In recent days Manchester United have done a pretty little number on Real Madrid, a quick one-two to the ribs leaving Los Merengues looking slow and sorely unequipped for the war.
And rest assured, this is a war – one that will be fought till Cristiano Ronaldo’s career ends, or he leaves Manchester United (whichever comes first). And now that Ferguson has managed to convince Ronaldo not only to stay this season but to also stay on for at least a few more seasons, his job is done and no matter Real Madrid do, Fergie will win.
By the time he retires from Manchester United Ferguson is likely to have kept Ronaldo at Old Trafford till then and defied Real Madrid in the most public club-v-club harrassment in recent footballing history (and if you’ve forgotten, think back to the nauseatingly overwhelming coverage of the Ronaldo-saga over the summer in which all Calderon did (ok, 80% of the time, but he was talking every other day for the whole damned summer) was talk about Ronaldo.
With Ronaldo’s future firmly entrenched with Manchester United’s, Ferguson can afford to be brash and cocky and take the fight to Madrid – a 180-degree turnaround from the summer when Ferguson kept quiet in the face of intense media speculation mainly because Ronaldo had not decided on his future.
Just looking at his recent comments tells you the man is not just ready for the fight but he’s going to enjoy putting Madrid down every opportunity he gets. Expect Ferguson to keep Ronaldo at OT till 2010 or 2011, which is around the time Fergie will move towards retirement. Real Madrid are not going to get the best player in the world, and it has to sting. In the aftermath, Madrid fans and players have come out and said that they don’t ‘need’ Ronaldo, which is as arrogant and blinded as you can get.
Was Ferguson wrong to speak about Madrid’s history? You bet. It’s hypocritical to use history as argument one minute and crush it to dust the next when it suits your purpose. It’s also unprofessional to talk about former players or players of other clubs the way Ferguson did with Heinze and Madrid. I wish he hadn’t said the things he’s said and what he did is wrong regardless of his status in the game.
In the context of the greater war between United and Madrid though this is just one side kicking the other when they’re down, grinding down a beaten opponent ruthlessly to ensure victory. You can hate him, you can love him, but the bottom line is, he’s great at winning and Madrid are not the first and not the last conquest for the fiery Scotsman.