Archive for the ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ Category
When I met Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal a few weeks ago it was clear that his love for Manchester United still burns brightly - so, take it from me, a dramatic return to Old Trafford will be no surprise if Real Madrid fans drive him away from the Bernabeu.
While filming his Portuguese team-mate Nani for a documentary I was producing for the Manchester United TV Channel, there were two key moments during our 12 day filming schedule when Ronaldo’s feelings for the Reds shone like a beacon.
The Portugal captain dismissed his national media as ‘freaks’ when they criticised his team for conceding three goals in a 5-3 win over minnows Iceland during their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. But his first sight of me holding up the MUTV flag on my microphone brought an immediate smile and thumbs up that was genuinely affectionate.
A couple of days later when I snatched a couple of questions during a press conference before his country’s showdown with Denmark, Ronaldo made it absolutely clear that Manchester United will always have a special place in his heart. It was not what he said but the unmistakable sparkle in his eyes when he spoke about United.
It was so clear that Helder Conduto, the match commentator for state broadcaster RTP Portugal turned to me and said: ” United are in his heart, there’s no question” the moment Ronaldo departed. ” One day he’d love to return to Manchester.”
A couple of weeks later, to mark Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25th anniversary as Manchester United manager, Ronaldo’s passionate tribute to the manager who turned him into a world star left no one in any doubt that he will jump at the chance to return to Old Trafford when the time is right.
The fact that Ronaldo was booed by Real fans despite scoring 108 goals in his first 111 games for Madrid has raised questions about whether or not his time at the club is drawing to an end. It will be a wrench to leave the club he supported as a boy, but no more than it was when he left United in an £80 million pound move in the summer of 2009.
It is a long time since United made a dramatic signing that took the world of football’s breath away. And the obstacles in the way of such a momentous transfer would make Ronaldo’s return one of the biggest transfer stories ever. So let’s be honest it really is a long shot – but if you ask me what I want for Christmas . . .
Sporting freeviews onVISIONSPORT.TV
Lionel Messi may be the favourite to win the 2011 Ballon D’Or and claim the title of the best player in the world for a third successive year – but it is testament to the progress of Portugal’s Nani that the Manchester United star is included in FIFA’s shortlist of 23.
Nani joins team-mate Wayne Rooney and Manchester City’s new hero Sergio Aguero in a list dominated by the best of Barcelona who have no fewer than eight players nominated. Former United star Cristiano Ronaldo is also included.
But it is no surprise to me that Nani has been elevated to such heights after spending the past month working on an upcoming documentary for MUTV on the kid from Cape Verde.
Sporting freeviews onVISIONSPORT.TV
The list will be reduced down to three on Dec 5 with the winner being announced in Zurich on Jan 9.
Player nominees: Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
Like it or not Luis Nani is going to be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo every time he does something special – and the way the 24-year-old Portuguese boy wonder is maturing into a world class performer that is going be a regular occurence.
The truth is Nani can do most things Ronaldo can do and then some. And the stats show he is a better team player than his fellow countryman was in his first 100 Premier League games for Manchester United . . . both scoring 19 times but Nani has nearly three times as many assists.
Nani does not like being compared to his former team-mate and you have to respect United’s current Portuguese superstar for wanting to be judged as an individual. He certainly deserves the right to be revered as one of the game’s outstanding talents.
Since marking his 100th Premier League game with an awesome strike in United’s 3-1 demolition of Chelsea, Nani unloaded another stunning strike that earned a point at Stoke City this evening. But it is his all round contribution that is really starting to get noticed. And his growing maturity is great news both for Manchester United and Portugal.
Watch out for upcoming news about my new film with Nani coming soon
Sporting freeviews onVISIONSPORT.TV
BECKHAM V RONALDO: HOW FITTING THAT FOOTBALLING DIVAS GO HEAD TO HEAD IN LOS ANGELES. BUT WHO IS THE GREATEST?
Both found fame wearing the red No.7 shirt at Manchester United. Both followed the trail to Real Madrid. And both have transcended their sport to become worldwide fashion icons and footballing divas.
But who is the greatest – England’s David Beckham or Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo?
Based on pure talent on the football pitch it is no contest . . .
Whether or not Ronaldo is currently the best player in the world can be challenged by Lionel Messi, but he certainly has been the No.1. Cristiano has it all. He can shoot, dribble, score with both feet and is outstanding in the air.
Ask yourself which player at their peak would you prefer in your team and it is not such a one-sided argument.
Becks is arguably the best crosser of the ball we have ever seen. His commitment and passion is never in doubt. He has scored some of the best and most important free-kicks at pivotal moments. And his effectiveness down the right wing was a potent weapon that could win any match in an instant.
The truth is they are two different players with very different qualities. But what they do have in common is the way they have fashioned their images to turn themselves into style icons with massive earning potential and a global following outside football.
It is a marketing man’s dream to see Becks and Ronaldo go head to head in Saturday’s World Football Challenge as the ex-England captain’s Los Angeles Galaxy side play host to his former club Real Madrid.
It is the first time Beckham has come up against Real since making the move from Spain to the United States in 2007.
It is only a friendly. But it is fascinating to see what the American public make of the showdown between the world’s most famous soccer divas.
Beckham’s iconic goal against Greece is a moment that no English fan will ever forget . . .
EXCUSE THE QUALITY BUT HERE IS A TREAT FROM YOUTUBE FOR ANYONE WHO WONDERS WHY WE CALL IT ‘THE BEAUTIFUL GAME’
As a professional film maker it never ceases to amaze me how content is king even when the video quality is shocking. This montage was clearly produced by an amateur YouTuber and is poor quality technically and 100% unofficial. But you will still enjoy the beauty of the action. That’s why it has had over 13 million views.
For quality football DVDs visit the visionsport.TV online shop
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL: WHY BARCA AGAINST MAN UNITED IS DESTINED TO BE ULTIMATE SHOWPIECE FOR BEAUTIFUL GAME
Forget the FIFA World Cup Final. This is the big one. The Champions League Final. The biggest game on the planet bar none. And never has a game been more eagerly anticipated. The 2011 Final at Wembley on Saturday (May 28) could be the ultimate showpiece for The Beautiful Game. It will certainly draw one of the biggest TV audiences of all time – and my prediction is that this time we will be treated to a contest to match the hype and delight the purists.
There is no doubt it is absolutely the dream final. Between the two most exciting teams in world football, whose history and fans demand entertainment as well as glory. Fortune favours the bold and with both sides committed to goals and glamour the recipe for a classic is surely guaranteed.
Two years ago Barca triumphed when Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi scored the goals in a 2-0 win against a Manchester United side weighed down by a shocking contribution by Cristiano Ronaldo – playing his final game in a red shirt before his £80 million move to Real Madrid.
But this time the Catalans know they face a much tougher challenge to their status as the World’s top ranked club. United have got better and better all season making the critics – who keep telling us this is not an outstanding team – look more and more ridiculous.
At times this season United have hit extraordinary heights to match any in the epic 25 year resign of the world’s greatest football manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The twin threat of a Wayne Rooney back to his glorious best and Mexican sensation Javier Hernandez is as good as it gets. Edwin Van Der Sar will be retiring as the world’s best goalkeeper and skipper Nemanja Vidic is an absolute rock alongside the elegance of Rio Ferdinand.
Ryan Giggs has never played better and his reinvention as a central midfield playmaker gives United an extra creative dimension that at times this season has mirrored the famous Barca carousel orchestrated by Andres Iniesta, Xavi and the incomparable Lionel Messi.
As David Beckham said earlier this week: “If anyone can beat Barcelona at their peak Man United can.” With the width offered by any combination of Antonio Valencia, Ji Sung Park, Nani, Patrice Evra and the Da Silva twins this United team has the ammunition to hit Barca where it hurts.
Barca are certainly not underestimating the Red Devils. “This Manchester United team is much more unpredictable without Cristiano Ronaldo,” says wing-back Davi Alves “They have formed a more balanced group and they are stronger than they were two years ago.” Striker David Villa added: “Ronaldo’s departure has liberated them. Many great players come and go and that has allowed them to remain at the top for so long.” Andres Iniesta belives United have “grown as a team”.
And coach Pep Guardiola – who watched in awe as United’s second string completed a staggering 6-1 aggregate win over Schalke in the semi-final – admits: “We have been looking at the 2009 game and they were better than us in the first half.
“The level is equal, they are strong, competitive and they can play with four or five different formations and they stay competitive. They are one of the best teams in the world, and not just this year. We are proud to be playing them.”
As Steve Bruce, a European Cup Winners’ Cup winner with the Red Devils against Barcelona 20 years ago, says, Sir Alex will “want to win the trophy the Manchester United way.” And Bruce predicts the Boss has a master plan that will confirm why he is the greatest: “If anyone can get it right on the night the great man can.”
Whoever lifts the trophy The Beautiful Game will be the winner if both sides come out without inhibition and a determination to show the world just how good they really are.
1999 – THE GREATEST FINISH EVER TO A CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Sporting freeviews on VISIONSPORT.TV