Queiroz gives Real lecture in history over Ronaldo

Manchester United's assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has launched an extraordinary attack on the Spanish nation and Real Madrid in particular over what he believes are attempts to "naturalise" Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese coach drew a comparison between the player and Christopher Columbus.

Real Madrid have made no secret of their desire to recruit Ronaldo, prompting United to consider reporting them to the sport's world governing body, Fifa. But Queiroz feels that Madrid's outspoken courting of his Portuguese compatriot is about more than their wish to snap up the gifted winger, claiming it is part of the long history and rivalry between Portugal and Spain.

"Cristiano Ronaldo will never be Spanish! As they will never take Olivenca again," he told the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias, referring to the small town on the disputed border between the two countries. He also delved further into the historic rivalry, alluding to explorer Christopher Columbus – who both countries claim as their own – and the Spanish Philippine Dynasty, which ruled Portugal from 1580 until the bloodless revolution of 1640.

"They already did the same with Christopher Columbus, and it now seems they want to naturalise Cristiano Ronaldo," the United No 2 added. "Have they already forgotten what we did to them in the past? We will never lose our patience."

With Portugal preparing for Euro 2008, Queiroz knows the furore could not have come at a worse time. "It's being done in a manner to distract the Portugal team, at the height of their preparations for the European Championships," he said. "But I am convinced that despite pressure from the Spanish press he will not change his nationality."

Queiroz and Ferguson, meanwhile, have been cleared of charges of improper conduct. The two were charged in April following comments made after United's 1-0 defeat by Portsmouth in the FA Cup sixth round in March.

Ferguson had said that referee Martin Atkinson had been "on Portsmouth's side" while Queiroz accused him of being "a robber".

Town that divides two nations

As Britain and Argentina have the Falklands – sorry, Las Malvinas – so Portugal and Spain have the border town Olivenca – sorry, Olivenza. Portugal ceded it to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz in 1801 but changed their minds in 1808 during the Peninsular War, hence the ongoing dispute. Under an 1810 treaty Britain agreed to help them win it back.

Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing