Greece 2003: That summer of my life I was completely disconnected from a few things that were a part of me at the time, but to focus on football, I was disconnected for a moment from my team, Manchester United. The only contact with the club in that cucumber season was through a friend in SMS messages, in the era that preceded WhatsApp.
One day I was sailing, literally, to make arrangements in Athens – or rather, to pick up guests from the airport to “my” island – and as usual I bought myself an English tabloid at one of the newspaper shops, just to catch up on what was happening in the transfer window. A great article told the incredible story of the friendly match held by Manchester United in Portugal, at the end of which the team players approached the coach, Sir Alex Ferguson and asked for talks from a local boy who treated them fairly.
Anyone who has been familiar with the relationship between the grumpy Scottish Sir and his players knows that the phrase “in fear and pity” is too small to describe the way in which players, even his protégés like Neville, Scholes and Giggs, ask for such a request. It is difficult to know what the history of football would have looked like if the boss had not acceded to the request. I am not saying God forbid that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been today in a place where a string of rare talents have arrived on the Roni Calderon.Reuven axis, but there is no doubt that the encounter between the erupting, graceful and arrogant talent of the talented Portuguese boy and the tough manager’s spartan work ethic. Modern football, has created the “monster” that no football fan is unfamiliar with.
It’s almost hard to remember, but Ronaldo’s first years at Old Trafford were a little weak. The potential is obvious from the first touch of the ball, but the young talent had one major move in the repertoire, changing legs while trying to enter the field from the left wing. When it worked, it seemed like magic – only that very quickly the defenders learned it and the young Ronaldo came in every time with his head against the wall, until many began to ask themselves if the potential would indeed come true.
Also in terms of team it was the longest break of titles since the first championship the Scottish manager brought to the club in 1993. In the 042003 season, the Portuguese’s first at the club, won the hated rival championship, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. The next two years belonged to another Portuguese: Jose Mourinho, who marched Roman Abramovich’s billion.dollar project at Chelsea to two consecutive title wins.
Manchester United regained the title their fans were so used to seeing at Old Trafford only in 2007 – and Ronaldo was of course the big star of that sweet title. This was, of course, only the beginning, but also the beginning of the end: Ronaldo wanted more – more money, more fame, more to be the man he was all about, something that could never have existed in the United of Fergie era.
And here another element must be introduced that does not receive enough attention in the set of considerations of young stars. If London has a bit of a sex appeal, then in places like Manchester or Liverpool, it completely dissipates. My friends in Manchester will be very angry with me, but the city is gray, almost shabby, with bad weather and even worse food – where is it and where are destinations like Madrid or Barcelona for a football star looking for a more suitable environment for a young millionaire than the ever.leaking Lancashire?
Just a moment before Ronaldo left, he stayed another season – at the personal request of the manager who was in pain. It was clear even then: the virtuoso and arrogant Portuguese, full of himself to the core, listens to only one person, the man who so well channeled his innate talent and made him a star on a European scale. This influence of Sir Alex on Ronaldo also played a crucial role in the current decision, perhaps the most dramatic that Cristiano Ronaldo has made throughout his career.
Of the two that every football fan should thank for his good fortune for watching them wrestle over the past 15 years, Ronaldo and Messi, I have always been in favor of the first, and you will be surprised – precisely because the Argentine is more talented in my opinion. While Messi gets the most out of God’s touch, Ronaldo, who has less talent, has built himself into a mega.star who can even provoke debate, with the only player on the other side of the equation standing on the podium with Diego Armando Maradona, great The talents of all time. If Messi is a masterpiece of nature, Ronaldo is a masterpiece that is mostly man.made.
Larger than taxes
Last season did not go well with the two slowly growing phenomena: Ronaldo again failed in his attempt to bring the Champions League to the third giant club in his number (after Manchester United and Real Madrid, for both he scored in the Champions League final. With Madrid – we have already stopped counting even Some), Messi went from rejection to rejection along with the sinking Catalan Armada.
At the end of the season it was clear that it was time for the last dance of the big duo in the history of the game. Messi, for his part, chose to end his pulsating career at the club with the most money in the world. Not to be misunderstood: this is a legitimate decision that also has a professional challenge on its side, to turn the most expensive project in the history of the game into one that can win the most coveted title, after years of failures.
Until two days ago, it seemed that Ronaldo was going to do the exact same thing: go after the huge money of another sports organization whose budget is not his problem, one that also tries to create a brand of some sort, just like the French.
And as usual, the man who was there to build Ronaldo so that he would be a superstar who could give Fayette even a phenomenon like Messi, is also the man who helped him beat Messi by knockout, and not on the grass. What the elderly manager said to the adolescent talent, we will never know. If I may guess, I can assume he said something like: “Honey, you don’t need the City’s big money anyway, enough to compete already with Messi on who earns more and who is worth more – luckily you got more from him when it comes to looks, so you can always Earn more from it.
You have the opportunity to end your career where you started at 18, to make a fortune, even if less than what you would have been paid across the road – and the bonus: not a coach who would only say something like Pep Guardiola, but a coach who really needs someone like you. That even perfect doubles double pogba will give him the respect of kings. In short – back home my son and already the transition will show that you are bigger than Messi, who will end his career as a mercenary. ”
And we have already said: When Sir Alex speaks, Ronaldo who usually listens only to himself, listens – and usually also refers and implements.
As a Manchester United fan, I have no confidence that the match will go well: we have already seen that the connection between Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandez in the Portugal national team has managed to completely eliminate the latter, who is the most important player for Manchester United in the last two years. It’s hard to know if Solskjaer is the man to beat the team and turn a collection of rock stars into something that can play like the Philharmonic, and in general – it was Fergie himself who coined the phrase: football, Bloody Hel “. in a free (very) translation:” anything can be “. Since Friday afternoon I have been wearing a smile that is already starting to hurt my ears, with no ability to erase it?
First, because of the potential: Manchester United are back to being one of the teams with the highest potential in England and the continent, even if there is no guarantee that it will be realized.
And second – and much more important to me: after eight years in which the club only won consolation awards (the biggest of which is the 2017 Europa League Cup), it has proven to be still a huge club, a super brand of football that can attract one of the game’s two brightest stars , Even if it’s already at the end of his career (and if on the road you can also stick a finger in the eye of whoever Sir Alex called: “the noisy neighbors”, what good!).
“Viva Ronaldo” used to sing the fans’ song in the stadium that won the obligatory title “Dream Theater” – and indeed, starting on Friday, he officially returned to the dream – and in a big way. Viva Ronaldo!