Ronaldo: 'I am a slave' - Transfers - Football - The Independent

Ronaldo: 'I am a slave'

In an utterance as remarkable as any he has issued this summer, Cristiano Ronaldo declared last night that he agreed with the Fifa president Sepp Blatter's assertion that Manchester United should stop treating him like a "modern-day slave" and release him to Real Madrid.

"I agree with the statements of the president, he is right," Ronaldo said and, pressed on where he would spend next season, he reiterated the point. "You know what I said, what I want and what I would like. Let's see. I agree completely with the president of Fifa. Now I have to wait and see, but I do not know where I will begin the season."

Coming from a 23-year-old who is paid £120,000 a week by a club considering allowing him to complete his recuperation from ankle surgery in the Algarve and delay his return to Manchester, Ronaldo's assertion will prompt as much indignation in football as Blatter did when he said yesterday that players, tied to longer contracts since the Bosman ruling, were enslaved and should be given greater freedom to move on.

The metaphor Blatter chose was even more unfortunate than his line of argument which, taken to its logical conclusion would allow for no transfer market and let any player leave for the highest bidder at the drop of a hat, with all the consequences that would have for the sport's poorer clubs. But Ronaldo was unmoved. He agrees he should be allowed to join Real, though he suggested while leaving his rehabilitation clinic in the Algarve that he does not expect to be playing for anyone for 10 or 12 weeks, following his operation. That prognosis is far worse than expected at United, who had hoped he might be fit within six weeks.

Contrary to some reports, the Portuguese also said he had not agreed personal terms with Real. "It is not true that I have an agreement with Real Madrid, there is no agreement," said Ronaldo, who announced himself to be "completely optimistic and calm". That reinforces the idea, expounded by the club's president, Ramon Calderon, at the weekend, that Ronaldo will be a United player next season.

There was little sense in Ronaldo's brief utterance that he had taken much stock of Blatter's comments, but agreeing to his suggestion that he is enslaved will leave him liable to a colourful response from opposing supporters if he extends his United career.

United led a chorus of opposition yesterday to comments which appear to rank alongside Blatter's legendary assertion that women footballers should wear "tighter shorts" to make the game easier on the eye. "All our players, like at other clubs, enter into their contracts after an open and free negotiation," the Old Trafford side said. "Most do so after taking advice from a Fifa-registered agent. Many do so on a number of occasions and enjoy long and successful stays at Old Trafford."

Arsenal, struggling to keep Emmanuel Adebayor, and Chelsea, whose £130,000-a-week offer to Frank Lampard has been rejected, may empathise, though some would argue that the treatment of Lampard has been less than exemplary. In the pre-Bosman era, when clubs could hold a player's registration and refuse to release it even if that individual's contract had come to an end, footballers could have claimed to be in clubs' thrall.

But the idea that a player such as Ronaldo may, one year into a five-year contract, declare on a whim that he wishes to fulfil a "dream" of playing in Spain, banishes any notion of contractual arrangements.

Even the Professional Footballers' Association were astonished. Deputy chief executive Mick McGuire, said: "It is so inappropriate that [Blatter] loses any credibility in the argument. There are some words that should never be used in such a context. The word 'slavery' gets people wound up and destroys any argument he has."

Richard Bevan, the chief executive of the League Managers' Association, said Blatter was way out of touch. "The transfer system is underwritten and regulated by Fifa. It is the cornerstone of developing talent right up the football pyramid," he said.

Some players provide evidence of Blatter's view. It could be argued that Aston Villa's Gareth Barry, for all the criticism he has received for questioning his manager Martin O'Neill's reluctance to discuss his move to Liverpool, has been poorly treated.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week