The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ronaldinho hints at move to Old Trafford

Glasgow: Brazilís World Cup hero Ronaldinho has given his strongest hint yet that he will be a Manchester United player by the start of next season after revealing he would rather watch the Red Devils than Real Madrid. The playmaker, currently with Paris Saint Germain, is reportedly United boss Alex Fergusonís top summer target and there is growing speculation next Sundayís French Cup final will be his last game for PSG.

In an interview with Scotlandís Sunday Herald, Ronaldinho expressed enormous enthusiasm for the English game and did nothing to discourage suggestions that he was headed for Old Trafford.

ďRight now itís just speculation, right',Ē he was quoted as saying. ďBut Iíd be lying if I said that English football isnít one of my ambitions. And, the way things are looking right now, playing in the Premiership, at Manchester United in particular, is more than just a dream. Itís a concrete possibility.

ďBut there is nothing more I can say today. First of all, because nothing has been agreed and, second, because I am a PSG player and I have three years left on my contract. If PSG and United reach an agreement and everyone is happy with it, Iíll be very proud to come. At the same time, Iím proud to play for PSG, our season is not over and I want to respect the club, my teammates and the fans.Ē

Ronaldinho also made it clear that he would relish the prospect of playing the role of supporting striker to Ruud van Nistelrooy. ďIíll play anywhere in midfield or attack. But I think lining up as a second striker is my best position. I like to have the freedom to go wide ó right or left, it makes no difference to me ó and deliver crosses or take on defenders. Ideally I could play off of a strong centre forward.

ďMost Brazilians prefer La Liga or Serie A, but I think the Premiership is the best League in Europe. Spain is perhaps more interesting because there are more contrasting styles and tactics, plus stars such as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Raul. But I donít think that, as a group, say, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry are that far behind in terms of talent.

ďMore importantly, English football has a spirit and a passion which is quite unique. There is a strong collective sense of unity, an identification with the fans, a purity to the game. I enjoy it because itís so different to the football played elsewhere. Iíll tell you more, Iíd rather watch Manchester United play than Real Madrid. Real Madridís superstars are fantastic, but they are individuals. The beauty is in the individual genius, they arenít necessarily a team.Ē

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