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Yeh, I'm over the whole Ronaldinho saga! Once he gets back onto a pitch, he can proove himself once more. I think he will play for Milan next season, who really appear to be rebulding! Along with Inter, they should DOMINATE next season!

Eto'o and Lampard to Inter, HUGE moves and would make them a very strong force!

Deco to Chelsea on the cheap that is!!! No matter if he is old, he still has at least a couple good years ahead of him and will be a big force in the Premier League IMO! He will really control play, in there with Ballack!

So far Barca have no replacement for Deco, Eto'o or Ronaldinho. Only for Zambrotta. Toure will leave too IMO, they have a replacement for him. Thuram appears set to leave, no replacement for him, unless they use Marquez this season, OH GOD!

This situation is looking DIRE!

Villa, Van Der Vaarr AT LEAST need to be bought in to replace Deco and Eto'o. Messi can take Ronaldinhos place, but if he gets injured (and he most likely will), Barca will look flat once more, with no spark coming from midfield! Iniesta is a good runner of the ball and plays some good passes, but he cannot consistently do it! Big trouble at Camp Nou and I think Villareal will just improve! Maybe another struggle to finish top 4!

Sounds like the Italian giants are going to be strong next season, along with probably Chelsea and Madrid! United really need to get this Ronaldo thing done with, so they can concentrate on replacements!!!! They need more goals and some extra spark if he leaves!
If Ronaldo goes, I am wondering who to expect at Manchester.
QUOTE(Fitz @ Jun 30 2008, 11:57 PM) [snapback]394313[/snapback]
If Ronaldo goes, I am wondering who to expect at Manchester.

Well Ferguson is still speaking as if Ronaldo will be a United player next season so who knows what is going on behind the scenes. He's spoken about only signing one player (at the most two) and claims that the player/s he brings in will not be a replacement for Ronaldo.

Maybe he knows something we don't. Maybe Ronaldo has told him he wants to stay or maybe Ferguson is sticking to his guns and refusing to sell to the corrupt poison that is Real Madrid. Really I don't know what to make of any of it at the moment. Too many conflicting reports, rumours and bullshit to have a clue what the outcome will be.

Deco signing for Chelsea will at least make them play more attractive football and there are now reports suggesting that Ronaldinho would love to link up with Scolari at Chelsea also. Chelsea now have a huge pool of midfield players so some of them are likely to be shown the door but Mourinho has played down reports he will sign Lampard. It's all well and good signing all these players (Chelsea just seem to be in for everyone at the moment) but it takes time for a team to gel so if they do sign too many players I doubt they'll be as successful as they hope to be. Plus, Scolari has never managed a club side in Europe so it's a big ask for him to topple the likes of Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez. I think Tottenham will be stronger next season and push for a top 4 place so I'm expecting an even better, even tighter premier league for 08/09.

BTW, congratulations to Spain, they were the best team in the competition and deserved to lift the trophy. I think it will give them the self belief to go and have a great world cup campaign now also. In fact I think it will be between Spain and Argentina, although of course there is still 2 years to go so things change.
^^^Man United are experts at making players stars. Even without Ronaldo, they have some depth. They're a great squad no matter what. At the moment, only Chelsea are showing signs of really strengthening their squad, along with Tottenham, whom will be in contention for a top 4 spot I think. Neither Arsenal nor Liverpool have really shown signs of doing anything. Arsenal has turned down a bunch of potential signings, preferring their home grown talent which in terms of cash, is good, but not if they're looking for that difference maker type of player that can help them win the league. Their defense needs alot of work too. Liverpool could use an attacking mid as well, in the mold of a Sneijder, Van Der Vaart, or even Ronaldinho. They have the money thats for sure. They have too many strikers IMO. Need to let some of them go. I think if they trim their squad down and address their real needs, they'll be in contention.

Deco at 30 will still be able to contribute alot. Even when he starts to physically deteriorate, he's such a worker out there. He hustles like there is no tomorrow and his vision will be something he never loses. Thats a great buy for Chelsea because him and Ballack complement one another very well. Look for Chelsea to remain in the market for a striker. A versatile striker with pace and reliable finishing in front of goal, especially now that it seems that Drogba is staying. rolleyes.gif I expect them to make a bid for one of the likes of Eto'o, Villa, Aguero, Benzema, Ibrahimovic, Fabiano, etc. And also don't discount them possibly signing an attacking mid. Rumors are that Scolari wouldn't mind Ronaldinho at all on his team, so there you go. He could also sign a similar player.

Barcelona will make at least 2 more big signings. I don't think they'll remain the way they are. A replacement for Ronaldinho is difficult to come by. Only player available for that is Van Der Vaart. It puzzles me that Barca have not stepped up here for a player that clearly wants to go to Spain of his quality. For Eto'o, they seem to be looking at Adebayor now. And he's familiar with Henry so there you go. If not that, Huntelaar is available(A bit slow but very talented). They could always try to bid for Villa as well, simply because Bojan is not quite ready IMO despite what Laporta may believe. They need to plug that CENTRAL DEFENSE though more than anything. I dont' know where to look for that. Hopefully they got something big there. Thuram is the real weak link. He's just too old now.

BTW, Maxy, I wanted to ask you what the feeling is over there about England going to World Cup 2010??... Optimistic or pesimistic??

As far as favorites go, the usual suspects will definitely be in contention(Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Holland, Brazil, Germany)... And potential new forces like Russia and Turkey will be there as well, I have no doubt. I'm really looking forward to seeing the African teams. 6 of them will get a chance to make it to the KO round I believe.

It looks promising.
and the NEW
QUOTE(Maxy @ Jul 1 2008, 03:18 PM) [snapback]394362[/snapback]
Deco signing for Chelsea will at least make them play more attractive football and there are now reports suggesting that Ronaldinho would love to link up with Scolari at Chelsea also. Chelsea now have a huge pool of midfield players so some of them are likely to be shown the door but Mourinho has played down reports he will sign Lampard. It's all well and good signing all these players (Chelsea just seem to be in for everyone at the moment) but it takes time for a team to gel so if they do sign too many players I doubt they'll be as successful as they hope to be. Plus, Scolari has never managed a club side in Europe so it's a big ask for him to topple the likes of Ferguson, Wenger and Benitez. I think Tottenham will be stronger next season and push for a top 4 place so I'm expecting an even better, even tighter premier league for 08/09.

Yep, too many midfielders, surely some will have to go.

I'm not so sure about them not firing at once though. When Barca bought in Eto'o and Deco to help out Ronaldinho (who single handidly led them to second place), Barca fired at once, dominating the league and Europe!

Not to mention, Grants Premier League record alone would have won the competition, despite having NO experience.

I think if a team is good enough (and of course, naturally gels) and the coach is decent, experience and 'time' is quiet overrated and a bit of a cliche.

Chelsea now after Robinho, wonder for what position, a striker or a winger?

I think Milan will also get Scheva, he cannot possibly stay at the blues and Pizarro, what a waste of space. They need another good striker to add to Kalou and Drogba. Makalele will most likely move on, he is getting old and a bit past it, Mikel, never been a HUGE fan, but a midfield with Essien on the right, Ballack and Deco in the middle with Joe Cole (no idea why he is ever used as a striker) on the left and you have probably the best midfield in the world right there (other than perhaps United with Ronaldo in there). Essien is one of the best in the business, doesn't get nearly enough credit!

Still talks of Carvalho leaving, which would be a HUGE loss for Chelsea, but they do still have Alex and Terry. Wonder who will play in the right mid position?

Liverpool and Arsenal need to do something BIG if they are going to challenge! At this rate, Tottenham will take one of them from their 4th position next season and Everton are also a very strong squad. If Cahill comes back fit, along with their strikers, Yakubu and Johnson, Arteta controlling the midfield, some pretty good quality in there. Along with that South African dude, can't remember his name right now, but he has some natural talent. Should be a very interesting season in England coming up, Spain will be a Madrid domination once more!
Its hard to give a La Liga preview at the moment but I'll give it a stab.

At the moment, Real Madrid have the best squad overall. If they lose Robinho, surely its because they're sure to get Ronaldo??... IMO, if this transfer doesn't occur, then it will be a big disappointment for the Madrid organization. A couple of players are up there in age however. Raul, Van Nistlerooy, and Guti are all over 30. As well as Cannavaro in the central defense, and that was causing a good amount of problems for Real in matches they lost to against Getafe, Real Betis, and Valencia, among others. Pepe is a great defender but even he on his own won't be able to carry the load there. I think Real are favorites, but they'll be challenged by a few teams.

Valencia are in a recovering mode and its too soon to expect them to be in contention for a title, but you never know in La Liga. Its very unpredictable there and lots of the times, the teams you overlook are the ones that can shock. If Valencia make a couple of good buys, namely at center midfield and maybe 1 striker, then things could be interesting. They have a great coach in Unai Emery. Villareal are true contenders now. They're for real. And they'll be very difficult to beat. Another team that have established themselves as potential title threats are Patetico Madrid themselves(I hate those arrogant fucks too). Despite how I may feel about them, I'm under no illusions that they aren't a great squad. A team that is a bit of a darkhorse despite not many mentioning them are Mallorca. And if they succeed in holding on to Danny Guiza, watch out. They can be a bogey team. They know how to raise their game when the time comes. Barcelona of course will buy up big and will look to go in a new direction. The youngsters there are probably going to be pushed even more into the forefront. What about Racing Santander???... They were indeed a true surprise. I was shocked that they made the impact they made.

What cannot be underestimated is team chemistry too. I agree that not everyone needs "time to gel" all the time. But I do believe that players have to be able to play together and have understanding. We all know what it is. We see it with succesfull teams all the time. The chemistry. The understanding. Thats something that is just THERE... It can be worked on in training, but some just are not meant to work together. For example, Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho never developed much of an understanding it seemed. There were some moments here and there, but nothing close to what Ronnie had with Messi and Eto'o, and Deco. The 4 of those guys were just BORN to play with each other. Most recent example was the Spanish national team. Villa and Torres are ALWAYS on the same page. It is amazing with these 2 guys. You'll be hard pressed to find 2 players with better understanding than these 2 guys at international level. Fabregas is the same with Silva. Just an amazing natural chemistry there.

I think more than anything, that is absolutely needed in order to get the most out of the talent.
and the NEW
Yep, agree PR, chemistry is generally just natural, it is what I was talking about above. Some players just CLICK, same as some teams. Barca years back was the perfect example, Villa and Torres another.

I think Atletico have a good squad, infact, I really like their squad, but I'm not sure about title contenders.

Villareal definatly a very big shot!

Madrid really gel under Sneijders generalship (thought I would never say this, but he has prooven to be one of the best, if not the best, midfield general in the world at the moment, up there with Fabregas), I think they will be hard to stop. But as you say, they need another centre back (seems to be a problem in Spain at the moment) and striker! Raul surely can't have the same type of season this one! Wonder how he feels now Spain won without him? ha ha ha ha, suck shit!

Valencia and Barca really need to change things up, need to gel and make some additions as you say!

Squads aren't nearly complete yet, but I expect Madrid to do it again next season, relatively comfortably.

If they loose Robinho, they need Ronaldo, otherwise an injury to Robben, will really take some spark out of their attack. Though, they can use Drenthe in the left wing position, who could really make an impact if given playing time.

One we are forgetting, Sevilla! Wonder how many others they will loose? If they can maintain the rest of their guys, they again, could push into the top 4!

La Liga is definately WAY more unpredictable than Italy or England though!
A very interesting double interview with Fabregas and Torres took place in Las Provincias(Valencia news site). I'll give a short translation of what was said.

Torres basically said that he was thrilled to win the Euro Cup and that it was the best day of his life.

He says that he's not satisfied with it though and that the team is now going to concentrate on South Africa in 2010.

When asked about the difference between La Liga and the Premier League, he says that the defenders in England are much easier to beat than in Spain because in England though big and strong, they are slower, whereas in Spain they are quicker, stay in position more, and much more double marking occurs.

He wants to stay at Liverpool for many years to come, but says it could change depending on Rafa Benitez' future.

Fabregas went on to say that June 29 was the best night of his life and that all thats done, is made him so excited for the new season that he's gonna start his pre-season training early.

When asked if there were any players he would sign for Arsenal, he named Villa because they're both "very good friends, and for being a difference maker" and also he sited Messi because of his "speed and technique, and spark that he brings to a team".

He feels that Adebayor will end up staying at Arsenal despite whats been said.

Says he's happy at Arsenal but leaves the door open in the future if a great offer comes along from another club.

Its funny ATN, because in Spain, my friends tell me that the general feeling is that Barcelona will no doubt rebound. Their seemingly unlimited resources are what people are pointing to. They feel that Ronaldinho if he leaves, will go to AC Milan or back to Brazil, if that falls through because Ronnie has COMPLETELY RULED ENGLAND OUT... Rumors also say that he could end up at Fenerbace. But people over there have alot of faith that Messi is truly ready to take the reigns from Ronaldinho and march the team to the promised land again.

In Valencia there is an air of optimism as well after Silva and Villa declared they want to stay. Zapater is almost certainly set to replace Albelda and they are in the market for a center back. Diego Milito is also seemingly on his way to Valencia to possibly partner with Villa, with Morientes being used as a substitute. The club wants to put Silva in that number 10 role after seeing his performances in the Euro, with Vicente on the left wing(But Silva can also play there when Vicente is hurt). Possible departure is Joaquin but nothing certain. Miguel is on the way out for sure, possibly to Man United.

Speaking of Barca earlier, its been confirmed that Van Der Vaart's agent is currently meeting with Laporta as we speak. No deal has been reached obviously, but the writing is on the wall, it appears. In all honesty, VDV is the best possible replacement for Ronaldinho.

Oh and can't forget the chicas of the Euro, man. Smokin'. Pages 2 and 3 are the best. The best ones are 6, 9, and 20.

Don't you just love football?!!.. LOL!!!...
and the NEW
Watching Valencia is just so weird.

They have SO much talent, but they just cannot get it going! SURELY they have to be at the very least, knocking at the top 4 spot next season. Surely!!!!!

I hear Ronaldinho is a near certainty to go to Milan.

I will be very very pleased if Barca get Van Der Vaart, completely happy! They then only need a couple centre backs and a striker and they are ready to role.

I really like Adebayor, but not sure how he will do in Spain. Though the airial presence will be fantastic, something Barca is lacking! Think, Ronnie was their biggest danger in the air and he is hopeless with his head! Henry is completely spastic, he missed some open goals last season from right infront! Even I could do better! Adebayor uses his pace a lot, but in Spain, it won't make as much difference.

But I think one good back, Adebayor and Van Der Vaart and I will give them a shot at the title once more.

I think the teams with the best chance at the WC will be Spain (so young and so talented) and Argentina (though not sure about the defence). That is, assuming everyone is fully fit.

Other than them, only really Brazil, Holland and Portugal have decent squads. England is not too bad either, but the rest of the squads are in a very weak period. France will be very very old in two more years, Italy has nobody special and same as Germany. But two of those last three are very good in the knockout tournaments, so I guess you can never count them out.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out why any world class manager would not include a striker like Eto'o in his 1st team plans. I mean, I HOPE that Pep was misquoted or something. Because lets look at this situation.

What striker can do a similar job in Barcelona to what Eto'o has done for them??..

Adebayor gives you speed and airial presence, but his touch/technique leaves alot to be desired, along with his struggles to stay onside. I think Adebayor can improve and become very good, but I don't think he can do what Eto'o does. To me, the payoff does not even out for Barca.

Now Van Der Vaart on the other hand can do a similar job to what Ronaldinho did even if not quite as good. But he'll bring link up play, and a good eye for goal. He can score some great long distance goals and he is a free kick specialist.

A top 4 spot for Valencia is a good goal. With the squad they have, they should not be a lower table team. But at the very least, the people that caused trouble are out(Koeman, Albelda). Emery is a tactical genius. Did some great stuff with Almeria. 10X the manager that Koeman is. He likes attacking football, with lots of short quick passing, and nobody holding on to the ball too long. He likes his strikers to make lots of opening runs, and his wingers to cut inside and link the play.(This is where Joaquin lacks unfortunately). He knows Spanish football, being from the Bosque region. I think whats needed at the club is a nice clean out. Too many older players held starting positions last year, with youngsters only getting a chance once Koeman was out. If they don't finish top 4, anything in the top 6 will be ok considering what we went through last season but they should be aiming high, I agree. With the squad they have, they shouldn't settle for anything low.

The only thing I hear about Ronaldinho is that he's training for the Olympics. I keep hearing that Milan have a problem with the 40 million euros that Barcelona are demanding for him. Hopefully they'll work something out for all parties.
I've got a real problem with football at the moment and it's really doing my head in because I always enjoy this time of the year (transfers, rumours, gossip etc).

Just a few weeks after lifting the league and European Cup double my club has been thrown into turmoil by the antics of Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo and the supposed departure of Carlos Queiroz. It's looking like Queiroz will leave for the Portugal job and that is bound to have a knock on affect with players such as Nani and Anderson who are said to be very close to Carlos. Then there is Ronaldo and we all know that that story is not only becoming a bore but its also unsettling the entire structure of the club as well. Madrid on July 6th claim that Ronaldo will stay with Man Utd, on July 7th they claim that we should be HAPPY AND PROUD to sell him to them! The arrogance is beyond belief and I can only wish that their empire somehow comes crumbling down one day soon. Barcelona never conduct themselves in such a shoddy manner and if Ronaldo had come out and said his dream would be to play for Barca I'm pretty certain they would have acted differently and far more honorably. Next season I will follow the Spanish League more closely and I will be hoping for Barcelona to triumph. Definitely.

Ronaldinho is not worth 40 million euro's, nor is he worth 200,000 a week. Those sums that are being banded about are utterly ridiculous. Two seasons ago I think every club in the world would have liked him in their side but the truth is his statistics for last season are what I will judge him on and they are not impressive at all. I think he only scored 3 or 4 goals from open play and only grabbed 4 assists as well. That is not good at all. If a huge club like Barcelona recognize that he is not performing to the level they demand then they will ship him out. It's simple. Big clubs do not allow players who are under performing to stay with them. Ferguson is renowned for shipping out players when he doesn't see "that hunger in their eyes." I know ATN is a big Ronaldinho fan but the truth is he is overweight and appears to have lost some of his dedication. Maybe its because he has lost heart at Barcelona because he feels like he has been made a scapegoat but surely the fans wouldn't make a player a scapegoat if they believed he was giving his best? Perhaps a move is the best thing for him, perhaps then he can revive his career. Who knows.

Eto is a great striker so why isn't their a clamor of clubs looking to sign him? His wage demands? The fee involved? No, it's because the man has a terrible attitude problem and rumours of a degenerative knee disease. 50% of United fans would love him in our team. Ferguson could tame him they say, but Samuel Eto will not want to sit on the bench for anybody and the way we work he would spend time on the bench undoubtedly.

Adebayor wants a move, he wants 120,000 a week. 4 times what he is currently paid. Why? He had one good season but failed to deliver towards the end when it really mattered for Arsenal. Is he worth 120,000 a week? Don't make me laugh. Is he worth 30m? Stop it. He now belives he is the next best thing because he had a fairly good season. Bullshit, its all about his ego.

Ego's are spoiling the beautiful game. I think I'm just on a downer at the moment. I want Ronaldo out, I want Queiroz to stay and I want to build for next season. Everything is stagnant. Everybody has their own rumours to tell and not one of them is anything positive.
This Ronaldo saga will not end simply because it is now known by Ronaldo's OWN WORDS that he wants to move. I expect much flip flopping between now and even until next season until the player is gone from the club. Man United aren't that bad, MAXY.. Lets even go as far to say that Ronaldo does leave. And???... At then end of the day, you guys still have the best squad in Europe until proven otherwise. Real Madrid are an arrogant, corrupt club and thats the main reason I hate them. They never develop their own talent anymore and just look to put a monoply on all the big stars in Europe at the moment. But I could see a player like Ronaldo going to that club. They would definitely treat him well if nothing else. He won't find it easy in La Liga, thats for sure. The level of defensive expertise of that league will force him to adapt his play. But that doesn't mean he'll necessarily flop either. I still say Man United minus well sell him. After all, they're experts at CREATING stars and Ronaldo is just another one they created. I fear this thing will just get ugly if they insist on holding on to a player that doesn't want to stay apparentley.

Ronaldinho based on last season is not worth 40 million euros, no. But he's still a quality player that when he was on the field at 100% with Barcelona, did perform well. He had a few injuries its true, and he basically fell out with the organization which is the real reason he didn't feature much for the team last season. But if given another opportunity and a fresh new start, I see no reason at all why he couldn't bring some quality stuff to the table for any team that ends up getting him. Its looking like its AC Milan, as we all know Ronaldinho has ruled out England. There are still rumors that he could be Brazil bound for Flamenco but I doubt that one happens. Not now at least while he's still just 28 years old. He may never again get to that PEAK 2 seasons ago where he was destroying everyone in his path, but if he's in shape and motivated(True, remains to be seen until next season), then expect him to produce at a good level.

Actually MAXY, Eto'o is VERY SOUGHT AFTER this transfer season. Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan, and Tottenham have all inquired for him from what I hear. His price tag is a problem. 40 million euros as well for him, and Laporta(Barcelona President) will absolutely NOT accept anything less. As far as Eto'o's attitude, there is no denying it. But the man still scores lots of goals and its not like he's injury prone with little nigs here and there. The injuries he's suffered have been the "freak accident" types of injuries that keep players out for long term. I think a manager like Ferguson would tame him. Rijkaard was just too much of a pushover and pretty much allowed the guys to do what they wanted, thus the fall out of Barcelona's team last season. If you guys wanted to replace either Tevez or Saha, he'd do more than justice for you guys.

Adebayor??... Lets not even get started. This guy had the nerve to tell Arsenal that "If you pay me like Henry, I'll play like him." ROTFLMAO!!!!!.... WOW... This guy is serious???... Henry was arrogant too and still is, but man, this is even worse than Cristiano Ronaldo. Adebayor has had ONE excellent season. His price tag is actually 45 million euros and I absolutely don't know who would pay that amount for a guy who is good, but not great. He's not even the best striker in the PL(Sorry Ade, but you are no Fernando Torres). I'll do you one better. He's not even the best striker at Arsenal. A fit Da Silva and RVP are all considerably better players. But thats another issue. If I were Barca, I wouldn't look that way. Arsene Wenger was offered Villa for 17 million euros in May and he said "No, I'm not in the market for him". drag.gif Wow... 17 million euros for a top class striker and you say no??... I need some of that good stuff too.

Valencia are clearing out alot of names. They've got to trim down the squad for sure. Most of the big names are gonna be staying but Joaquin is a possible departure. Miguel is certain it seems. Albelda is being shipped out. Canizares is gone, Angulo and Gavilan as well. Zigic is leaving and the trouble maker Manuel Fernandes seems on the way out as well(He never fit in). Banega is rumored to be getting shipped out too though I would keep him because he can still mature and learn from his mistakes. One thing I feel good about is our coach. Emery is a very good manager and he was being touted by lots of clubs before signing for Valencia. So there is an air of optimism(Though its too early to say they'll challenge for the title). But if they get a top 4 spot, I'll definitely consider it a great season.
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lol, the Ronaldo saga is rediculous, I've given up even following it, once a contract is signed so be it.

Ronaldinho, if I was a manager, I would pay $40 mil NO DOUBT. Ronaldo is being talked about at $100 mil and Ronaldinho was doing what he did two seasons ago. Infact, last season, his stats were still rather good. 8 goals, 2 asists in 13 games. He has NEVER been a big scorer of goals in open play and his link up play in the few game he played was IMPRESSIVE. How many goals came through Messi, due to the Ronaldinho switches, or through Sylvinho or Abidal after his crossovers down the wing. This is the thing Maxy, WATCH Ronaldinho every week and then make opinions. He said, she said, they said, everybody SAID, now get me someone who watches him and tell me he is way past it? He is not at his PEAK, but was still one of the worlds best. And those killer runs that he never makes anymore, cannot remember the game, but it was in one of his more recent games, he skinned 3 guys and hit the crossbar with his chip at the end, the commentators were saying goal of the century if it went in. Looks like the media missed that one...........

The whole situation with Ronaldinho is bad, and I don't doubt, he became disenchanted with the whole scenario. He would be off form now, probably slow and stiff, but with a bit of training, that natural talent is undeniable. I honestly believe he would RIP UP the Premier League, as would Messi. But anybody who watched him, KNEW he was something special, even Eto'o, Deco and Messi called him the best in the world, just the season before last, when the media was saying he was past it. Think about it. Though I thought Ronaldo was more influencial that season and the media chose Kaka. Hey, go figure. Big matches count, you don't win anything, you don't get the plaudits, that's how it works in this game. It all comes down to clutch moments. If Barca scraped by Madird (in a season they should have won), Ronaldinho would have been the hero who carried the team (something he was anyways), but the Spanish law of equal points goes to head to head, changed that outcome, not to mention, the Barca defence. But hey, EVEN THAT was blamed on Ronaldinho for his lack of defensive work ethic! They drop him, gee the defence improved a lot, right? This sport, it's fans, it's players are just SO fickle, one reason I truly despise the beautiful game and a reason it has had a hard time taking off in the States or Australia.

I make opinions on Ronaldo, I have thought he was the worlds best for two seasons now, but I actually watch he and Kaka practically all season long, so I can atually base my opinions on fact, no heresay.

Adebayor is a good striker, but definately, one season is not enough! His ego has gone to his head! I would much rather Villa at Barca, but it looks like Adebayor and Hleb are the big targets. I have heard VDV is not even one of their main targets.

Anyways, there was a vote of confidence at Barca the other day, 10% of fans had to vote and 66% had to vote against Laporta to throw him out. 20% of fans voted and 60% voted to throw him out. Not enough, so he stays!!!!! For better or for worse.
Whats unfortunate is that the media played the big role in the Barcelona saga with their constant "Ronaldinho is going to Milan", "Its his dream move, and he's gonna make it happen", etc. etc. "Ronaldinho will not play for Barcelona while under Frank Rijkaard", and on and on. I think alot of this manifested because we all know that everybody reads the internet and the papers and since most of us go by what the media tells us(Even the hierarchs in the club), it becomes a plane in a tailspin with no hopes of getting control back of. I will not side with either Rijkaard or Ronaldinho. The truth is that its up to the club to keep order and when you have alot of superstars on one squad with lots of egoes and pride, I can only imagine thats hard to do. But I'm tired of it now. I just want this to be done with. Whether it means Ronaldinho will sign for Milan or some other outfit, or stays with Barcelona. I hate seeing any great player reduced to what Ronaldinho was reduced to by basically being benched in favor of a young 17 year old kid.

The reason I say no to 40 million for Ronaldinho is because while I still believe he's got alot left, I do have to see him prove it. However, if able I would pay anywhere between 25-30 million for him. He's still a quality signing, despite his level of play not quite what it was 2 seasons ago and before. We have to keep in mind that there are also younger players available much cheaper, like Van Der Vaart. I'm sure clubs are looking at that.

Speaking on Ronaldinho, it is reported that Barcelona CF will NOT allow him to participate in the Olympic games this August and instead demand that he report himself to pre-season training. Maybe there's some hope he'll stay??... I don't know. Lots of tension it seems. But its pretty big news that Barca will now allow him to do so considering they allowed Messi to go.

I thought Ronaldo overall played better than Kaka, but he was outshined by Kaka in the big games so thats exactly what it will be based on. I'm not sure I agree with Messi being put up there with them for World Player of the Year at the moment simply because all he did was go through a small period of showing some good form. I think he'll be there, but he's still got some things to work on before being as complete a football player as those that are called the very best.

Adebayor is a guy I would sign, but only at the right price. He seriously needs to check himself and get off that ego trip because he's not as good as he likes to think he is. Still a good player but really needs to work on a few things as well.

Laporta if anything has made quality signings for Barcelona. He unlike Calderon, is more honorable like MAXY pointed out, and he does business in a good way. Real Madrid literally POACH other clubs and I don't like that. Arsene Wenger is guilty of that too, but he's an awesome coach on his day. What I love most about Barcelona is their YOUTH SYSTEM... Arguably the best in football. You'll be hard pressed to find another club that grooms such quality young talents. Valencia's youth system is good too, but not quite on Barca's level.
and the NEW
Yes, I respect what LaPorta has done for the club, at least he got rid of Rijkaard, so I will give him a chance.

Kaka only did was Messi did though, a quick spirt of form, he is not exatcly Mr consistency, but as you say, he did it in about 3-4 big games, against Man United, Celtic etc in ONE competition in ONE year. Other than that, he is a very good player, but the best in the world? Not to me. That same year, Ronaldo won the Premer League, with consistency, all year long. The clutch momets in football are what count and this is where LUCK can really come into it.

I hope Ronaldinho doesn't stay at Barca now, they have tarnished and trashed his name. I really don't like the Catalan people, I can see why they are not liked by Spanish but also many Mexicans I lived with over there, hated the Catalonians! Everybody seems to use the same words, arrogant, racist and stick to their own! If the club didn't play such great football, I wouldn't follow them!

Schevchenko was worth 40 mil, right? And Ballack close too it? They are not young guns. But Lamps is worth a mere 10 mil or less? Ronaldinho has a lot more quality and creativity than VDV, despite the later being a very good technically gifted player and some great vision and passing. Not to mention, along with Juninho, Ronaldinho probably has one of the best free kicks in the world. Puts Ronaldos to absolute SHAME as far as consistency. Price tags are so erratic, subjective and down to semantics.

Now FC Barcelona won't let him play in the Olympics, but I hear they are allowing Messi (who will also miss CL qualifying?). Grudge match anyone? The whole situaton has prooven itself it is past the point of repair. Too much damage done, which is sad for football, Ronnie did not become the biggest marketed player in the world (bigger than Beckham), because he had buck teeth and long hair. It was the quality and creativity he bought to the table. Every single game, he did something unique, where you would just sit back and think........................WOW! Eto' even said the same himself.
I didn't live in Barcelona when I was in Spain. I was closer to Zaragoza, and with the family we often took trips to Asturias. Never made it out to Valencia. I don't know much about Catalan people honestly, but Asturians are great people, very humble and very happy go lucky type people. Zaragoistas are cool people too. The few Valencianistas I know are good people, but at times can also come off arrogant.

Kaka at his best, is a top 5 player in the world IMO, but I do agree he doesn't do it often. In fact, ever since last year's CL, I can't really recall when he lit up Serie A or the last CL. He's been up and down, and downright SHOCKING at times(Match at the San Siro vs Arsenal for instance). Very good player, but I think he's suffering from a lack of support at Milan.

Ballack was close to 40 million???... I'm trying really hard not to laugh now. That is absolutely EMBARASSING. He is not that much of a qualityplayer. He's nothing more than a good, solid, workmanlike player that you see on every team. Shevchenko at the very least had goals to back it up, but he too was not worth that much. These clubs really drive me insane with how they price some of these players as if they're the best thing since gold.

I agree about Ronaldinho having more overall quality than Van Der Vaart. But I think because VDV is younger, and would cost alot less, and can do a similar job for any team that Ronaldinho could(Not quite as good we all know that), I think clubs would be more inclined to spend less than half on him as opposed to the 40 million that is being demanded for Ronaldinho. At the end of the day, I think its safe to say that Ronnie will leave for alot less than that if he goes, which is suspected he will, especially considering the recent happenings of him not being allowed to go to the Olympics. I'll say that he goes for a pretty good fee of 25 million euros to AC Milan. Pre-season training starts soon, though. I think if he's gonna be sold, the club should do it within the week or so. Its never good to have things like this hanging over a team's mind.
and the NEW
Yeh, I have heard the Spanish out in the regions are very nice people! And you have to love their colourful culture! Kaka is a very good player, but no better than a guy like Zlatan, who doesn't get NEARLY the credit, despite his team actually WINNING the league! What's up with the CL and WC glory! You win it, look good, you automatically win the award!!! It is far harder and far less down to luck, to be consistent through 38 matches in one of the toughest leagues in the world!

Agree, VDV would be cheaper and younger. Though Ronnie isn't a guarantee at this stage (arrogance, laziness (perhaps now), argues with coaches, remember PSG?), his potential to light it up is there and there is no doubt he has a STEELY determination, he was not born the way he was (except for the touch). He is super competitive and sulks if he cannot do something the best, so always strives for perfection. Apparently when he was a kid, he was always the best, but one day, there was another kid who could bounce the ball off his shin more times, so Ronnie went home and did it for a week and came back just to proove he could do it more times. LOL!!!!! What an ego!

Fitz, he says it is because of the woman and weather, but it is definately not categorical. Shame, because he would do well in England, the open game would suit him down to a tee. With good strikers infront of him making good runs, there is no limit to what he can do. He is not like Messi and Ronaldo, he does not need to beat a man everytime, he just threads a ball. Remember that pass in the CL to set up the goal for Barca to beat Milan PR? IMMACULATE!
and the NEW

Watch that and tell me a loss of speed will make a big difference to Ronnies game? The space he creates and assits he makes (that doesn't include the passes that set up other assists like the switches and link up play down his own left flank), is second to NONE! People think of him as the trick man with great dribbling and skinning players, but it is his vision and passing that make him one of the most LETHAL players I have ever layed eyes on. He is a general, a goal scorer, a free kick specialist, a playmaker, all roled into one! Absolute pleasure to watch and a man who can ALONE make an entire team TICK!

Just ask the Barca management when they bought ONE man in to turn them around and who achieved the place of second spot on the table pretty much single handidlly after they had NO CHANCE of making even top 4 and looked to be slipping to a mid table team.

Oh hang on, the Barca management couldn't admit it now after tarnishing his name through the mud!

But hey, save your own azz first and give the media a story at the same time, sounds good to me!
Ronaldinho was a great player and nobody is denying that but by your own admission ATN he has shown arrogance and laziness of late which cannot solely be blamed upon the Barcelona management. The man is 28 years old, he's not some kid that needs an arm around his shoulder or to be pointed in the right direction.

Ultimately it is up to him to sort himself out but if his petulance has resulted in disharmony amongst the management and the paying fans then he is to blame for that. 28 is young for the modern day footballer. He should be at his peak but the truth is he has slipped and that is down to him and him alone. Did he really say that he won't come to England because of the women and the weather? Could it not be that the only club in England interested in signing him are a tin-pot outfit called Manchester Shitty? None of the top 4 want him and that tells me a lot. OK, Scolari has praised Ronaldinho recently and the player himself has actually said he would like to play under Scolari but that is simply because Chelsea are in the Champions League, pay a lot of wages and have a chance of winning things. Up to this point not one top 4 club in England has shown any interest in him. Why? At least 2 of them could afford him after all. Managers like Ferguson, Benitez and Wenger know their stuff so something must be stopping them from trying to sign him.

Look, I don't doubt that with the right attitude and commitment he could at the very least capture 75% of the player he was 18 months-2 years ago but the question is does the desire remain? You don't lose the talent he had but you have to keep working at it to maintain it. Flashes of brilliance don't a great player make. Yes, he takes better more consistent free-kicks than Ronaldo but so do other players. Without bias Beckham was for years the best free-kick taker in the world but he lacked a lot of other attributes that make a great player. Ronaldo's free kick skills are way overrated in any case. He misses the target more often than he hits it, something that could never be leveled at Beckham.

Moving onto Ronaldo he MUST leave. He is not WANTED at United anymore. Our club has the highest average attendance for football in the world and the most fans in the world. The majority of those fans want to see the back of him. He thinks he is some sort of footballing God but I will re-iterate what I said a while ago. He will never reach the heights of last season again, whether he plays in Italy, Spain or England. His cockiness led to him missing the penalty in the first leg against Barcelona (a game he was totally outshone by Messi btw), and he also missed his spot kick in the shoot out with Chelsea. Is he a big game player on the world stage? The jury is out, for me he hasn't proved it yet. I am obviously showing disdain towards him because of his attitude since the end of the season but I wholeheartedly believe he will never reach those heights again and feel he has tarnished the club with all this will he/won't he stay/go shenanigans. Absolutely no respect for the club that made him what he is today. Is it even worth making a stand and keeping him? I can't see it but Ferguson is the boss and he will make the right decision, I'm sure of that.

As for the European and world player of the year awards - they are totally meaningless, totally pointless. I'll go back to '99 when we won the treble. We had Keane and Beckham playing absolutely fantastic football that season but neither of them came close to winning it. Bullshit.

I'm very fed up at the minute.
That was a great pass for sure. Its funny because on Gol TV, they showed that game and I was amazed at just how good that game was. I think Ronaldinho CAN become a top player again, but it is up to him, mostly. He'll need to be dedicated. Barcelona has thrown him under the bus as of late, especially with not allowing him to play for his country in the Olympics.

As for the Ronaldo situation, my stance is that keeping a player that has admitted to wanting to go to another club could be detrimental to the whole TEAM mentality. Man United are known as a club that has GROUNDED PLAYERS that simply play football. My problem with David Beckham was his Hollywood attitude. He thought he was bigger than football and thats why he was basically shipped out of Man United. Ronaldo's form hasn't dropped off or anything, but he's showing a similar attitude. Man United will always have the ability to create another star. I guess for all parties, best bet is to sell and collect what you can.

ATN, it looks like you were right about Benitez watching Torres with Villa during the Euros because Rafa has come out and made public his desire to prize him away from Valencia. He claims Villa is on his list, and though he realizes the player wants to stay at Valencia, he says he'll work to attract his interest towards the club. Villa is a known admirer of Liverpool as well as Arsenal. I think if it came down to it, his first choice is obviously Valencia, BUT.... If Liverpool bid the 40 million, anything is possible. This would be great for Liverpool and for Liverpool fans if it does happen, but I'm sure MAXY would be none too happy. laugh.gif wink.gif

I'm already dying for the season to start!!... LOL...
and the NEW
Maxy, you say you think he could get back to 75% of his peak, LOL, you didn't even watch the man play most of his games, so how would you be able to predict this? Last season he spent most of his time on the bench and the time he did play at the start of the season, Rijkaard was praising him for his fitness and work ethic. The season before, he was probably one of the top 3 in the world! He practically carried Barca on his back.

Sure he has arrogance, but so do many players and it is FAR from the reason he fell out of favour, coaches have to deal with egos, it's the nature of professional sport. Rijkaard had no clue, dropping Deco as well? Come on, terrible management. Laziness? Sure he may be now, he has spent a year on the sidelines, but give him some training time and the man trains like a mad man! He plays football nearly all his waking hours, so his touch and skills, vision and passing will still all be there and they are his weapon. He will only need to get back his fitness, which I am sure he will when training in a team environment once more.

I can tell you are fed up with Ronaldo, just like most fans turning on their own players. But it would be nice to show the man some respect, without him, your trophy cabinet would most likely be bare the last two season and without him, it most likely will be bare this season, well at least from the two major competitions. He said he wants to go, what more do you need? He waited until after the Euros, not such a terrible act. He is arrogant as hell and could have handled the situation better, but what he did for United was absolutely spectacular! Sounds like some United fans are like spoilt kids. People only leave us when WE choose for them to go. You are now dealing with one of the most talented players of a generation, not a Beckham or Van Nistelrooy. Ronaldo can choose to do what he wants, when you become the best in the world, you have this choice.

PR, yeh, I hope Villa does go to Liverpool (though La Liga and Valencia will miss him). Liverpool will be in the hunt then and may make it a closer competition with the other top two. Though I think this will be Chelseas year this year, it will be FANTASTIC to watch Deco shine once more. It feels like it has been too long and he deserves better for what he did for Barca!

As for who wants Ronnie, do any of us really know? The man said himself his brother is talking with multiple world class teams, including the England big four. Until he signs, and then plays a season to see what he is capable of, no more need to talk about this, but perhaps watch him Maxy and don't just state what you read in the media. If I listened to the media, I would think Riquelme was a complete trouble maker and not even good enough to play in Europe, yet play for Villareal. He is now back in Argentina because of these reasons, right? Riquelme is still one of the absolute best at his position in the world and could easily play for any club in the world. But nobody wants him right? So he must be totally past it and a trouble maker. This is the trouble with trying to reason and apply logic to the media and clubs. Just watch him alone and you can see immaculate quality.
Well regardless of whether Ronaldo will go or not, I do agree that the way he's handled the situation is distastefully. I think he has every right to go to Madrid if he wants to. But the way he held the club hostage from Euro 2008 training sessions until now is not the right way to do business. If you want a transfer, grow some balls and tell the one that matters that you want it. Don't play games in the media to give them stories as if its a soap opera series. I think this could have gone much more smoothly if Ronaldo from the beginnning would have done this. Now its a war of stupid pride between two big clubs and regardless of how it ends, neither side is going to come out looking good, with Man United going to FIFA, and Real Madrid showing their arrogance. I would be upset with Ronaldo too if he was at Valencia doing this in this fashion. Ronaldo may be arrogant, but I say he's no more arrogant than many other players that are arrogant, but have no right to be. If you want to talk about arrogance, look at Adebayor who has had 1 good season and has won Arsenal ZERO trophies, yet asks to be paid like Thierry Henry. Ronaldo at least has been backing up his talk on the field for a few seasons, and in the past 2 has been doing it not just at club level, but the CL level as well. His Euro campaign for his standards was poor, but had Portugal gone on in to the finals, it would have looked much better.

Ronaldinho's success may have gone to his head a bit, and that probably was one of the causes for his falling out with the organization, but always remember guys, its all about selling papers. The media will say what they want, and SOME of it will be true, but the rest is exaggerated. Some blame has to be attached to Ronaldinho as well, but not nearly the blame that he's received. Last I've read about Ronnie was the possibility of him being LOANED out to a Brazilian club if AC Milan do not come up with the cash. By some accounts, Pep seems determined to keep him and help him rebuild. I personally think that Ronnie SHOULD stay at Barca, UNLESS... Milan don't come up with the cash. Its unlikely he'll go to England simply because the big clubs can't afford him, and at 28 years of age and after an injury and problematic filled season, they're not going to fork out the 40 million euros Barca demands. If the price tag was lowered, I think we'd see many more offers for Ronaldinho.

Ronnie deserves some blame for just sulking and not fighting for his position back. But what about Thierry Henry???... All he didfor the majority of the season before getting it together and doing some good stuff towards the end, was cry and complain the whole time that the team play didn't suit him and that it was hard for him to adapt because he wasn't used to bringing the ball up on the wings. Ok I'm not saying he should be a winger, but because of the style of football Barcelona play, you cannot be one dimensional either. Problem at Arsenal was that Henry would just stand in the center the whole time and just demand the ball. Meanwhile at Barca, he's finds it harder to beat defenders because of tighter marking and a more congested midfield.

I could go on but its bullshit. The whole Barcelona situation is just embarassing as far as the way thing went. All we can do is sit back and wait to see them next season.

Riquelme now has a bit of a history of clashing with coaches from his early days in Argentina. He's still revered over there and always will be, and thats why he went back to his beloved Boca Juniors.

I don't think its likely that either Silva or Villa leave, but it is known that some offers will come through, as is normal when you have world class players on your team. The owner Soler has come out and said that both Villa and Silva are "untouchable" and the favorites to bid big, were Chelsea, but they have not done that as of yet. Liverpool are the 2nd most likely club to bid for him because the whole "Spanish connection" beginning with Rafa Benitez. If anybody is going to get him, it will be either of those 2 but its not looking likely anymore. I don't see either club bidding 40 million, and who knows if Valencia decided to raise the price after Villa winning the Euro 2008 scoring title, along with the cup itself. They could easily raise it to 50 million. Chelsea have also been linked with Eto'o and Aguero, and both of those guys are expensive too and would easily go for no less than 40 million. I think alot depends on what happens to Drogba, who will probably stay IMO since he's the wrong side of 30 and no big club is gonna take a chance on him when there are younger strikers available.
QUOTE(and the NEW @ Jul 9 2008, 11:44 PM) [snapback]395428[/snapback]
I can tell you are fed up with Ronaldo, just like most fans turning on their own players. But it would be nice to show the man some respect, without him, your trophy cabinet would most likely be bare the last two season and without him, it most likely will be bare this season, well at least from the two major competitions. He said he wants to go, what more do you need? He waited until after the Euros, not such a terrible act. He is arrogant as hell and could have handled the situation better, but what he did for United was absolutely spectacular! Sounds like some United fans are like spoilt kids. People only leave us when WE choose for them to go. You are now dealing with one of the most talented players of a generation, not a Beckham or Van Nistelrooy. Ronaldo can choose to do what he wants, when you become the best in the world, you have this choice.

Right, I'll get back to the quoted statement in a minute. First off I can say that I feel he can get back to 75% of what he was because he is only 28. He has time to do it if he's committed. Not a bold comment and I haven't just thrown out a number for the sake of it. No, I haven't seen much of him last year but he didn't play much and when I caught Barca games on Sky Sports he didn't do a lot or didn't figure at all. I saw loads of the prime Ronaldinhho because 2-3 years ago my son was obsessed with him. I watched him at PSG...I know how good he was and I know that if he was performing anything like that last season he wouldn't have been dropped. At the end of the day though I'm not really bothered about him or where he goes.

Liverpool have said they won't be signing David Villa and are instead trying to land Robbie Keane from Tottenham. Keane also fits in with what they are looking for and he will be a lot cheaper than Villa, especially after the latters excellent display at Euro 2008.

OK so what is with the spoilt kids comment? What is with the "should show some respect" comment. Are you having a laugh? Is it a wind-up or what? Shouldn't he show respect to the club that pays him 120,000 a week with which he only signed a new contract last season? Oh but of course you don't think contracts mean anything do you otherwise why would you make the most ludricrous statement I ever ever heard in my life.

You are now dealing with one of the most talented players of a generation, not a Beckham or Van Nistelrooy. Ronaldo can choose to do what he wants, when you become the best in the world, you have this choice.

I had to read that twice. So by your logic if a player performs amazing stuff for a couple of seasons he should be allowed to go to another club because he's regarded as the best in the world. The clubs don't have a say in it, it's the players choice...WTF? If we allow player power to get any worse than it already is then the game will die. It will kill itself off. What has this got to do with Beckham and Van Nistelrooy btw? Madrid showed interest in both of them, yes, but they hadn't been performing for United so they were deemed replaceable. We allowed them to negotiate contracts with Madrid and they moved. All fair and above board.

Do you not remember Ronaldo commenting the DAY after United lifted the European Cup that he would reveal his future AFTER Euro 2008? Yes, it was the very day after we had lifted the trophy that the speculation started because he refused to give a clear indication of where he would be playing next season. All the fans wanted was some reassurance that he would be staying with the champions of England and Europe, the club he had just that season signed a 5 year deal with, a deal that still had 4 years to run. Where the hell is the respect from him?

Was you happy for club captain Luis Figo to betray the fans of Barcelona and sign for Madrid in 2000? Oh of course though, he was playing so well it was his choice and its up to him what he wants to do. Absolute rubbish.

Do you agree with Sepp Blatter that Ronaldo is a modern day slave? My blood is boiling by such a ridiculous comment. The anti-English sentiment coming out of both UEFA and now FIFA has always existed but now it is just getting unbelievable. The Premier League is starting to do what Spanish and Italian clubs did for years after we were banned from Europe but none of these comments were made by the footballing chiefs when they were dominating. I can't believe it.

Also we won 15 league titles before Ronaldo and there will be many more without him. Yes he played a major role in the last two seasons but he started to become selfish, something of a "look at me, I'm wonderful" type of man. His ego has now exploded. I want him to leave, then everybody will be happy but by the same token I understand the stance that United are taking by refusing to bow to player pressure. The worlds biggest clubs, and clubs in general are backing United's stance. They know that if we stand firm it will send out a message to players the world over that they cannot just decide to leave and nobody bats an eyelid. I can't see it happening but it's worth making the stand if only to keep a bit of honour in the game.

Sadly thats another aspect of football which is dying out.

Will there ever be another one-club player, like Ryan Giggs for instance? Money, agents and egotistical greedy footballers are killing the passion amongst the genuine football fans and its really quite sad.
and the NEW
Ronaldo, not the most consistenty, YET, but one of the most talented of the generation? Absolutely. How many players have performed like he did even for one season?

The comment on spoilt kids is as you said previously, something along the lines of: "Nobody leaves Manchester United, the only reason Beckham and Van Nistelrooy left was because Ferguson wanted them gone". They were not exactly of the impact Ronaldo is, and hence, of course he is going to be chased by most clubs in the world. He did not handle the situation the best, but he is young and would have advice flying at him from all over the place. He is still just a kid, afterall. He shouldn't have mentioned anything until after the Euros, but I can see why he was quiet throughout the Euros. Fact is, he now wants to go, simple as that, you cannot keep a player if he wants out. Yes, same as in the case of Figo. It is angering, but it is HIS life, not yours or the Clubs. If any other workplace tried to FORCE an employee to stay, there would be outrage!

He only gets to live this life once, as you do, so why can't he enjoy it? Just so a few United fans can be more entertained and so we can talk about honour? Come on, he obviously prefers Spain over England (I can say I would probably commit suicide if I had to live in England with the weather after growing up in a sunny place, it is THAT important to me). Not to mention, his family, which also for me, is a HUGE thing! He will die in 50 odd years, so why not spend some of the most important few doing what he wants, where he wants? Some Clubs and fans are just too controlling. Sit him in the stands for a season to rot then? So the entire footballing world misses out on seeing a precocious talent just so a few United fans feel a bit better. What a waste of a life!

Yes, you guys can still win the league and Ferguson has a TERRIFFIC track record, but Chelsea are VERY strong now and to beat them over 38 games, you MUST have a big edge. Who can provide that edge now if Ronaldo leaves? I say you guys need somebody else in the squad, because the central midfielders are not exactly overly creative (they they are brilliant technically and add a lot to the squad), Giggs is no doubt past it, Nani is as green as can get and very inconsistent. Nothing much else in midfield. Though I hate Chelsea and hope United can win again, I cannot see much chance of it if Ronaldo is to leave, regarldess of their past history.

Ronaldinho, you cannot watch a few games to know what he is capable of. He played 13, and in those games, he did WELL. The team really gelled when he was on and the creativity was there, am I wrong? Not to mention, he was marked so damn tightly and hacked all over the field. The season before that (apparently past it), did you see what he did for the team without Eto'o or Messi? Was anybody else doing much at all or was Ronnie really and truly carrying them, setting up and scoring most of the goals? Answer those questions if you watched most of his games. They are pretty clear cut and this is the period you are critising him over.
If Man United lose Ronaldo, you can bet for sure they'll use a good amount of that money they get to bring in another top quality player. I could see either Robinho or Van Der Vaart playing for that club. I think its natural to be upset when one of your stars wants to leave, but it is true at the end of the day that if he wants out, the only real solutions are to either A- renegotiate his deal, or B,- Ship him out, simple as that. This doesn't go for just Ronaldo. It goes for every player. Unfortunately, football nowadays is geared more towards STAR PLAYERS than an entire team or club organization. Sad but true. I can understand United's stance against Madrid, because Real just like to throw their weight around arrogantly like they OWN European football. And I cannot deny that they have been one of the most succesfull clubs in Europe, but their arrogant mafia attitude of "Everybody and anybody can be bought" is really irritating. Not just to me, but to all close to the situations. As far as Ronaldo preferring Spain, it shouldn't be shocking to anyone. He's a young, sharp looking fella, with a Spanish girlfriend, family in Portugal, etc. He probably loves the weather, food, football, and culture over there. Throw in the hot women and party life if you please. Also Real was his favorite club as a young kid so surely its his dream. Its not an issue worth debating because in football these days, there is no right or wrong. Try to play fair, you won't get rewarded. Plus its not Real Madrid that Man U would be giving in to. Its really Ronaldo. Better to just sell and collect and not get involved in a bitter battle of pride and emotions.

Chelsea show signs of big plans this Summer, and they were very close to winning the league last time, so to discount them would be insane. Scolari is untested in Enlgand though, so it will be interesting. He's been managing national teams the past few years and he'll find club level in Europe to be very different. But on pure talent alone, Chelsea cannot be discounted, either in the league, or in Europe.

I don't understand the notion that in 2006, Ronaldinho was past his prime. He scored 20 goals and assisted about 10 of them. Those numbers do not reflect a player past his prime. Keep in mind Messi and Eto'o were injured throughout that season. Last season, we know what happened. Yes Ronaldinho is at fault, but so is the club. And the way they're continuing to act by trying to not let him go for the Olympics is also wrong.. Nobody is innocent here, fellas. There's plenty of blame to go every way. But I think whats done is done and to look back now is just adding more fuel to the fire. MOST Barca fans want Ronnie to stay. Fans understandibly grow attached to their team and want their guys to play for them. There are a few who want Ronnie gone of course, thats normal. Pep Guardiola seems to believe he can help him get back into the team, but Ronnie is not accepting it. He clearly wants a transfer out of Barcelona but is stuck because of the price tag that Barca have on him. Milan won't pay what Barca wants, and Chelsea have not offered anything yet. Man City offer is still on the table though. Eto'o is NOW being rumored to stay. If not, its expected that Adebayor will slide into his spot. Laporta at the moment has offers on the table from Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan, and Tottenham for Eto'o's signature. Next week is when he'll meet up with Laporta to discuss his future.

Valencia start pre-season training next Monday. A couple of new signings are expected. Miguel looks certain to be gone(Sad, he's a great player). Fernandes is gone for sure it seems. He wore out his welcome. Banega will be loaned out. I think their pre-season tours consists of visits to the Emirates against Arsenal and New Castle. Should be interesting.

QUOTE(PR316 @ Jul 11 2008, 11:05 AM) [snapback]395527[/snapback]
If Man United lose Ronaldo, you can bet for sure they'll use a good amount of that money they get to bring in another top quality player. I could see either Robinho or Van Der Vaart playing for that club. I think its natural to be upset when one of your stars wants to leave, but it is true at the end of the day that if he wants out, the only real solutions are to either A- renegotiate his deal, or B,- Ship him out, simple as that. This doesn't go for just Ronaldo. It goes for every player. Unfortunately, football nowadays is geared more towards STAR PLAYERS than an entire team or club organization. Sad but true. I can understand United's stance against Madrid, because Real just like to throw their weight around arrogantly like they OWN European football. And I cannot deny that they have been one of the most succesfull clubs in Europe, but their arrogant mafia attitude of "Everybody and anybody can be bought" is really irritating. Not just to me, but to all close to the situations. As far as Ronaldo preferring Spain, it shouldn't be shocking to anyone. He's a young, sharp looking fella, with a Spanish girlfriend, family in Portugal, etc. He probably loves the weather, food, football, and culture over there. Throw in the hot women and party life if you please. Also Real was his favorite club as a young kid so surely its his dream. Its not an issue worth debating because in football these days, there is no right or wrong. Try to play fair, you won't get rewarded. Plus its not Real Madrid that Man U would be giving in to. Its really Ronaldo. Better to just sell and collect and not get involved in a bitter battle of pride and emotions.

I totally agree with what you are saying and I haven't once disputed any of what either of you are saying when concerning the reasons behind Ronaldo preferring Spain to England. My stance is simply that if players are to use this power against the clubs then it will represent the death knell for football as we know it. If contracts are to be meaningless then football as we know it today will never be the same again. It changed with the Bosman ruling and it looks set to change again if something isn't done about it.

If a player playing for any club with a substantial amount of time left on his contract can suddenly kick up a fuss and render that contract meaningless then a managers job because nigh on impossible. How can a manager say to player A, "you haven't been performing so I am going to drop you", without the player turning round and saying, "I want to go elsewhere then." Football isn't like other employment, it has its own rules, its own morals. If we allow it to become like everyday life then the players will ultimately control the clubs and the ego's will just get bigger and bigger. This, in turn, will turn off many hard working fans who struggle to afford their season tickets or their subscriptions to the TV channels and the game will lose the one thing it needs to survive. The fans. I know many people who have already said they will not be renewing their season tickets (fans who have followed clubs since childhood and are now in their 40's for instance) because they just cannot afford it anymore.

Ronaldo has to go. There are no two ways about it. I could never support a player who has shown such disloyalty to the club I love and have supported since I was 7 years old. However, it really is a catch 22 situation. We let him go and player power has won. We force him to stay and we have an unhappy player on our hands which can only be bad for dressing room morale. How is this problem going to be solved? I really don't know.

What annoyed me more than anything else was when ATN said something like, "he's the best player in the world and because of that he can go where he wants, its his choice." Yes, in the cold light of day that may be true but it doesn't make it right does it? Not in my opinion. It just stinks to be honest. The contract, the 5 year contract Ronaldo signed last summer pays him 120,000 a week. He will be paid that 120,000 a week even though he is out injured and will not take part in any pre-season training. Whilst he is being paid that money he is disrespecting the club with his comments. Now he has said that he agrees with Sepp Blatter, that he thinks footballers are "modern day slaves." The world cup is in South Africa in 2010. Do I need to talk about slavery and what it really means? Of course not.

Just heard Queiroz has gone. Hope we get someone good in to replace him. That, to me, is more of an issue than Ronaldo leaving right now. I didn't want Carlos to go but he's gone, thats it, we move on.

BTW ATN, I'm delighted with our midfield to be honest. We'll need a new winger when Ronaldo goes but all in all its a brilliant midfield. Really is. We'll get a tidy sum for Ronaldo and will be able to sign a couple of players. A winger and a striker. Sorted.
and the NEW
My post was after your "nobody leaves Manchester United, we choose who leaves. Just like with Beckham and Van Nistelrooy". Ok for the club to sack who they want, when the want, but not ok for a player to leave right?

My point was simply that Ronaldo is a highly sought after player, unlike the former two who had a LOT of critics. Beckham called the one trick poney by many, and Van Nistelrooy slow amongst many other names (not every club in the world was after these two). Manchester United are not the all powerful, all controlling of the football Universe, sometimes, if they have the worlds greatest player (and I think Ronaldo was clearly that last season), then they can't keep everybody on a leash. It doesn't make it right for him to leave, but no different to the sacking of Becks and VNR when it suited United.

That's all I have to say on the issue.

Not much news out of Valencia PR, looks like you will keep your best players and with their new found confidence, they should really be pressing it this season!

Pep has inherited an immensly gifted team, get the players under control, get some new centre backs and he has the world at his fingertips.

I agree, the United midfield are great, one of the best in the world, but they are lacking SPARK (if Ronaldo leaves). Unless they get in someone who can create, not just any old winger, then they are in big trouble IMO, but we will see when the season resumes. Not many great wingers out there. But Anderson has the potential to step into the creative role, if he can only execute, he could really become a force! Giggs, he is fading and QUICK. The season before last, he looked a lot more comfortble on the ball, how will he look this season? Far from the man he once was, with the sleek dribbling and the ooze of confidence. He used to float around the park. Not really room to add another central midfielder with spark either. Carrick, Scholes and Hargreaves, all brilliant players, but let's not kid ourselves, they aren't exactlly playmakers, more generals and workers who help out in defence. They are the typical Brittish mold.

Which strikers are United after? Not much talk out of Old Trafford, most is focusing purely on the Ronaldo shamble. Add Zlatan, I would love to see him in England and he would be an immaculate partner for Rooney.
QUOTE(and the NEW @ Jul 12 2008, 01:14 AM) [snapback]395602[/snapback]
Which strikers are United after? Not much talk out of Old Trafford, most is focusing purely on the Ronaldo shamble. Add Zlatan, I would love to see him in England and he would be an immaculate partner for Rooney.

We've been after Berbatov for sometime now and apparently a 20m bid was made last night. Not entirely sure how true that is but Berbatov is definitely a player I would like to see in a United shirt. He oozes class and would add something completely different to our striking options. I don't think we've ever been linked with Ibrahimovic although he's a quality striker without a doubt.

As for replacing Ronaldo it won't be done like for like because there simply isn't a player in that position who can match him. (At least on last seasons form anyway.) We will sign a player who will aid the strikers rather than getting the goals himself and I believe that next season the goals will be spread around the team more. I predict Rooney will score more goals and have a better season than last year and the same goes for Tevez who still weighed in with 20 odd goals himself in any case despite not having a rest for two years. With rest this summer Tevez will be more effective and if it's true that Berbatov signs, that's at least another 20 goals to the armoury.

As for the midfield Giggs (total legend) is obviously becoming less influential with age and Nani is still too inconsistent to take the left wing as his own. Parl works hard and hustles well and he can play on the left but he's not the ideal answer for me. Carrick is underrated, even by myself. He starts so many attacking moves with his passing ability and alongside Hargreaves he is able to get forward more. Anderson, despite fading towards the end of the season does have excellent quality and I can see him being one of our most outstanding performers in the new season. Don't forget Scholes, who missed a lot of last season with injury but proved his worth with the winning goal against Barca. Scholes has been a great player and I'm sure he can still have one more good season. Replacing Ronaldo on the right? Really don't know what Fergusons plans are but like for like, like I said, it won't be done. We'll have to wait and see but I am really optimistic about our chances of retaining the title again....although history shows that winning the league 3 times in a row doesn't happen very often at all. I just hope we get a good man in to replace Queiroz.

On the Beckham issue, he spectaculary fell out with Ferguson ( remember the boot incident) because his lifestyle annoyed the manager. Too much showbiz for Fergie to accept and a few too many below par performances. I remember that champions league tie at Old Trafford when Ronaldo (of Real Madrid) scored a hattrick to put us out. Beckham was dropped for that game but came off the bench to score a hattrick himself as we won the game 4-3. He had no pace, he didn't really have a left foot but his freekicks were still the best in the world and his assist rate for United was still second to none. He wasn't finished when he went to Madrid, he just became a media circus and probably believed his own hype. At that time most clubs in the world would have wanted to sign him. Barcelona were interested but he ended up going to Madrid. Nistelrooy stopped performing. His attitude towards his teammates was disgusting, labelling Ronaldo a showpony "with a lot to learn" and even insulting his recently deceased father. Roy Keane and several other players had to separate them and that wasn't the first time he had acted like that. Nistelrooy just became lazy and selfish and we performed better in the last 7 games when he was dropped. His move went through smoothly and everyone was happy.

Last thing on Ronaldo....Madrid haven't even made a bid for him yet. He hasn't put in a transfer request either. Everything could have been so much smoother if Madrid had tabled an opening bid and Ronaldo had waited for that moment to request a desire to leave. I could accept that because that is how football works. Instead he told the English press he wanted to score 50 goals for United next season on the Saturday but on the Thursday of the same week he began his will-he-won't-he saga. That leaves a sour taste because its not how things should be done.

I'm just hoping Madrid make a bid soon so this can all be cleared up.
and the NEW
Yes, agree on VNR and Becks performances for United.

Berbatov would be a good addition, very classy player, just lacks a little pace. There has been no link of Zlatan with anyone except Barca from what I am aware, really strange considering he was apparently unhappy at Inter (maybe not now since the coach has gone).

No doubt Scholes has another season in him and some more goals, he looked good when he came back last season to me. Carrick is underrated, definately makes some great passes. Anderson will have to step out of his defensive mid role, will be very very interesting. A right winger, the only man who could do similar things would be Messi, but that aint happening. Hargreaves can actually play out there pretty good, some great crosses last season, so they may be a solution while they phase a new man into the position. The left wing is now a big problem also, it can probably still be shared by Giggs and Nani, but the later had better step up, as Giggs time is definately counting down. Park, I agree, a decent player with good work ethic, but nothing magical.

Once more, looks like the transfers won't be resolved until the last minute before the deadline! 31 August isn't it? So a long time left still.
Beckham's celebrity lifestyle got the better of him in Spain as well. The Galcticos as they were called, were given favorable treatment over other players. Beckham was definitely one of these, and because of the atmosphere at Real Madrid, it didn't bother anybody that Beckham's Hollywood lifestyle would often result in poor performances from him and when Perez resigned after losing that tie against Arsenal in the round of 16 that year, things really went down hill. I was always one that felt that even during Beckham's hey day at United, his game was too one dimensional for me and it wasn't long before he was figured out completely once he came to Spain. He had moments here and there when he would do something good, but they were far and between. He definitely is the classic example of letting his accomplishments go to his head. And I think thats the REAL REASON Ferguson let him go. Too much arrogance, too much "I'm a celebrity" type of attitude from this guy, and that was that of course. In Spain he got away with it for a bit, but once Capello came in, that was pretty much the end of David Beckham at Real Madrid. And I think the real reason he left was because he was no longer going to be allowed to get 1st team action based solely on his NAME. He was going to have to earn it and at this point in his career he was like "fuck that".

Ronaldinho is apparentley in trouble with the higher ups of Barcelona CF after apparentley refusing to report for pre-season training. The fans of Catalonia are not happy either, and in a poll, 80% of them sided with the club on this issue, with 20 siding with Ronaldinho. I think what the club was talking about was of both fining and confining Ronaldinho to the reserve squad for this behavior here and it seems that could happen if no other club gets him. Don't know if this hurts or helps his chances at a transfer. The only club that has matched Barca's demands for the player are Man City. AC Milan still say that Ronaldinho is "too expensive" and they will not "break the bank for him." This is not a good idea. If Barca wanted to, they could and would have sold him to Milan by now. This is clearly a "You screw me, I'll screw you" scenario with the club basically punishing Ronaldinho. This has dragged on because of the people within the organization. And all this is gonna do is leave a black cloud over the team. I think Barca should just swallow their pride and sell him for a cheap fee to Milan or something. This isn't a good thing.

Valencia seem ready to raid recently relegated Real Zaragoza for Alberto Zapater and Diego Milito. Zapater is a guy I want for sure because of his ability to defend, keep possession in the midfield, and for those sweet through balls down the middle. With Baraja being old, Albelda ready to fuck off, and the youngsters like Fernandes and Banega being "locker room problems", I think we need a solid youngster in the midfield who can play box to box well, and thats what Zapater does well. And he's not expensive. Milito would be a very good strike partner for Villa. He offers size, strength, and great finishing skills in front of goal and he'll work as a great foil for Silva and Villa in the attack as well. I think this will definitley go a good way into getting to see a better Valencia next season but its too soon to talk about titles, and I know that.

and the NEW
Milito would be a great swoop for Valencia!

They really need to bring Fernandez into line, he is a very good young talent. You can tell though, a big big ego! I can see guys like Nani and Anderson being hard to control also, will be interesting to see now that Quiroz is gone.

I would be surprised if Valencia were not in the top 4 hunt this season!

Becks was always a one trick poney to me. Though, you cannot doubt those spot kicks. His one trick was pretty good too, those curling right crosses to the strikers. Nobody does them better than him. You cannot doubt his technical ability, some great one touch passing too. Just too slow for a winger though.

The Ronaldinho V Barca saga is just way overdone now. Lucky for Deco, he was let go on the cheap! Ronaldinho and Eto'o now need to make their way out of there or we may miss seeing 2 of footballs top guys rotting in the stands. The entire situation is just rediculous. Spain and it's egos. Everything is so unprofessional in Spain IMO. The entire way up the line, even including television rights, footage, referees, having another man pick the players other than the coach, the head to head rule if drawn on points. Add in Italy and their cheating and it is no wonder England is taking over the world by storm! Only decent all round league out there where you can actually watch and have everything run by professionals.

Several reports in England are suggesting an unnamed English club (not Chelsea) are in the hunt to land Sergio Aguero and it is widely tipped that the club in question is Man United. Atletico Madrid have denied receiving a bid for the player at this time though.

As great a potential as he is (didn't he score 20 goals last season?), I don't think it would be a good idea to sign him unless we were going to off-load Tevez. Tevez, Rooney and Aguero are all small players and it would make more sense to sign Berbatov who is a different type of player altogether. Having said that, I would love to bring him here. He already looks class and I can see him being a world star in the not to distant future.

At his best, Beckham didn't need pace because he had that uncanny ability to whip in a cross without having to beat a man and his crosses at one time were right on the button. Pinpoint and devastating making him an incredible assist maker. Notice how Nistelrooy faded at United when Beckham departed. He was the one player who missed Becks more than any other. It's true though, his showbiz lifestyle infuriated Ferguson so much that it eventually became his undoing. Credit has to be given to Beckham for winning his place back in the Madrid side after capello had apparently said he was unlikely to play for the club again. He showed a lot of character to earn his spot back and they went on to win the league. Not bad.

Never was the biggest Beckham fan myself though. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane were the 3 most influential players at United for several years.

I'm hearing conflicting reports about Ronaldinho over here. The radio just ran a story claiming City were now the only club in for him and willing to pay the fee, whereas on the net I'm seeing that a Milan deal could be very close. Maybe you know more?

Was thinking last night that we should sign Ronaldinho...he can play on the left, we need that and if any manager in the world is capable of getting the best out of him, it's Ferguson. Not gonna happen though, haha.
Aguero is probably the most sought after young player in Spain this Summer. Pathetico Madrid are doing their best to hold on to him, and I don't blame them. It cannot be denied that they have a strong squad and they will be contenders next season. I guess if United are bringing in another striker, this must mean the end of Saha???.... Such a shame that such an awesome talent is so injury prone. Now you know how we feel with Vicente at Valencia. But Aguero I think would succeed in England, particularly a club that plays the style of football that United does. Especially if Ronaldo does stay. I would throw in Arsenal but that goes against their creed of signing young, unknown, cheap players. I've seen a bit of Berbatov at Tottenham, and I must admit that the little I've seen has been very good. There was talk of Villa going to Tottenham and partnering with him last season. Big strong guy with a good shot. I think he would start alongside Rooney.

The news about Ronaldinho is that apparantley, Manchester City are the ones with the more attractive offer. Its known that they have answered Barca's demandds but Ronaldinho apparentley doesnt' want to go there. But if Laporta decides to sell, then he'd have no choice, I guess. Milan are definitely Ronaldinho's first choice, but the price that Barca has on him is too expensive for them, and they will not go above the 15 million bid that they have put up. Laporta gave a news conference and announced that Ronaldinho is expected within the next couple of days to arrive in Barcelona to talk about his future.

Pablo Aimar has transferred to Benfic apparentley, where he'll once again work with Quique. Joaquin appears now likely to stay with Valencia, much to the relief of us all. Now if we can just rid ourselves of Albelda we can have a completely new start.

and the NEW
Ronaldinho would really suit United and would do well on the left. But it just ain't happening as you say.

Aguero, wonder who it is.............

He would be a great player in England. Though Berbatov is a class act, looks like he has so much time on the ball and some great technique and footwork.

Ronaldinho is in Barca now, with his brother and reps from both Milan and City apparently. A deal will be struck within 72 hours. Milan say they just don't have the money, a shame for them. Ronaldinho obviously doesn't want to go to a second string team, but with the cash they are willing to spend, and a big name there, along with Jo (a very good young talent), I would not be surprised to see City bring in some more big names the season after. Though it is a step backwards for Ronaldinho, I say why not! Maradona went to Napoli, why not have a crack at England. With Richards and Dunne at the back, Petrov and Elano in the mids and Jo upfront, add in Ronaldinho and they have a decent squad.

I would think Aguero would be JUST the type of player Arsenal would sign. But probably a little bit well known for them and a little expensive. Atletico won't let him go on the cheap. They know what they have.

Hopefully this year is the year Messi realy steps up to shine and is given free reign to move around the field like he did at the end of last season! Though, sounds like Pep wants him as a winger who works hard in defence as well.
^^^^^It seems your right, buddy.

The Ronaldinho saga continues to drag as Milan's 16 million offer has just been rejected. Milan just don't have the money that Laporta is demanding. I suspect however, that a deal with either Milan or Man City will be struck. But if Barcelona is going to grant Ronaldinho's dream move to Milan, they're going to have drop down that price tag significantly. Milan will not pay 32 million like Manchester City are offering. But it looks like something will get done now. Ronaldinho told Pep to "not expect me back because I will be gone". Talk about a snub. Hopefully this is the end of this. What is this and the Ronaldo debacle are just soap operas.

The only clubs I can see Aguero going to are Man United or Chelsea. No way Pathetico sell him to the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Valencia. And I don't see him in Serie A either.

Van Der Vaart meanwhile continues to keep the door open for a transfer to a top team with his preferation being Spain. Only Barcelona I think could get him at this point. There's not too much room for him at Real Madrid, unless somebody leaves, and there's also Valencia who may have an outside shot of possibly getting him, though he's not really what they need most at the moment. I could see him at Barca, honestly. Now that Ronaldinho is all but out the door, I could now see this deal coming to fruition.

I honestly think that Eto'o is going to be staying, now. I'm sure that there's gonna be alot of rumors and speculation and there are reportedly some good offers on the table from the likes of Inter and Chelsea, but I think he'll stay. The fans love him no matter what, and he's a coach's player, in that he works hard and is very fired up and competitive in training and in the games. With Ronnie gone, I think the club would be keen on keeping him. Plus its not like Bojan is ready to take on such a big role in the club at just 18 years of age.

And just as I speak, it is OFFICIAL.... The saga is over.... Ronaldinho is now a Milan player. 22 million was the fee agreed upon. I'm not a Barca fan, but I must admit I feel an air of sadness. Thats the thing with football. Such a sad, yet beautiful game. I'll miss seeing Ronnie on the pitch when Barcelona played against Valencia. Great memories that I'll never forget. Sad stuff.

Here are the words of a fellow friend of mine who lives in Barcelona.

I have tears in my eyes, I really do. Out of all those players that formed that golden revival generation only Samuel Eto'o and the Catalans have now stayed on. It was the most amazing experience to be a Barcelona fan in those years, where we practically had the world at our feet, Ronaldinho had the world at his feet. The man is a life long legend in my eyes and I will NEVER EVER forget what he has done for us and what kind of magic he could produce and and... how special he really was. He was our King Midas, his boots were his wand that made everything turn to gold with the simplest of touches. From his first 'golazo' in Camp Nou against Sevilla, to the Chelsea away match in 2004/05, the Chelsea home and Milan away the year after, the Bernabeu humiliation, his wonderful free kicks in 2006/07 to this years Atleti's bicycle kick and the last post he has hit from a free-kick for us against Villarreal, he will be kindly remembered. Let's forget about the past 2 years and the problems he has had. I know you are a Valencia guy but surely you must understand this feeling.

Here's to Ronaldinho, the best player Barcelona has had in a long, long time and may he have a successful career in Milan and kick some ass in Serie A, his name will always light a smile on Barcelona fan's faces around the world. To Ronaldinho, the legend that he was, is and will be.

The end of an era I guess. Any La Liga fan whether they admit it or not will miss him. The man brought joy to the game.

and the NEW
What a statement from your mate! ha ha, that bought tears to my eyes too!

As he says, the end of that golden generation! Barca really has a lot of work to do now, they need some names with Ronnie and Deco gone. They cannot throw a cross on Messis shoulders and tell him to march for the team! Way too much weight for a young, injury prone kid.

I would not be surprised to see Eto'o stay now that Ronnie and Deco have gone either. Afterall, he is apparently closer to Henry. What a saga, at least it is done and dusted now and I will continue to watch Ronnie over at Milan when I get the chance, shame they are not in the CL. They want to play him alongside Kaka, behind Pato. In a triangle. I think he could play there well. Milan have also scalped Zambrotta, one of the most influencial backs at Barca recently. Flamini can replace that old washed up bum Gattuso. If Ronnie can add some goals in open play and from the spot, Pato can fill the boots of a top scoring striker and Kaka can have a decent season, they may really go close to challenging for the title this season.

On another note, did you see Mancini went to Inter for a lousy 10 mil? WTF. He was probably the best player for Roma last season, they are going to miss him badly. Big easy scalp for Mourinho. No other spark in the Roma squad really. Though Guily can have his moments, the strikers are good, but they aren't exactly creators.

Barca to me is in shambles, I just cannot see the formation or the line-up, I think it will almost be a quick throw together of some players and hope they work together well................doesn't appear there is any method to their madness and they aren't addressing the critical areas.

Messi is really my last hope.

The centre backs will always be the dagger in the side, and unless Pep realises this, the Barca squad will continue to suffer. Only thing is, since Pep is a Catalan faithful, he will probaby be given a long time to proove himself regardless of how he does.

Appears the transfer market is heating up! Sure to be a few more big moves! Robinho to Chelsea by the looks of it. Lampard will most definately go to Inter IMO, and Scheva will prob go too.

United are really the late runners in all of this and need to get Ronaldo sorted so they can get on with the building of their squad. We don't want Chelsea carving up next season, though with Deco and Robinho, they will definatley have a bit more flare to their game!

Yeah my eyes watered a bit upon reading that. Reminds me when Piojo Lopez left Valencia. But this is even BIGGER... Barcelona have basically took down what is at the moment 2 BIG PILLARS of the Barcelona foundation, in Deco and Ronaldinho, with Eto'o possibly remaining on board now. I can only imagine the pain, because there are alot of Barca fans that STILL believe in Ronaldinho and know in the heart of hearts that he can get back to or close to the player he once was. Anybody can see greatness in Lionel Messi no matter what club they support, but I agree that it is too much of a big load. If Eto'o goes, Barca as soon as possible need to find a quality replacement. Somebody who can not only partner with Henry up front, but also with the ability to link the play with Messi along with wings. There aren't many strikers available who can do that now, but of course everybody has his price.

Replacing Ronaldinho is just as hard. The club appears to be counting heavily on Messi. Big mistake right now, I think. I say, get Messi somebody who can provide a spark. Somebody who can beat a man, and stretch the defense so that Messi could find the open spaces to work the channels. That is just ONE PIECE that Ronnie provided. He also had versatility, able to drift from the left, to the center, to the right, ability to play as a supporting striker, a free kick specialist....... People really forget just HOW MUCH Ronaldinho brought and still brings to the table. Even when he's not having his best game, his presence alone causes defenses to shift just enough so that world class players like Eto'o, Messi, Deco, and Henry can work open spaces provided to them. You never know what you got till its gone. And Laporta I fear will live to regret this decision.

Valencia have surprisingly submitted a 25 million bid for the services of Samuel Eto'o, according to sources from Barcelona and Valencia. The mere thought of Eto'o and Villa up front in attack is SCARY... But the problem here is that if indeed this offer is even entertained by the Barcelona brass, they are going to ask for David Silva. So thats where things get complicated. Silva is one of Valencia's pillars. And due to his terrific Euro 2008 campaign, he's been monitored by top clubs like Inter and Barcelona. Some say even Arsenal may be interested, though he's a bit expensive for Arsene Wenger's tastes.

Well at least Ronaldinho has moved on to a big club rather than accepting the bigger offer from Shitty. That, to me, shows he still wants to be one of the best players in the world, rather than just pick up the cash....although I'm not sure what Milan offered as opposed to Shitty to be honest. At the end of the day though, Milan are a huge club, Shitty are just a club with money looking to throw it around and make some noise.

I interesting point...A radio station I listen to regularly had a topic the other night which asked, "Are there any Man City fans that actually want to sign Ronaldinho?" The answer was that in the 2 hours I listened, not one Shitty fan said they wanted to sign him. Strange but true. Anyway, it's done and dusted now. Will it prove to be a wise bit of business from Barca or a foolish mistake? Time will tell.

I keep reading on here that Arsenal or more to the point, Arsene Wenger, is against spending big money on players but that isn't really the whole truth. For the next 17 years Arsenal have to pay 24m a season to fund the debt they owe for their new stadium. Now that figure or the length of time involved may be slightly exaggerated (by the English media) but I do feel that they are restricted financially to the point where they simply cannot afford to splash huge sums of money on players. Hence why Wenger chooses to sign raw gems with the belief that he can turn them into stars. If Adebayor eventually goes for the sums being mentioned, Wenger will be laughing because he will be able to flex his financial muscle by signing somebody spectacular. I mean, lets face it, Adebayor had a good two thirds of the season but his goals dried up at the crucial time and his attitude towards other teammates was quite despicable.

Aguero isn't going anywhere claiming he is happy at Atletico so that one looks to simply be rumour or paper talk. We'll all have to wait and see.

Calderon is stressing that Robinho is worth more than the 48m Chelsea want to pay but on the same note he says he won't sign Ronaldo unless the fee is reasonable. If he thinks he can get Ronaldo on the cheap he's on a loser and is going to look very foolish. There is no man in football more stubborn than Alex Ferguson and he will not let Ronaldo go unless the fee matches his valuation. To be honest I feel Ronaldo will be here next season if the reports of him being out till October are correct. I don't see how a deal can be done if he is injured.

I'm just waiting for the next big move now. It has started to happen in the other leagues but there hasn't been any major transfers in England yet. Once the first one takes place it'll all kick off. Until then I'll just enjoy reading the speculation.
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Yep, so true PR, Ronnie bought so much more than his goals and flare to the game. The space he did create was amaizing. His presence alone on the field was like a magnet to defences and you will see this again in Milan.

Eto'o to Valencia, man, that would be crazy!!!!! We HAVE to keep him now the other two guys are gone. But if he does go, Silva would be a decent swap, but we DO need strikers!

See Barca just signed HLEB, HORRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally some spark in the midfield! He can play on the wings too but prefers to oprate in the centres.

Man City fans didn't want Ronaldinho, sounds like they are trying to protect their pride, assuming he wouldn't be going. You cannot compare Ronaldinho at this stage with any one of the City midfielders or attackers. He could play blindfolded and still be better than any of those guys. Elano is ok, but more hype than substance IMO. I am surprised City don't go for a proper playmaker, somebody like Diego from Werder. Infact, I would welcome him with open arms to Barca, he is one of the best playmakers in the world IMO. Seems he has been forgotten about. No news on Queresma either, if he doesn't move soon, he will probably wither away at Porto. He didn't get much time in the Euros which was a shame and the small time he did get, he did close to nothing.

I also hear Arsenal, since living on the cheap since building the Emerates, now have quiet a large war chest!

That Robinho price tag is pure Madrid arrogance! Though he can definately add what so many can't these days, and that is the ability to beat a man and open up defences.

Sad Aguero is not leaving Atletico, I would like to see him in England, a place which has been left out of the transfer loop so far.

I hear Ronnie missed a cut of the pie to transfer to Milan. Better to have reputation these days for a club, than money! Chelsea bought their way to the top, appears it is going to be hard for someone to do it a second time! Though, at least they had a big name in Zola there beforehand, always attracts other big names.

Like last season, Tottenham appears the big name to attempt to crack the top 4 with even more signings, wonder if their defence can finally gel! Will be interested to see Dos Santos in England.

Can't forget Rosicky either, he should be back and fit for Arsenal sometime soon, a big addition to the squad! Wonder where Nasri will fit into the picture? Surely if they use him in the centres with Fabregas, they are going to use two fast wingers to create that spark from midfield. Perhaps Walcott will make his mark this season?

Nothing out of Liverpool yet. Keane and Barry appear their main targets, god Rafa sure goes for some weird ones. He doesn't like flare to the Liverpool game does he? Wonder if anybody will go for Downing, I feel he could do well at a big club.

Alfonso Alvez and Jo are the two big new guys I will be watching out for this season. One of them should really get their name in the headlines or rival Torres for the golden boot............Adebayor (if he stays) may also do well, and Drogba (apparently making up his mind in the coming 10 days)........who else do you see up there in the goal scoring department in England this season? Berbatov at United perhaps? Can't see Rooney right up the top, though as always he will add quiet a few.

Where did Guiza go again PR? Was it off to Italy? Surely someone from a big club will get the award this season. Wonder if we will still have that temper in Sevilla or if Fabiano will get a move to the Premier League. Like Adebayor, he sure went off the boil. Though, both have great talent IMO. Will be good to see Henry play in the centres at Barca alongside Eto'o, may make it very interesting. Villa is always a chance. Aguero. The lank from Sevilla too possibly like the season before last? Raul, no chance! lol. Not many other names in contention for top scorer this season in Spain, but it is always unpredictable, someone unexpected like Guiza could come out of the woodwork!

I'm starting to get eager now! Feels so so long away still!
Danny Guiza transferred to Fenerbache for a 20 million euro fee, and get this.... That is THE MOST EXPENSIVE buy in the history of Turkish football. I would have liked Guiza at Valencia but I'm happy that he's getting the chance to take his game elsewhere as well. His girlfriend is SO HOT, btw.. Man do I love Spanish women!!... drinks.gif

Valencia are protecting Villa from the transfer window but have said that they will only listen to "IMPORTANT OFFERS." In other words, a big club with alot of money like Barca, United, Real, or Chelsea. If a can't refuse offer is made, I think Valencia would sell.

Eto'o reportedly is looking at Uzbekistan???... Oh God, I hope not.

Ronaldinho went alot cheaper than I thought Barca would allow him to. 22 million I think it was??... Man City were offering 32 million. I think this does show that Ronnie still cares about football and wants to contribute. Gotta respect him for that, no matter what.

Hleb has signed for Barcelona. Thats a very good signing. Man, Arsenal just can't seem to keep anybody.

Fabiano came out yesterday or day before to say that he is "Staying at Sevilla". I thought for sure he was one of Man United's targets but I guess that never really materialized.

I've always been iffy about Walcott. Unproven as hell to me. As untested as a young player could ever be. He contributes the occasional goal and has a moment of brilliance here and there but I can't say I see greatness in him. Maybe you guys feel differently??...

As far as Golden Boot winners go???... I think in Spain, it will be between Eto'o, Villa, Aguero, and Fabiano. Who knows, possibly Henry. Of course I'm assuming Eto'o stays(I hope he does honestly, he's one in a million). Raul will bang in goals here and there but I doubt he gets over 13 next season. Nihat is underrated.. True quality striker who has the ability to destroy a team, like Torres. He'll be up there in the top ranks. Do you think Bojan will score 10 goals again, or lower??... Messi if he can remain healthy has a chance. He was the leading scorer last year throughout the first 10 weeks or so.

In England, I think Torres and Adebayor are favorites. Ronaldo probably won't score 31 again but I can see him being in the top 4. Watch out for Robbie Keane. He got I think 19 goals last season. He'll be dangerous again. I think Drogba will bounce back. He won't score lots of goals, but definitely more than the mere 8 he netted last season. And if RVP can stay healthy, he'll definitely be in the top 6 or so. Berbatov as well. He's class. I'm definitely curious about seeing Dos Santos in England. That was such a strange transfer.
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Yeh, Eto'o may go for the money!! Wouldn't surprise me with him, but a VERY big career mistake!!!

That's right, Guiza to Fenerbache. They really do have a star drawing power somehow!

Ronaldinho didn't get a cut of the transfer fee apparently (which he usually would). This is why the offer was even cheaper than usual. Plus if he performs, Barca get another 3mil. Funny to hear what they say about him now in Milan, they have been chasing him for 3 years and have never chased someone for so long! All the bad talk about him, but actions speak louder than words hey!

Agree on Walcott, he lacks a touch many times and really seems to panic and lacks a lot of vision. A very rough stone at the moment. But he is still so so young.

Agree on Nihat, very very dangerous man! Bojan, I think if he gets game time again (which I think he will), he will get the 10 goals again, maybe a couple more.

Valencia really need to keep Villa and I can't imagine him anywhere else! Would be weird! But then again, it is going to be ODD seeing Ronaldinho in black and red! Here goes a LOAD of money to Milan in merchandise, advertising etc!

Oh and Gilberto Silva just left Arsenal too! LOL. I hope Wenger knows what his doing. Another season with disappointment could spell doom for the club. With guys like Fabregas running for the door!

Looks like Robinhos agent is trying to cater for his ego! Now he claims Barca are prepared to make an offer, that is one transfer I just CANNOT see happening! Get rid of Ronaldinho, Deco, Eto'o and bring in Robinho? lol. That would just take the cake! At least guys like Hleb, VDV have controlable egos!

Here is one for you Maxy, and pretty much sums up my sentiments. From the legend himself:
So Ferguson has again came out and said that Ronaldo is staying. At the press conference in South Africa it was asked if he had spoken to Ronaldo and he said yes and that Ronaldo is staying....??? Well, if that's what he says I've got to believe him. Fergie's powers of persuasion are quite legendary so maybe after talking to Cristiano he has managed to convince him his immediate future lies at Old Trafford.

Lets remember, a lot of what Marca reports is bullshit so lets not read anything into what they have been saying over the past couple of months. Ronaldo himself has pissed of every United supporter in the country and it will take a long time for him to be forgiven...but if he comes out himself and says he wants to stay....well he'll be halfway there. I still want him to go though, for the record.

ATN....Roy Keane tells it how it is. He always has done. He's a legend at our club and it'll be a long time before we ever get another player like him. What he's saying is of course true but in the Ronaldo case things have not been done the right way - and there is a right and a wrong way even if the outcome ends up being the same. Players do get sold when the club doesn't want them anymore but for that to happen another club has to make a bid and not use the media to constantly tap up players. The players have to show some dignity even if they want to leave, and wait until another club tables a bid. Anyway, this has all been done to death.

Robinho's agent is typical of modern day agents. He's full of shit. So Barcelona, Man United and Chelsea all want to sign him? Bullshit. Maybe Chelsea but Barca and United....absolutely no chance.

I think if Theo Walcott is given more playing time he could develop into a genuine top player. He almost took them through against Liverpool in the Champs League when he came on as sub with that great run...he just hasn't been given enough opportunities. I think he'll get more opportunity this season and it'll be up to him to turn potential into genuine world class. Hleb signing for Barca is no surprise and my Arsenal mates are glad to see the back of him even though I rate him quite highly. Perhaps he'll do better for Barcelona. I don't think he enjoyed his time at Arsenal and actually asked to leave soon after joining because he didn't think the league suited him at all. Wenger told him to give it time and he did improve but he still holds onto the ball too long for my liking. Gilberto leaving Arsenal is no great shock and was always going to happen. They have Fabregas, Nasri and the highly rated Merida amongst their midfield ranks and although it lacks experience they are all quality players. I won't write them off yet and they will still be making more signings with the money they get for Adebayor should he leave. carlos Vela is there also and he's going to be a top player.....

We've confirmed the bid for Berbatov and he is a genuine top notch player who offers us something different. He'll get 25 goals for us should he sign so I'm really optimistic about the new only concerns are that we are going to struggle at first because we will be without Nani, Anderson, Ronaldo (either injured or gone) and look, at present, to only be making one signing. Queiroz has gone it could all go tits up at the beginning and we'll face a difficult time trying to claw back points if we do drop them early...

All adds to the excitement though. Can't wait for kick-off.
Ferguson said that the meeting with him and Ronaldo, though "amicable", did clear alot of stuff up. He said that he "knows where Ronaldo stands", and believes he'll be at United next season. At least it puts an end to the saga. Marca are very PRO MADRID, and alot of their stories are bullshit, but Ronaldo did give an AUDIO interview where he declared his desire to play for Real, so it is true that Ronaldo wants to play for them, but he should honor his contract. I think within 2 seasons, we'll see Ronaldo in La Liga for sure. Madrid never made any formal approaches apparently, but I expect them next year to make a genuine bid for the player and from there, we'll see how it goes. Personally, I think it'll be hard for next season at United after this Summer saga. He didn't handle things the right way, and I do think he'll be given hell by the fans at Old Trafford, at least until he starts scoring some goals.

I'll still never understand Barca getting rid of Eto'o. And the targets they've been aiming at for replacement for the most part have left me scratching my head... Adebayor???... Benzema???... Huntelaar???.... The only strikers in the world who can do a similar job for Barca that Eto'o does are Torres, Villa, and Ibrahimovic. Throw in guys like Fabiano, Nihat, and Aguero if you want. But the first 3 I mentioned absolutely do NOT do half of what Eto'o does. Sorry I just think its disappointing for Barcelona to be pursuing guys like that. Arshavin??... Great young player, but still untested in the big leagues. Berbatov??.. Top class for sure but he's being targeted by United so who knows about that one.

I'm curious about Arsenal this season now that Nasri has signed. Personally, I think Arsenal could use a player in the mold of a Van Der Vaart or Robinho. Somebody who can play behind the strikers and shift all over the field, and provide spark. I've seen some videos of Nasri recently and he's just another Fabregas. Very good player who will be great one day I think, but Arsenal already have that role covered. They have not addressed their real problems which are at center back, and I still insist they need a top class striker proven on the world stage that is quick, skillful, and deadly in front of goal. I say this mostly because Eduardo is going to be out for a long time, and RVP is injury prone. Walcott is untested still, and Bendtner is just.........Bendtner. dntknw.gif Adebayor, provided he keeps his head on straight is reliable and does a great job for Arsenal, despite not being the most skillful guy on the ball, and lacking a bit in the finishing department, though he is dominant in the air, and strong. But defense is Arsenal's biggest need and if they don't address that, then I don't know they can hold on to their championship hopes.

Saw Ronaldinho's official press conference and player presentation on the field. Really strange to see him in an AC Milan shirt but at the same time it looks very natural on him. I just couldn't picture him in either a Man City or Chelsea shirt. I also saw that charity match that Ronnie played with his friends against Messi and his friends, and though it was a light hearted affair, its plain as day to see that the talent is still there. The vision, pin point passing, and shooting accuracy in front of goal. Sure he's a bit out of shape at the moment, but not nearly as much as some of the media outlets were making out to be. I was expecting him to look like Ronaldo did in his last couple of seasons but not even close, man. Surely nothing that a few weeks on the training ground wouldn't take care of. I know that maybe his last season at Barca didn't always show it, but I do sense he's very motivated now, and looks rejuvinated. Its been a long time since I really saw his smile(The bicycle kick against Patetico Madrid was the last time), and he just looks so happy and at PEACE.. He said at the news conference that it is his "dream to be here" and he promised "hard work" and vowed to "be number 1" once again. Gotta love Ronnie, no matter what.

Valencia have told BOTH Joaquin and Miguel that they will be STAYING... Honestly, I'm very happy. That is great news to here. Unai Emery has told the press that it is best for Albelda to look for an exit. He doesn't count on him with the team, and it seems he's wary of the political power Albelda relied on all those years. Either Morientes or Zigic will exit the club. At least thats what would have to happen if Valencia sign either Milito or Eto'o(Tall order, I know). Honestly, I hate saying this because I love Morientes, but he doesn't have the body anymore to withstand the wear and tear. He's been dealing with nagging injuries these past few seasons and its best that he gets sold. Zigic is still young and can learn alot from the likes of Villa, Eto'o, or Milito. If Milito is signed, thats a great pick up because of his strength, skill, dominance in the air, and shot power. A bit slow, but Valencia have Villa for speed. Vicente says he's feeling good and its true that towards the end of last season, he was looking very good, but along with Joaquin, despite both being fit and on form were inexplicably benched(It was ublic knowledge that both feuded with Koeman). I'm actually hoping Manuel Fernandes stays. Yes he's a difficult customer with his thug attitude, but Emery can tame him, and with proper coaching, he can become a great player. He's a beast when it comes to his workrate. Ever Banega, the other trouble maker will probably loaned out. Great kid and a raw talent, but definitely could use some discipline. Still hopeful that we get Zapater from Zaragoza. We really need him. I must say that there is an air of optimism around Valencia now and though we'll see what that means for the season.

PR I think that unless something changes behind the scenes Roanldo will be at United until next summer and then he'll sign for Madrid. I'm not sure how the supporters are going to react to him when he returns in October although by that time (and its a long time in football), things may have been smoothed over.

Chelsea are said to be at an advanced stage over negotiations to sign Kaka for 80m and the player is very eager to join the blues. Scolari is obviously going to attempt to play fantasy football and no player seems out of their reach. They'll be going after Messi next I reckon because they have unlimited funds and clearly Abramovich is determined to become the worlds most dominant football club.
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PR, I must say, Ronaldinho just looks ODD in a Milan shirt, but to me, he would look odd in any club color other than bleaugrana (spelling).

Like you say though, he always cops crap off the media even in the friendly. I think most casual fans and media want to see him skin players like Ronaldo (both of them) Maradona, Pele, Cryufft , Messi and the like. Though his main attribute is his passing and vision.

How about the San Siro, was packed full! Busier than on match day!!! LOL. Though wish they let Ronaldinho freestyle and not some other freestylers, can watch them on youtube anytime.

Maxy, I agee, Ronaldo will stay this season (Madrid wouldn't want him injured for a HUGE fee). I think he will play out the rest of the season and head on his bike. Will be interesting to see his greeting at Old Trafford.

PR, agree on Valencia, agree on Arsenal and agree on the Barca striker situation, with everything you said about all three topics. Nasri is so similar to Fabregas. Nothing like Zidane, despite being hailed as the new Zizou!

Just read about the Kaka offer, not sure how much truth there is in the matter. He is very similar to a Torres who plays deeper, so I would LOVE to see him in England. Could allow some money for Adebayor and then for more rebuilding next season, so I'm sure Milan would sell him with even close to that price target.

What a transfer season!

Chelsea can go for Messi all they want, I have actually heard rumours of it, but it ain't happening! Barca aint letting him go, until they get sick of him and drag him through the dirt so they can get half the price for him they otherwise would. wink.gif
Eto'o will travel with the team to Scotland since there is no offer at the moment worth going over. This looks like it may be possible for Eto'o to stay, despite rumors of a reported offer from Inter. Goodness I don't understand Guardiola. He doesn't count on Eto'o, Deco, and Ronaldinho, but he counts on an arrogant, past it Henry, a young kid in Bojan, and a potential great but injury prone Messi. I'm trying to understand what he is trying to build here but its not clicking for me. Sure I think Danny Alves and Hleb are good signings, and I can see them being even better with Barca than they were with their previous clubs. But there is a HUGE GAP in the center. Thuram is just too old. I'm sorry but he's become a joke now, and his Euro Cup performance was an embarassment to his country. Puyol needs some help there, because he can't just be Super Man all the time.

Guardiola gave an interview in Valencia to Las Provincias and said that Villa would be very keen on joining Barcelona if the right offer came up. That would be a great signing for the attack, but who in the hell is going to plug that center defense???

I think fans grew so accustomed to seeing Ronaldinho run at defenders at top speed and beat them left and right, that they forget his other attributes. Ronaldinho could look shredded but if he has even 1 bad game, the media is all over him for being "out of shape" and "not training hard", etc. etc. I honestly think he'll prove himself at San Siro. AC Milan I believe are in the UEFA Cup if I'm correct. I think I'll get to see him for sure. Valencia are in the UEFA Cup too!!.. Wouldn't it be something if the final was contested by BOTH these teams. I would love it!!...

Kaka is not gonna be sold. Not for the moment at least. Milan are in an upswing at the moment with UEFA Cup football to look forward to and a possible Serie A title. Plus the reinforcements like Ronaldinho, Flamini, and Zambrotta, along with the deep talent pool of youth in the squad, that if given a chance could shine.

Ronaldo being injured possibly contributed to Real Madrid not making a bid. But possibly next year I could see this happening, but it all depends on alot of things too. What would be great is if Man United and Real Madrid meet in the Champions League next year...LOL!!!... That would be insane!!..


Whatever your feelings about the man, we'd all love to be living his lifestyle!
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ha ha ha ha, Man United V Madrid at some point in the CL would be fantastic!!!!

I just wish Barca could meet Milan, but Chelsea would be just as funny! Imagine Deco or Ronaldinho playing against Barca, WTF, that would just seem so crazy but so interesting!

Milan V Valencia would be a dream UEFA Cup final and could well and truly happen if the draw permits.

I will be interested to see Bayern this season in the CL, they have quiet a good squad. Klose, Toni and Ribery could be playing on any squad in the world, let alone on the same squad! Fantastic attack right there, the exact elements required. Spark and finishing ability.

Agree on the Barca situation, have been saying now for so so so so long Barca need to address that backline problem!!!!!!! It is rediculous, a sharp, attacking, great team, with a weak defence. So they get rid of Ronaldinho, Deco and Eto'o..................? W T F ! !

I cannot make any sense of it. Without another great centre back or a top quality keeper, Barca are not winning anything again this season. Have to give it to Rijkaard, at least he tried to address the problem, bringing in Abidal, Zambrotta, Milito and Toure. Too bad he had no idea of how to coach structure into a team or backline.

Here is a clip of Ronaldinho just arriving at the Milan training camp (which is spectacular if you have not seen inside it before, probably the best in the world). There is obviously Ronnie fever in Milan at the moment. I think it's safe to say he will be training hard again now, you can see his ego is being massaged very nicely there, so he will like like that.

I read Deco talking on Chelsea and their chances this season, have to say, it is the first time all of this has really sunk in and I realised I will never see them at Barca again, a very very sinking and sad feeling!
Rumors state that Valencia may put Villa on the market. But they state that they will only sell at the right price from the right club. Barcelona and Chelsea are apparentley monitoring the situation, especially Barca, with Guardiola apparentley recently meeting with Villa and his agent to talk about things. Obviously nothing is for sure and Valencia won't just sell. But its looking like its possible. Villa is said to be a great admirer of Barcelona. He likes Chelsea but its not his favorite team in the EPL. He prefers Arsenal and Liverpool over the rest. I think more likely than not, no big move happens and the reason I think this is because Eto'o IMO will not be sold. I think he'll stay at Barcelona and if that happens, the odds of Valencia trading up on any of their stars decreases for sure.

I saw Ronaldinho's arrival at Milan and the reception was tremendous, along with catching clips of the press conference, and freestyle session. Stadium was jam packed. Awesome stuff. I think he'll do well. He'll get ALOT OF TIME to work with Kaka and Pato and I expect this to improve their teamwork in the Selecao as well.

Deco at Chelsea is strange, for sure. He still has at least 2 more good seasons in him if not 3. If Chelsea can make a good signing at striker and a good replacement for Makelele, I can see them in the running again. Lampard is almost certain to leave though no official offers have really been made I think. Chelsea are to be taken seriously thats for sure. So much talent there.

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Yeh, latest is that Barca may not sell Eto'o as we have been saying.

Don't think Chelsea need a replacement for Makalele, he hardly played for them last season anyways. With guys like Cole, Malouda, Mikel, Deco, Ballack, Essien, Wright-Phillips in the midfield, you don't really need Makalele or Lampard. Already 4 guys there who can play in the centres.

With the addition of a good striker (Cole should not be playing upfront) and Drogba and Kalou are the only other real quality two, Chelsea and Scolari have no excuse for not winning the league.
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