It’s more than rivalry. It’s enmity. It’s been simmering some time now and it has escalated this week over Cristiano Ronaldo.
After learning of reports in the Spanish press that Manchester United had agreed to sell Cristian Ronaldo next summer, Sir Alex Ferguson slammed Real Madrid, saying he would never do another deal with “that mob”.
Spanish daily El Mundo reported that United and Madrid had reached a gentleman’s agreement for Ronaldo’s transfer to Santiago Bernabeu next summer.
The agreement was supposed to be Qq Online kept secret, but at least three Real’s directors could not resist chatting about that with their acquaintances.
Now Ferguson says there is no chance he will sell Europe’s top player to the Spanish club because of Real’s ungentlemanly conduct.
“Do you think I would get into a contract with that mob. Jesus Christ, no chance. I wouldn’t sell them a virus,” he said in a press conference in Japan where his team reached FIFA’s Club World Cup finals against Liga de Quito.
“There is absolutely no agreement at all between the clubs.”
Still, could Manchester United’s hierarchy have made a deal with Real’s Ramón Calderón behind Sir Alex’s back?
Why not, since Ronaldo is eager to join one of the few clubs more glamorous than United themselves and the closer his contract due to run until 2012 nears the end the lower his price-tag will be.
As early as next July, the Portuguese will be able to buy off his own contract at the price of his remaining salary of 120,000 pounds per week which must be less than what Real are ready to pay for a regular transfer fee.
Beckenbauer calls Rensing an amateur for Stuttgart blunder
Bayern Munich club president Franz Beckenbauer fiercely criticised keeper Michael Rensing for an error that led to the two point loss last Saturday against Stuttgart.
Bayern were 2-1 ahead until the last minute but then conceded a goal because Rensing, according to Beckenbauer, failed to intervene in time and seize the ball.
“When a keeper runs out from the goal, he has to catch the ball. The way in which he attempted to fist the ball away was amateurish,” said the “Kaiser” after the match.
“His criticism is a heap of nonsense. At least three or four players were straight ahead of me. I could not simply push them away. Furthermore, I was fouled and Jens Lehmann (Stuttgart’s goalie) confirmed that with me that afterwards,” replied Rensing, who succeeded the legendary Oliver Kahn at the start of this season.
“Earlier I was a bit irritated by being criticised, but not any more. Everybody is trying to be clever after the game. In fact my goal is to be Germany’s first choice keeper one day,” admitted Rensing, brave for standing up to the authoritative Beckenbauer.
Another Eto’os sweet revenge on Real Madrid
The biggest club match in the world, the Spanish el clásico, allowed Barcelona to open a 12-point gap over Real Madrid and cost Bernd Schuster his job at the Bernabeu.
Scoring the opener in the 2-0 win for the Catalan side, Samuel Eto’o showed he had not forgotten Real Madrid’s debt for having disowned him on three occasions. In 1999, Madrid loaned him to Espanyol, in 2000 to Mallorca and then in 2004 refused to pay 11 million euros to the same club to buy out the other half of the player’s contract.
Barcelona paid the full transfer and carried the big prize, as Eto’o went on to score 94 goals in only 122 Primera división appearances and the equalizer in the 2006 Champions League final against Arsenal.
Since arriving from Mallorca, Eto’o has scored four goals against Real, the first in 2004 at Nou Camp in a 3-0 win, the second the next year at the Bernabeu in a 4-2 loss and the third in late 2005 as Barcelona smashed Real by 3-0 in Madrid.
Three years have passed since that night and Eto’o failed time and time again to add the fourth against his archrivals. It seemed that the drought would continue when the Cameroonian missed a penalty with 20 minutes remaining, but in the 83rd minute he made up for the miss beating Íker Casillas with a marvellously predatory strike.
Ironically, new coach Josep Guardiola last summer thought of getting rid of
the sometimes overly temperamental Eto’o, but changed his mind just in time when noticing the striker’s commitment in the pre-season. And the African has repaid him with 15 goals so far in the Spanish league alone. And it’s not even Christmas.
Mourinho and Mihajlovic, forever friends
Inter’s coach José Mourinho has found an equally sharp-tongued rival in Sinisa Mihajlovic, new boss at Bologna.
Their conflict flared up over Inter’s player Adriano Leite, of whom Mihajlovic
said he should not be allowed to practice with the first team on account of his frequent disciplinary breaches.
Mourinho promptly replied to Mihajlovic, former assistant coach at Inter during Roberto Mancini’s reign.
“Everybody deserves a second chance. If Inter once allowed their player to practice with the first team even though he had spat at an opponent in the face, why shouldn’t Adriano get a new chance?”
The man alluded at by Mourinho was none other than Mihajlovic, who on one occasion spat on Adrian Mutu.
The Serb coach responded vehemently to the Portuguese.
“I cannot discuss soccer with Mourinho because he never played and he does not understand certain things. I did all sorts of stuff in my career which could not be justified and for which I got punished,” said Mihajlovic.
“By the way, his remark had nothing to do with what I said of Adriano.”
Now it was Mourinho’s turn to make fun of Mihajlovic for not working at Inter anymore.
“My assistant today is (Giuseppe) Baresi but Mihajlovic is speaking of Inter as if he was still working here.”
Mihajlovic left San Siro last summer alongside his friend, head coach Mancini, to make room for – Mourinho.
Brazilian President happy: Ronaldo, welcome to my Corinthians
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, is thrilled that Ronaldo Nazario Lima has signed for Corinthians, the club that Lula has supported since childhood.
“I was greatly pleased by the news. First, because he is a good chap and second, because he has done Brazil great service,” said Lula to tv channel Bandeirantes.
“It is true that he has reached the veteran stage (32), so he is likely to score fewer goals than before, but he can still be useful at the club level. I appeal to the fans to be patient with him if he does not start playing great right away.”
Somewhat less thrilled are Flamengo fans, who expected Ronaldo to join their team instead of their Sao Paulo “enemies”. Some of the Rio team’s ultras have even hired a witchdoctor whose job it is to conjure some black magic and prevent Ronaldo from triumphing at Corinthians. Some fans have even expressed desire to see the “traitor” break his leg so he could not make his debut for his new club!
Riquelme on target for inciting violence
Although an idol for millions of Argentinians, Juan Román Riquelme has been summoned to court to answer charges over inciting violence.
Riquelme appeared this week at a misdemeanor court in Buenos Aires under charges of inciting disorder during a league game last November.
The cause for the trial seems trivial indeed. During the Boca vs Rácing game (2-1), a spectator had shouted abuse and made rude gestures towards Boca’s players. After volleying the winning goal, Riquelme ran 50 meters towards the stand where the abusive fan was sitting and showed him the finger.
The public prosecutor claims Boca’s midfielder “violated two rules, one concerning inciting disorder and other related to the progress of the match.”
If sentenced, Riquelme could be fined up to 300 euros or jailed for ten days.
“The fan persistently insulted me and other players. One has no right to grab one’s testicles and shout abuse to everybody coming close to the touchline,” said Riquelme.
His solicitor believes his client will be acquitted and next to appear in court will be the disorderly fan, a certain Agustín Pozzetti.