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Friday, September 5, 2008

Ronaldo: I'll play my heart out

Cristiano Ronaldo insists he is not worried about a backlash from United supporters. But he admits he was "naive" to push for a world-record move to Real Madrid. Ronaldo, due to make his long-awaited return at the end of this month after making rapid progress following ankle surgery in the summer, revealed he wanted to join Real because he had won everything he could at Old Trafford following last year's European Cup triumph. "After we'd won the Champions League I felt that I'd help win everything there was to win," he said. "I felt maybe I needed a new challenge. Apart from the challenge, everyone realises that Spanish and Portuguese culture and lifestyle are more similar. I also have to recognise that my family would welcome the change. What I said publicly, which was maybe a little naive, I take total responsibility for. I'm 100 per cent professional and have always given my heart and soul to this club," he told Inside United magazine. "If one day I leave, I want to do it knowing I did everything I could to help the club win as much as possible."
David McDonnell, Daily Mirror

Ole backs Berbatov buy

If it takes one to know one, then nobody should doubt Ole Solskjaer's assessment of Dimitar Berbatov as a quality striker.

Solskjaer's goalscoring exploits spanned 11 years at United before injury forced him to retire and take up his current post as reserves coach. His career included, of course, the epic campaign of 1998/99 when Sir Alex Ferguson rotated four top strikers in winning three major honours.

"I've often wondered how he's done it, with all the internationals he's had," said Ole, referring to the boss' knack of keeping players happy in a large squad.

"But he's always rotated people and I'm sure we'll see great performances from the front four again."

Berbatov's arrival this week as the fourth senior striker - or fifth if you include both Ronaldo and Manucho - had Solskjaer's seal of approval.

Ole told MUTV: "The saga lasted all summer but we were always confident we'd found the right one.

"I think he's the right one. His performances for Spurs have been great. I knew he was a good player when he played against us for Bayer Leverkusen.

"We're delighted we've got him."