Sun, Dec 21, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Real’s president hits back at ‘sad’ ‘mob’ comments

AFP , MADRID

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson arrives at the Todoroki stadium for his team’s training session ahead of the FIFA Club World Cup final in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

The president of Real Madrid on Friday hit back at what he termed “sad” comments by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who said he would never sell his star Cristiano Ronaldo to “that mob.”

“In the code of conduct of our club there is no room for insults, for scorn nor for a lack of respect for our rivals. Perhaps for this reason, Real Madrid is respected in all corners of the world,” Ramon Calderon said. “It is sad that a professional with the career of Mr Ferguson can make statements like that, which are in addition to other unfortunate statements made in recent months.”

“Despite these, Real Madrid will never respond without respect to Manchester United, to any of its officials, nor of course to its supporters,” he said in a statement on the club’s Web site.

Calderon, who is also in Japan, also confirmed that there was “no agreement” between the two clubs on Ronaldo.

Ferguson on Thursday lashed out at Real Madrid after reports that Manchester United had agreed to sell them Ronaldo.

“Do you think I would get into a contract with that mob. Jesus Christ, no chance. I wouldn’t sell them a virus,” he said after watching his side beat Japan’s Gamba Osaka 5-3 in Yokohama to reach the final of the Club World Cup.

“That’s a no,” he added. “There is absolutely no agreement at all between the clubs.”

Spanish newspaper El Mundo had reported that the two clubs had a gentleman’s agreement to transfer Ronaldo to the Bernabeu at the end of the season.

It said the two teams agreed in principle to the deal at the end of a bitter tug-of-war for the Portugal star this year, but pledged a vow of silence.

Ronaldo was touted all summer as an 80 million euro (US$115 million) Real target, with United furious at the Spaniards’ constant efforts to prise him away from Manchester.

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