Everyone Benefits From The Ronaldo Deal. No Really – Everyone.

11 06 2009

The transfer that shocked everyone and no one simultaneously. Everyone as this has been in the cards for at least a year, and the inevitably only grew closer once Florentino Perez announced his intentions to run for prez of Galacticos 2.0 (currently beta). But did anyone expect it this soon? Even before Kaka has put ink to paper? There was surely some public jostling and a few legendary Fergie press conferences to be held.

But it’s done, and it’s time to assess the damage. Or not, as in this case it seems damn near everyone comes out looking like potential winners…

Manchester United:
Well, £80m for a club which is up to it’s highest hair in debt certainly can’t be overlooked – but it goes beyond that. Cristiano Ronaldo was dangerously close to seeing himself as bigger than Manchester United, bigger than Sir Alex Ferguson. Given his outbursts late in the year, ‘dangerously close’ might even have come and gone.

What we’ve seen across so many sports is teams who lose an iconic superstar become better for it. Look no further than ManU’s conquerors in Rome: they lost football’s biggest face (and teeth) and became the quintessential footballing XI. The Red Devils might not be able to replace Ronaldo in-house with someone even better, but they have at least a few decent players who could thrive with a new motivation to prove that their successes were not defined by a petulant Portuguese winger, in turn creating an even more superior side.

(Some would even make the argument that Cristiano Ronaldo’s physical qualities made him perfectly suited to the Premiership or in a side which could impose an English game. Things might be a bit different in Spain.)

Plus, as much as some may not want to admit it, Manchester Uniited was never, ever about Cristiano Ronaldo: Whiskey Nose is United’s true football genius.

Real Madrid:
They got the second best player in the world, yes (and one who will make back his own exorbitant transfer fee shortly), but their success can be defined more by returning their stature as the globe’s financial behemoth than anything. In one week, they’ve reasserted their position as the biggest sports franchise in the world. Pick a sport – no one can top them. They’re the big, bad bully: “We want something? Then we’ll go get it. Money? No object. You don’t want to give him up? Too bad. When? Right now, actually.”

And it’s not that they walk into a shop and buy the most expensive item on display. They’ll bypass the shops and walk casually into the biggest houses in town – Manchester United and Milan in this case – look around, say “I want that” and exit with the object of their desire. No one, nothing is safe.

Though they do still have one slight(ly enormous) problem: neither Cristiano nor Kaka can play defense.

Barcelona:
Many wondered what Barcelona could possibly use as motivation after turning in one of the greatest seasons ever. Wonder no more.

Liverpool, Chelsea:
Manchester United might become a better team and they might not, but you can rest assured that both these sides – maybe even a delusional few in the Arsenal locker room (that’s you, Nicklas) – will be newly invigorated by a sense of belief they haven’t enjoyed for a couple seasons. The title team’s best player is now gone, and that Premiership trophy looks far more attainable than at any point in the last 2-3 years.

Manchester City:
They can go out and spend to their heart’s content and they will still never surpass Florentino Perez’s Real Madrid as football’s great bearer of financial evil.

Premiership:
They’re no longer the object of Michel Platini’s ire.

Cristiano Ronaldo:
We can safely assume a certain someone has just had the entirety of his massive ego stroked thoroughly.

Kaka:
Kaka is no longer The Name or The Signing in Madrid – something for which he is undoubtedly grateful. (To Jesus, of course.)

Milan/Serie A:
If the biggest club in the biggest league is allowing Real Madrid to steal its girlfriend, perhaps Milan & Serie A aren’t in decline after all.

Madrid Pimps:
The entire industry took a major hit when Antonio Cassano left for Sampdoria, but big CR7 has just rolled into town with boatloads more disposable cash.

There is, however, one person who might be cowered in the corner of his office, assuming the fetal position: Manuel Pellegrini.

Win now, win everything against the perfect team with a team which is really anything but. No pressure.

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