country's exit at Euro 2008. At the time it seemed certain Ronaldo would leave, but Ferguson managed to persuade the Madeira-born player he was much better off where he was.Ferguson, however, knows he will continue to be plagued by questions over Ronaldo and is equally aware the speculation will begin again next summer - given the player's claim he still wants to play for Real one day.
But for now United can start the defence of their European and Premier crowns content in the knowledge that the world's No.1 player will be back in a red shirt once he has shaken off his ankle injury.