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Much ado about Ronaldo

Published: Wednesday 7 August 2002, 19.11CET
Ronaldo's future has been open to speculation since his return from Brazil to Internazionale FC.

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Published: Wednesday 7 August 2002, 19.11CET

Much ado about Ronaldo

Ronaldo's future has been open to speculation since his return from Brazil to Internazionale FC.

Ronaldo's future appears to rest with Internazionale FC despite speculation that the Brazilian wanted to leave Internazionale FC after returning to the Milan club from Brazil.

Top scorer
The Brazil striker, top scorer at the FIFA World Cup finals with eight goals, arrived back in Italy last night and had talks with his agent and Inter's general manager. Ronaldo, 25, said nothing immediately afterwards but a subsequent statement on his official website has revealed his desire to get away, although he pledged to give his all to the club while still an Inter player.

Immediate talks
"I arrived today and I went directly to speak to Inter," said the player, reportedly the subject of interest from Real Madrid CF. "I confirmed my point of view which is the same as the one that my agent Alexandre Martins explained to president [Massimo] Moratti three months ago."

'He will stay'
Despite Ronaldo's comments, Martins has subsequently claimed that the player would be staying in Italy after all. "Ronaldo has chosen the Italian squad," he said. "He is an Inter player and will remain an Inter player 365 days a year for four years. He has a contract that he wants to respect and, therefore, he will continue to work with Inter."

Fans upset
Inter fans will be devastated if their favourite does leave, believing that he had finally returned to fitness after his excellent showing in Korea/Japan. Supporters, angry about rumours in the Italian media, greeted him at Milan airport yesterday with banners saying 'Ungrateful Ronaldo' after the club stood by him throughout his injury problems over the last four years.

'Understand their disappointment'
"I am sorry about the fans' reaction even though I understand their disappointment," Ronaldo said, "but I prefer to live this situation than publicly tell the reasons that caused me to think about leaving Inter. Whoever really knows me also knows that money is not what interests me."

Madrid link
Real Madrid have been linked with the striker all summer but would probably have to break the world transfer record to get their man. Moratti has said the player would not be sold for less than €100m and Madrid's director of sport, Jorge Valdano, insisted today there was no chance of a deal.

'Chance has now gone'
Valdano said: "Real Madrid regard the chance that had been raised has now gone. The story that began with the visit of Ronaldo's agent to the club was ended with the arrival of Ronaldo in Milan. This matter was raised by the agent. At no time have we made an offer and we have not negotiated with Inter Milan."

Last updated: 07/08/02 23.14CET

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