Ronaldo has grown tiresome

GARETH WHEELER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

It's time to sell the best footballer in the world.

All seemed to be quieting down on the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer front. Real Madrid had seemingly conceded defeat to Manchester United's reluctance to sell its prized asset. Saga over.

That was until FIFA's grand poobah and resident mouth-piece, Sepp Blatter, weighed in with his typical nonsensical point of view.

Blatter, in response to United's refusal to sell the 23-year-old, criticized the English club, saying in football there's too much modern slavery.

Pardon me while I try to keep my lunch down!

And if Blatter's insulting comments weren't enough, Cristiano had the audacity to publicly agree with the ill-advised assertion.

So Cristiano believes making upwards of $193,000 a week while playing for the world's most recognizable football club makes him a slave?

Cue the violins.

This is just the latest sign of immaturity coming from the star.

DECISION TIME

Manchester United must seriously question whether it's worth keeping the distraction. And that decision is up to Sir Alex Ferguson. The Scotsman has said he would rather let Cristiano rot away on United's bench before he'd consider selling him.

Sir Alex resisted the temptation to auction off Cristiano two summers ago, after his media-fueled spat with teammate Wayne Rooney, following the World Cup.

The decision not to sell paid dividends, with United winning consecutive Premiership championships and a Champions League title.

More importantly for Cristiano, under Sir Alex, he flourished, playing the game with greater discipline, allowing his talents to shine through.

So how does Cristiano repay his mentor? By trying to use this protracted and lengthy transfer debacle to land himself in Madrid.

This time, Sir Alex must act. No longer can a charade like this be deemed acceptable simply because Cristiano is a special talent.

It sounds cliche, but it takes an entire team to win a championship. Cristiano's 42 goals in all competitions last season was all-important to his side, but was hardly the only reason for success.

And selling prized assets is nothing new for Sir Alex. In recent years, United has sold other star players turned distractions, namely David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy, only to go on to bigger and better things.

The transfer funds raised from those sales helped fund the acquisitions of players like Cristiano. And for Real Madrid to get Cristiano it would have to substantially break the record transfer fee of $67.5 million they paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

In turn, the sale of Cristiano could fund the purchases of such talents as Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, and Lyon forward Karim Benzema.

The sum of these pieces is certainly more than what they'd relinquish.

So the question is simple: Put up with the antics of a spoiled young player for the foreseeable future, or sell him for the greater good?

United supporters will not soon forget the footballing achievements of the young man during his tenure with the club. But his wavering commitment will never put him in the same conversation with other United legends. The greatness of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, and Eric Cantona will always be synonymous with United. Cristiano Ronaldo will simply go down as a great player who just happened to call Old Trafford his temporary home.

TFC's True Colours

Another week, another road loss for Toronto FC. A lot of excuses have been made, but the bottom line is, the team as it stands right now, is not good enough.

The squad is glaringly weak at two positions -- centre-back and striker.

At the back, a poorly-timed jump by Marco Velez directly resulted in the winning goal by Chicago on Saturday. Though his work-rate and effort can be applauded in his first year with the side, the fact remains he has yet to prove he's a legitimate first-team player in Major League Soccer.

Too many critical errors, like on Saturday, have cost TFC goals. Neither Velez, nor the aging Tyrone Marshall, seem able to keep up with the best strikers in MLS.

As for up front, the options are so dire that 16-year old Abdus Ibrahim was forced into action Saturday. And to the kid's credit, he played fairly well.

However, a team with playoff expectations can hardly rely on someone who's barely old enough to have his licence.

Mo Johnston will surely act when the transfer window opens tomorrow. But if you think 35-year-old Paul Dickov is the answer, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

In a game where youth and speed prevail, the old legs of the former Manchester City player is hardly going to give the side the flare needed to get on the score sheet regularly.


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