Ronaldo bends it like Beckham

Brazilian striker Ronaldo is surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, club president Ramon Calderon said on Monday.

Coach Fabio Capello has already said David Beckham, who is leaving at the end of the season to join Los Angeles Galaxy, and Italian striker Antonio Cassano do not feature in his plans for the rest of this campaign.

“The situation with Ronaldo is different to that of David Beckham as he still has another year left after this one,” Calderon told radio station Onda Madrid.

“But he is going to be inactive because the coach has made it clear he doesn’t count on him, and it would surely be better for the club and him if he went if there are offers. If not, he will stay with us.

“We have to find an exit that’s good for him. I know sporting director Predrag Mijatovic has had conversations with some clubs, and that the player also has offers. But we’ll have to wait and see whether it will be now or in June.”

Ronaldo has only started three league matches under Capello this season, scoring once, but appears to be another victim of last week’s decision to blood youngsters in the side.

He missed Sunday’s 1-0 win over Real Zaragoza with an injury, reports.

It may not prove to be his most financially-rewarding achievement of the season, but Cristiano Ronaldo could yet prise an extra note from Sir Alex Ferguson's wallet if he wins a personal wager with the Manchester United manager by scoring twice against Arsenal on Sunday to take his Premiership tally for the season to 15 goals.

Ronaldo, whose Old Trafford days appeared number last summer as he talked fondly of a move to Real Madrid following his World Cup spat with United team-mate Wayne Rooney, is now arguably the pivotal figure in the club's bid to de-throne Chelsea as Premiership champions this season.

The 21-year-old's goals, 13 of them so far, and a growing maturity in his game, have seen him become a necessity rather than a luxury in Ferguson's first team. It is the Portuguese winger's threat in front of goal, however, that has stood out in recent weeks, with seven goals in six games cementing his position as a leading candidate for Footballer of the Year.

Having made a 'two-bob' bet with Ronaldo last summer that he would not score 15 goals this season, though, it now seems almost certain that Ferguson will be handing over the cash before too long.

Ronaldo said: "I am in good form, but I want to play and score more goals. And I want to beat the manager! That is my ambition.

"I am enjoying it very much at the moment. I am very honoured to get the Premiership player-of-the-month trophy again and it has given me more motivation to get even better. It is not only me scoring goals, though, because my team-mates are also having opportunities to score."

Ronaldo is likely to be one of the first names on Ferguson's team-sheet for United's first visit to the Emirates Stadium. With closest rivals Chelsea aiming to close the six-point gap at the top by defeating Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, it could prove to be a defining weekend in the title race and Ronaldo is confident that United can become the first team to beat Arsenal at their new stadium, says.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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Author`s name Alex Naumov