Monday, August 11, 2008

Man Utd Syndrome

"The important thing is that we have ended all the stuff about Real Madrid and as he gets older, he will appreciate being here more. That happens with players the longer they stay here and they don't want to leave."

- Alex Ferguson, quasi-kidnapper and manager of Man Utd.

It's called Stockholm Syndrome, and it's nothing to be proud of.

Ronaldo wants to leave. He's made that very clear. He's won everything there is to win in England, and he wants another challenge. He wants adulation and hero-worship, tapas and funky nightclubs, and a bevy of sexy senoritas lining the footpath to his mansion.

He also wants more money.

We can berate him for being greedy and materialistic. But let's not fall into the trap of thinking he's over-paid. Ronaldo is probably the best player in the world, in the most popular sport in the world. He earns $250,000 a week, which translates as $AUS 12 million a year. How much would Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez or Michael Schumacher be paid? A lot more. And a CEO of a multinational earns much, much more. Ronaldo is exceedingly well-paid, but when you compare him with the top earners in other professions, it ain't that much.

I think Ronaldo will leave at the end of the year. They've struck some sort of bargain so that Man Utd save face and Ronaldo doesn't look like a complete tosser. Ronaldo pledges his eternal devotion to Man Utd for one season, and Man Utd get to leech off his talent for one more year. And next year, there'll be a world-record transfer to Real Madrid.

It boils down to this - Ronaldo wants to leave, and Fergie wants him to stay. Fergie wants him to stay so he can suck on his proverbial teat one last time. Man Utd isn't the same side without Ronaldo. Fergie wants to squeeze that dude dry, tease another couple of Champions Leagues out of his talent, and flog him off when he's thirty and just a withered, dessicated piece of perma-tanned Portugese leather.

At times like this, I remember what Wenger said after Vieria rejected the offer from Real Madrid. He said that he hoped Vieria wasn't staying because he was comfortable. I liked that. Wenger wanted Vieria to continue to challenge himself, to continue to grow. I get the feeling Wenger really cares for his players. He looks after them, wants them to be the best that they can be. And if it means that they have to leave Arsenal to do so, he'll let them do so.

I'm really proud of Arsene Wenger for that.


fran said...

yo man, love the blog, it's the most cerebral by far and balanced, but you already knew that. not sure about wenger and the vieira story however, he cares for his players, THAT'S FOR SURE, keeps the underperformers around a while, but he also likes a nice transfer fee on the back end as well. keep it up man, best blog, best secret as well unless your intellectual perspective intimidates most fans from commenting?

Connolly's agent said...

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