CRISTIANO RONALDO has vowed to take on board Alex Ferguson’s criticism about his lack of teamwork.
While Manchester United have reacted with the usual disdain to comments from former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon that Ronaldo will leave for the Bernabeu this summer, Ronaldo was basking in the glory of the wonder goal that beat FC Porto on Wednesday night.
The effort came on the back of a rare rebuke from his manager, who felt the Ballon D’Or winner did not put himself out for his team-mates enough in the first leg at Old Trafford a week ago.
Ronaldo is not entirely convinced Ferguson’s assessment was accurate. But he does acknowledge the importance of his boss’ opinion.
And he intends to act on it.
“It is not a problem,” he said. “I always respect the manager and coaches because I want to learn. If he says that it is because he thinks it is true.
“But I think I have been playing well and I have scored a few important goals.”
The removal of Calderon in January has seen a lessening in the sheer number of Ronaldo stories seeping out of Madrid.
However, his word still carries an air of authority and his latest statement is being viewed in Spain as gospel.
He said: “Anyone who becomes the next president will have at his disposal one of the best players in the world, who is already formally committed to Real Madrid.
“I cannot give any names, but all I can say is that thanks to the difficult and laborious work that I did last year, he is already formally a Madrid player, subject obviously to him being able to sign the relevant contract.”
The loss of Ronaldo could hardly be viewed in a positive light. And the reaction from inside United circles at Calderon’s comments is akin to ‘we have heard it all before’.
Nevertheless, just as with similar stories that appeared within hours of United’s Champions League Final win over Chelsea in Moscow last year, they have taken some of the gloss off Wednesday night’s win.
Not for Ronaldo though, who was intending to watch his astounding matchwinner again on DVD when he returned to the team hotel.
“It was a fantastic strike,” he said. “Very hard and fast. I am very happy with it.”
The goal was enough to earn the Red Devils a Champions League semi-final showdown with old rivals Arsenal.
And Ronaldo is convinced the Old Trafford outfit can repeat last season’s haul of the major trophies on offer.
“We have an opportunity to win everything and we are very confident that we can,” he said.
“We did not play fantastic in the last five or six games but we expect the next ones will be better because of what we did last night.”
Ronaldo’s United team-mate Dimitar Berbatov is similarly confident and has no doubt the Red Devils will come through their all-English Champions League semi-final with Arsenal.
“The Arsenal games are going to be great for everybody to watch and I know it is going to be difficult,” said the Bulgarian.
“They are a great team. But we are Manchester United, so I think we are going to win.
“We are determined to defend this trophy and the fact we now have to face another English team makes it a little bit different. But we should still be confident.”
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