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The FOOTBALL Thread (2008-2009)

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Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that he will remain at Manchester United for another season.


In the longest running transfer saga of the summer, the Red Devils winger had fluctuated between his desire to remain at Old Trafford and fulfilling his dream of playing for Real Madird.


United had always insisted that the Portugal international was not for sale, but Real have a history of getting what they want.


However, the 23-year-old appears to have brought an end to the endless speculation surrounding his future by stating his intentions to remain in England for the 2008/09 campaign.


"I will remain with Manchester United for at least another year," Ronaldo told Portuguese newspaper Publico.


He goes on to praise United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who flew to Portugal in the aftermath of Euro 2008 to hold clear-the-air discussions with his enigmatic playmaker.


"Sir Alex Ferguson heard my arguments, I heard his and, in fact, it was settled that the best for both parties would be for me to stay," he added.


"Therefore, I can confirm that, next season, I will play for Manchester United.


"Before rumours emerge saying that I will play against my will, I want to make this clear - whoever says or writes that is lying.


"I will play for Manchester with all my heart and soul. I will fight and honour that shirt with the same commitment and dedication as always."


Ronaldo also accepted full responsibility for failing to stop the constant rumours regarding from spiralling out of control.


"I was responsible for all this controversy," he said.


"I was the one who publicly expressed my desire to go to Real Madrid. I ended up being, even involuntarily, responsible for the poor relationship between the two clubs."


While United will be pleased to here their prized asset committing himself to the club, Ronaldo went on to admit that he maintains his dream of playing for Real at some stage in the future.


He explained: "I knew Real Madrid were interested in signing me and that they had allegedly made a very high offer to Manchester United.


"My desire was, for some time, that Manchester had accepted my transfer to Madrid.


"Saying otherwise would be to trick people and my own consciousness."

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Not really. Then again, how long you been gone?


Manchester United - champions of England, champions of Europe.



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As it happened. Silly boy.


May 1: Ronaldo said: "It is hard to live in Manchester, but it is a great club and I am very happy here."


May 15: Ronaldo said: "I have said a million times I'd love to play in Spain. I feel happy here, but let's see what happens after the Champions League final."


May 22: Hours after helping United to the Champions League title, Ronaldo said: "I never promise anything. I don't promise anything to my mum and I don't promise anything to the Manchester supporters. I want to stay, I want to stay, but the future ... no one knows."


May 23: Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon said: "If a player decides to leave he is unstoppable. Slavery was abolished a long time ago and nobody can prevent a player from moving. If Manchester want to sell him (Ronaldo), we can pay what they ask."


May 25: Reacting to the Ronaldo speculation, United chief executive David Gill said: "Cristiano has a four year contract with us and he will be in a United shirt next season."


May 28: Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster said: "For the fans, this signing would be a spectacular 'boom', a bit like what we saw with David Beckham. Cristiano Ronaldo is our priority."


June 5: Ronaldo goes public on his desire to play for Real Madrid. He said: "I want to play for Real Madrid, but only if it is true they are eager to pay me and Manchester United what they have been saying they will."


July 10: FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: "In football, there is too much modern slavery. I'm always in favour of protecting the player. If he wants to leave, let him."


July 11: Ronaldo responds to Blatter's comments, saying: "I agree with the statement of the president, he is right."


July 18: After meeting Ronaldo in Lisbon, Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We both made our points of view about where we stand and where the player stands and what I can say is that he will be a Manchester United player next season. That's our stance, he won't be sold."


July 20: Real president Ramon Calderon said: "Ferguson is hard, but it does not matter. Ronaldo will be signed shortly."


August 6: Following Ronaldo's admission that he will stay at United, Ferguson said: "We can put this to bed now. It's finished and the boy is a Manchester United player and that's most important thing."

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This one is funny, if true


Real Madrid are reportedly set to demand �17m in compensation from Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese forward refused to demand a transfer from Manchester United.


Ronaldo's announcement last week that he would be remaining at Old Trafford heaped embarrassment on the Spanish giants and their president Ramon Calderon following their summer-long pursuit of the forward.


According to the News of the World, Madrid are adamant that 'they agreed personal terms with the Manchester United star at the start of the summer and insisted on the compensation clause if the transfer was not completed.


'Spanish media sources, who have become Madrid's unofficial mouthpiece during the Ronaldo negotiations, are reporting that Real president Ramon Calderon is determined to press ahead with the claim.


'Calderon might be prepared to waive compensation if he gets a guaranteed assurance from Ronaldo that he will join them next summer.'


However, that claim is contradicted by the Sunday Express which says that, such is Madrid's anger at being rebuffed, Ronaldo may never be allowed to fulfil his boyhood dream of moving to the Bernabeu.

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At long last, Premier League starts today.




Time to phone Skyperfect and get connected back up on the footie packages!

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I was bit shocked to see Hull in the premiership. I seem to remember them being regular rivals of hartlepool down in the 3rd / 4th division not so long ago.


Liverpool off to a lucky start...'long may it continue'

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