Ferguson: I Wish We Still Had Ronaldo

Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is now "unbuyable", but admits he maintains hope he will one day return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80 million, and has since scored a remarkable 165 goals in 162 appearances.

Following United's shock 1-0 loss to Norwich, Ferguson admitted he wished he still had Ronaldo to call on, claiming the reigning La Liga champions got a bargain price.

"I'd like to think it would be [possible to get Ronaldo back], but I don't think it will be. You're talking about incredible amounts of money now," Ferguson said.

"What would you think his value would be? He's definitely unbuyable. Who could afford to buy him?

"He was definitely good value for Madrid, but he always wanted to play for them. It was his boyhood dream. I'm not saying he'll stay there forever, you never know. How do you know we've not got a buy-back clause for him?"

During his six seasons at United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League crown. Ferguson insists his performances from 2003-2009 make him one of the club's all-time greats.

"He's an unbelievable player - one of the best. We have a pantheon of great players and Ronaldo definitely compares with any of them.

"Although he had a natural talent, he is in many ways manufactured himself. He practised and practised. He had a bit of the Eric Cantona about him in that way. Paul Scholes is still the same," Ferguson concluded.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson believes former Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is now "unbuyable", but admits he maintains hope he will one day return to Old Trafford.

Ronaldo left United for Real Madrid in 2009 in a deal worth £80 million, and has since scored a remarkable 165 goals in 162 appearances.

Following United's shock 1-0 loss to Norwich, Ferguson admitted he wished he still had Ronaldo to call on, claiming the reigning La Liga champions got a bargain price.

"I'd like to think it would be [possible to get Ronaldo back], but I don't think it will be. You're talking about incredible amounts of money now," Ferguson said.

"What would you think his value would be? He's definitely unbuyable. Who could afford to buy him?

"He was definitely good value for Madrid, but he always wanted to play for them. It was his boyhood dream. I'm not saying he'll stay there forever, you never know. How do you know we've not got a buy-back clause for him?"

During his six seasons at United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a Champions League crown. Ferguson insists his performances from 2003-2009 make him one of the club's all-time greats.

"He's an unbelievable player - one of the best. We have a pantheon of great players and Ronaldo definitely compares with any of them.

"Although he had a natural talent, he is in many ways manufactured himself. He practised and practised. He had a bit of the Eric Cantona about him in that way. Paul Scholes is still the same," Ferguson concluded.

 

Adebayor sent off in derby as Arsenal come back to defeat Tottenham

Emmanuel Adebayor went from Tottenham Hotspur's hero to zero against former club Arsenal as he scored and was then sent off in a dramatic 5-2 North London derby defeat.

Adebayor's goal added to his lack of popularity among Gunners fans following his controversial celebration three years ago for City when scoring in his first reunion with his ex-employers and then his penalty goal in last season's ultimate repeat 5-2 defeat for Spurs.

But his emotions got the better of him shortly after the quarter-hour mark on Saturday and his red card for a lunge on Santi Cazorla allowed Arsenal to come back and win through Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Cazorla and Theo Walcott despite Gareth Bale's consolation.

Tottenham started well and, less than a minute after a William Gallas effort was ruled out for offside, they took a 10th minute lead when Adebayor tapped in the rebound after Wojciech Szczesny, back after a two-month injury lay-off, could only palm a Jermain Defoe shot.

But Adebayor's joy was short-lived, as, in the 18th minute, he was shown a straight red card by referee Howard Webb for a wild, studs-up sliding challenge on Cazorla, which sparked a melee between both sets of players.

Adebayor had let his team-mates down and, with a man disadvantage, they were only able to hold onto their lead for six minutes before Mertesacker's excellent header from Walcott's pinpoint cross opened the German's account for Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

"I think Arsenal have a long way to go. They showed their frailties, certainly defensively. But they showed a lot of quality. I never get tired of watching Santi Cazorla play"
The home side, dominating possession, cranked up the pressure and took the lead in the 42nd minute when a Podolski shot from inside the penalty area ricocheted off Gallas to strand Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was preferred ahead of Brad Friedel.

Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham in injury time before half-time when Giroud, who had earlier been denied from two headers by Lloris, slid in to meet Cazorla's low cross and make it 3-1.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, in charge of his first North London derby and now under greater pressure in his job after this latest defeat, sent on Clint Dempsey and Michael Dawson at half-time in place of full-backs Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton.

Arsenal, though, remained in the ascendency and, on the hour mark, Podolski's excellent, passed cross from the left provided Cazorla a one-touch, right-foot finish at the back post to give his side a comfortable cushion.

Bale's fine 20-yard finish, which arrowed into the bottom corner from his weaker right foot, in the 71st minute gave Spurs some hope but any thoughts of a comeback were already over long before Walcott made sure of the points in injury time.

 

Mancini is not interested in signing Luis Suarez

Roberto Mancini has rubbished suggestions that Manchester City are lining up a January bid for Luis Suarez.

Reports in the press on Thursday suggested the Premier League champions would try to lure the Liverpool striker away from Anfield when the transfer window re-opens.

Brendan Rodgers quickly dismissed the rumours and Mancini has supported the Liverpool manager's claims.

"It is not true, I don't know," said the Italian. "We have a good team and we don't need to buy another player in January.

"We can't buy Suarez or another player because we have four strikers and Suarez plays for Liverpool."

Mancini says he is tiring of speculation surrounding his own future at the club as well as constant rumours of which players are coming in or out of the Etihad Stadium.

"For two weeks we talk about Monaco, after (Pep) Guardiola, after another manager, now Suarez, now Mario Balotelli."

Chelsea target Falcao

Atletico Madrid ace Falcao has fuelled speculation linking him with a Chelsea move by voicing his admiration for the European champions.

Rumours that the 26-year-old Colombia international could move to Stamford Bridge in January have intensified in recent weeks, while Blues striker Fernando Torres has been linked with a return to his former club Atletico as part of the deal.

 Manchester City and Real Madrid are also thought to be interested in Falcao, who has scored 10 Primera Liga goals in as many games this season, but the striker has suggested he would be keen on a Blues move.

He told the Daily Mail: "Chelsea are champions of Europe and there is not much more to say than that.

"Even after winning the Champions League they still go and sign players of the highest quality. Their ambition is clear.

 "I was also a big fan of (former Chelsea forward) Gianfranco Zola when I was growing up."

Falcao does not believe he would have trouble adjusting to the physical demands of the Premier League should he make the move to England.

"I would not be worried about the physical aspect of the Premier League," he said. "I have scored goals in Argentina, Portugal and now Spain."

Falcao added: "I am confident I can adapt my game to any league. I would welcome the challenge of the Premier League.

 "I have watched the Premier League for a long time. There is so much quality and it is such an exciting league. Of course it is nice to think I might play in it."

World class' Ibrahimovic earns warm tribute after upstaging Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard paid tribute to "world class" Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the Sweden striker destroyed England in Stockholm.

 Gerrard was well and truly upstaged on his 100th international appearance, Ibrahimovic netting all four home goals in a 4-2 win which was Roy Hodgson's first in 90 minutes as England boss.

 The Swede's final goal was a stunning 25-yard scissors-kick, fired into an empty net from Joe Hart's poor clearance and called "a master work" by Hodgson. Gerrard said: "He just scored one of the best goals I've seen live.

 "I still stick by Zinedine Zidane, he was the best player in the world and the best player of his generation, but Ibrahimovic's performance was world class.

 "I congratulated him after that. He said some nice things about me before the game which was really nice. If I could return the compliment I would say that was one of the best individual performances I have seen. He is not everyone's cup of tea but he is certainly mine."

Gerrard saw plenty of positives on a night when six players made their debuts, and England were in charge at 2-1 before Hodgson made a spate of planned second-half substitutions.

The captain said: "When you make more than three substitutions it does spoil the game. The manager is under pressure from other managers and he is respecting those mangers.

"We were comfortable until we made changes. There were a lot of positives from our point of view, a lot of young players playing their first games and we can take a lot from this.

"All eyes were on me and there was extra pressure and excitement. Now I am glad it is out of the way and I focus on getting us to the next World Cup. That is the big challenge."