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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fabio Silva and Rafael Silva Video Clip


Royals fear Ronaldo

Reading boss Steve Coppell has spent much of this week hoping for one thing – a Cristiano Ronaldo off-day when the Royals entertain United at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds winger’s form has been jaw-droppingly good in recent weeks, scoring 16 goals in his last 13 games.

As a former United wide man himself, Coppell has ultimate respect for United’s Portuguese prince. But that hasn’t stopped him fearing what Ronaldo could do to his side this weekend.

"Ronaldo's goalscoring record is phenomenal for a wide man," Coppell told local reporters.

"You can have nothing but respect for his talents. When I was player I went into the start of a season thinking a goal every six games would be a great return for a winger. But Ronaldo is scoring almost a goal a game - and he's not even a striker.

"He's scoring goals and he's also creating things for the team as well. He's got an awful lot going on in his game and he's a threat to any side in the world. You can only stand back and admire him because he's broken the mould in terms of what wide players can do.”

But if Reading’s players think they have only got Ronaldo to worry about, Coppell has some other words of warning.

"It’s not just Ronaldo, then there's Wayne Rooney. On the four occasions United have lost this season, he hasn't played. I watched their FA Cup tie at Aston Villa and he really made the difference when he came on for the last 20 minutes. That's why he cost £25 million as a 17-year-old, he makes things happen."

But Coppell’s compliments should also come with the caveat that his side are well-drilled at frustrating United. In five meetings in the last two seasons – twice in the FA Cup and three times in the league – Reading have drawn three matches, with United’s two victories both narrow 3-2 successes.

"We've got to think we can get something from these games,” added Coppell. “These are the elite teams by some way and they are always going to be difficult tests for us.

"But we've got to think we're capable of getting points off them. We know we're capable because we've done it before, but that doesn't make it any easier." Read more...

Brazilian twins set for switch to United

Manchester United are preparing to announce the signing of Fabio and Rafael Silva, Brazil’s answer to the Neville brothers. The 17-year-old twins, who are identical, are scheduled to arrive in Manchester on Monday to join United in a joint £5.2 million transfer from Fluminense, a deal that has been two and a half years in the planning. Like Gary and Phil Neville, the Silva brothers are full backs, with Rafael operating on the right flank and Fabio on the left, even though both are right-footed. They caught Sir Alex Ferguson’s eye in a youth tournament in Hong Kong in 2005, during United’s preseason tour to Asia, and signed precontract agreements with the Barclays Premier League club when they turned 16 in July 2006. Initially the plan was for them to move to Manchester this summer, but the deal has been brought forward now that they have received the necessary paperwork. The twins excelled for Brazil in the Under-17 World Cup finals in South Korea last August, with Fabio, the captain, finishing as his country’s leading scorer.
Oliver Kay, The Times.