The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
20 days and I値l be ready: Ronaldo

Madrid: Ronaldo may have finally arrived here on Sunday following his 45 million euros ($44.1 million) transfer from Inter Milan to Real Madrid but fans of the nine-time European champions will have to wait until the end of the month to see him in action.

的知 very happy to be in Madrid finally and I知 ready to start training but I need to prepare athletically although everything is fine. Twenty days and I値l be ready to play, Brazil痴 World Cup hero told the club痴 cable TV channel.

Otherwise, the 26-year-old striker, scorer of both goals in Brazil痴 2-0 defeat of Germany in June痴 World Cup final, was in good spirits.

鄭ll credit should go to Real president Florentino Perez. He痴 assembled a great team that could achieve great things, said Ronaldo when asked to compare the current squad of Real players with the legendary side of Di Stefano, Kopa and Puskas that won five consecutive European Cups between 1956 and 1960.

撤ersonally, I知 hoping to score lots of goals and I知 hoping that the season ahead is a good one, he added, trying to put behind him the four injury-marred years he had at Inter.

Ronaldo said that his compatriot and fellow-World Cup winner Roberto Carlos had been instrumental in convincing him to come to Madrid.

迭oberto Carlos told me everything about the club and squad. It has been my dream for a long time to come here as Real Madrid is a great club, a great institution.

典here was a lot of pressure from Milan but I always thought that things would work out well with Florentino Perez, and that痴 proved to be the case.

的致e had a lot of friends who have come through here and they have always had good things to say about being here. I知 proud to be a Real Madrid player and hope to enjoy my time here as well.

Ronaldo arrived by private plane and left Madrid痴 Torrejon de Ardoz airport escorted by the club痴 security guards and members of the Spanish civil guard in a three-car cavalcade with full motorcycle escort.

Ronaldo was officially unveiled to the media at a presentation ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Monday.

After his arrival, the player briefly met Perez and the club痴 director general Jorge Valdano and fellow-director Emilio Butrageno for refreshments in a restaurant in the village of San Agustin de Guadix, which is located to the north of the city.

It was the first actual meeting between Ronaldo and the three most senior officials of Real Madrid as the transfer had been negotiated through intermediaries.

的 think we are going to see the best Ronaldo ever, a beaming Perez told Spanish TV station Telemadrid.

Perez suggested that Ronaldo could even outstrip his performance during his brief stay at rivals Barcelona from 1996 to 1997, when he scored 34 goals in 37 games. 滴e痴 got more experience and is more mature.

However, Perez admitted that the negotiations that brought Ronaldo to the Spanish capital had been immensely difficult.

展hat it took to bring him here was not normal, added Perez, who said that Ronaldo was going to take a pay cut by coming to Real despite earning an estimated one million euros a month.

However, Ronaldo痴 arrival may not necessarily push Real Madrid to further greatness, and only succeed in pushing some noses out of joint.

None are more likely to feel threatened than Spanish international striker Fernando Morientes, one of the stars of a World Cup campaign which saw the Spaniards reach the quarter finals before a controversial departure.

Morientes is staying at the club for the moment after his transfer to rivals Barcelona collapsed late on Saturday. He will hang onto his No. 9 shirt, with Ronaldo being given the No. 11 by fellow-Brazilian Savio following his sale to French club Bordeaux.

But he may struggle to keep his place in the starting line-up once Ronaldo is match fit, which the former world Player of the Year expects to be by the end of this month.

Perez tried to placate Morientes, saying that room would be found for the man who scored 18 goals in the Spanish first division last season.

的t痴 natural that he feels affected by all that痴 been going on but he痴 never created problems and has always behaved in an exemplary fashion, said Perez.

Other players who could be affected include Flavio Conceicao, Pedro Munitis and the young defensive pair of Oscar Minambres and Raul Bravo, who are both products of Real痴 youth system.

All four could end up as possible make-weights in the deal which means that Perez must pay Inter 35 million euros now and the remainder in cash or players in December.

Email This PagePrint This Page