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What They Said: Wenger apologises, Agent on Manchester United’s £785m target



Soccerlens’ ‘What They Said’ column is back. Judging by the amount of readership it got last season, we decided to continue this term as well. Without further ado, let’s start the show – today we have Jorge Mendes throwing lights on Cristiano Ronaldo’s staggering release clause and Arsene Wenger finally apologising for shoving Jose Mourinho at the Bridge.

A touch-line hustling between Mourinho and Wenger made all the headlines in Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 victory over the Gunners last weekend. Both the managers were unrepentant after the match and each had their own alibi to defend.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Wenger for-what-ever reasons unknown had a sudden change of heart and issued an apology for his part of the confrontation with Mourinho. In an interview with French television show Telefoot, he said:

“They gave too much importance to this story. In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all, it’s not a way to behave on a football field.

“I always regret any signs of violence and I apologise, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic. And then we have quite a substantial past. Did Mourinho provoke me? That is how I felt. I did not enter Chelsea’s technical area.”

Ah, Wenger, the moral guardian. What did you expect? Mourinho would also issue an apology and say it-was-just-a-child-play, eh? Well, Mourinho did give an interview to the same news channel, but unlike Wenger, he said this: “I have no words to explain what everybody saw in those images.”

I have one little advice for both of them – Just. Grow. Up.

Moving on to the other story, super-agent Jorge Mendes recently said that Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be returning back to Old Trafford, or join any other club, as his client is committed to the Real Madrid project till the end of his career.

That should have end all hopes for Manchester United to lure him back. Mendes goes on to remind everyone that any potential buyer would have to sell a part of his club, all major shares and what not to trigger Ronaldo’s release clause, which is around €1bn – are you freaking kidding us?

He said in an interview: “I no longer get calls from anyone asking about Cristiano. It’s not worth them calling to ask for it. The price is that stated in his release clause – €1bn [£785m].”

 “We will never find one like [Ronaldo],” he said. “It is true he is getting better and will continue to improve until he is 40. Cristiano has no limits. Besides being the best footballer in history, he is the greatest athlete of all time. There will be no one like him in the next 500 years.”

This is simply unreal – €1bn? How? For your reminder, Mr Mendes, India became the first country in the world to have successfully launched a satellite in Mars; a path breaking incident, the total cost of the project was around $80m. Football, bloody hell!