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United: Ronaldo's pledge in troubled season
EXCLUSIVE by Stuart Mathieson


CRISTIANO Ronaldo has pledged to win the Carling Cup in memory of his father and as a thank you to United for their support during a troubled personal campaign.

While Juventus have again been linked with a summer swoop for the Portuguese international, having been previously courted by Real Madrid and Barcelona, the 21-year-old also has his eyes on even bigger prizes to repay the debt he owes to the Reds.

It has been a tortuous season for the Portuguese winger beginning with the death of his father in September.



He then had to endure false rape allegations in October, was banned by UEFA for a one-fingered gesture aimed at Benfica fans when United crashed out of the Champions League in December in Lisbon, where he'd plied his trade for Sporting.

In January he was sent off in the derby at City before his recent four-goal blast this month has put his personal graph on an upward curve again.

Emotional

The sadness of his father's death hit him hard but Ronaldo insists he's now strong enough to overcome the emotional trauma.

"Obviously it has been really, really hard to take since my father died. Psychologically it was very tough," he said.

"If you are not feeling well mentally because of something as awful as that, you will take that on to the pitch whether you like it or not and whether you are strong or not. It will affect you no matter what.

"I loved him the most in the world and it was a very difficult time for me. I had some poor matches because, psychologically, I wasn't right for matches.

"But life goes on and I am looking to the future. These things happen to everybody. Nobody has a heart of iron. That's life. To cope with it is one of the experiences in life that make you stronger.

"Of course, it will be in my mind initially on Sunday. When you are at finals it is always nice to look around the stadium and see people you know and know people who mean a lot to you are there.

"But this time he won't be there and I know that will be tough to take. It will be difficult. But he will be with me in my heart. I will think about him and I know he will be looking down on me and I would like to win it for him.

"I will be focused and I am really excited about it. A final is always a final and I hope United can win this so we have got something to show for the season.

"Obviously I am sad that this is all we have left. We could have gone further in any of the other competitions but we didn't and these things happen. Everybody has ups and downs. Now we have to make sure we get something at least."

During Ronaldo's difficult months the Old Trafford `family' have been a comfort and strength.

When the winger's contract talks became protracted the buzz on the rumour mill was that European giants from Italy and Spain were ready to snatch him away from Old Trafford and he was stalling in a bid to return to the continent.

But United's backing this season, and initial outlay of £12.5m when they signed him as an 18-year-old in the summer of 2003 from Sporting Lisbon, had created a bond that Ronaldo had no wish to break.

In November he finally signed an improved lucrative two-year extension to his Old Trafford deal that will keep him at the Reds until 2010.

"United have supported me all the way this season and for that I am grateful," he added.

"They have stood by me and been there for me and I want to repay them for that.

"They were also the only club that showed 100 per cent commitment towards me. They brought me to England and tried to make me a better player and they have worked hard and put the work in to do that with me.

Faith

"There is nobody else who could make me what I am now and I am really thankful. I will repay the faith.

"At the moment I am still very disappointed because Manchester United are the biggest club in the world but I haven't got the Premiership title yet.

"But I have many years ahead of me and I am sure that I will win it one day with United. I have many years to come.

"I really believe there are so many things to be won out there with this club and I want them so badly. I have won the FA Cup with United but I am thirsty to win more and bigger trophies.

"I am sad we're not in the Champions League and the FA Cup. But that is all in the past. We can't change that but we can change and affect the future. Our concentration and focus is on Wigan and winning the Carling Cup."


Ronaldo's recent goal blitz against Fulham and Portsmouth has rocketed his personal haul to nine, equalling his tally last term.

However, last season he fell one short of winning the bet he'd struck with Sir Alex Ferguson. A wager he revealed he hasn't yet paid up on!

"I didn't have a bet with the manager this year and I haven't even paid him the money yet from last season," he said.

"He hasn't asked me for it and I hope he has forgotten. However, I have the money put aside ready if he asks. But don't tell him!"

The Reds' boss has however told his young international that he should be scoring 15 to 20 goals a season.

"He's right I should be. I agree with the manager and I am definitely capable of it," added Cristiano.

"I have been working hard to get more goals into my game. I was looking forward to it happening and now it finally has. It didn't seem to happen for me before but now I am in my stride I want to keep it going.

"My goal is always to work and help the team first and foremost but I can do that by scoring as well. It is a unique feeling and I want more of it.

"My game has matured. I admit I did over-indulge on the tricks at times. I know the fans think I do it too much but I want them to know I am working on it.

"In the past I have got over-excited and got carried away. I sometimes did it at the wrong times. I know the crowd love it at the right times and I have tried to concentrate on that.

"If we are drawing or are in trouble then that is no time for me to be doing some fancy footwork. I hope people saw at Liverpool last Saturday that I kept it to a minimum because it wasn't the right moment, or the right thing to do. It is all part of the learning process I am going through with Manchester United."
 

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:proud:

I've got tears in my eyes. I just hope that he can stay at United for the whole of his career. It would be absoloutly heartbreaking for me if he left.

I'm glad that the club means so much to him and that he is happy with us. He will only get better and one day be the best in the world. The best in the world AT UNITED!
 

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Think this shows the anti-ronaldo people just how hard he's working for the club and just how much it did destroy him.

what an awesome lad :thumbsup:
 

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Just love Ronaldo! Hope he will score a goal against Wigan this weekend. But most importantly thing is for him to stay in United for as long as he possibly can.
 

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I am glad that Ronaldo is committed to the club. He is a great player and I think he will be one of the best in the future. I hope his dream of winning many medals with Man United does come true...
 

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sHaHed said:
I am glad that Ronaldo is committed to the club. He is a great player and I think he will be one of the best in the future. I hope his dream of winning many medals with Man United does come true...
He already won a a FA cup and hopefully he will add to that on Sunday.

But he has been unlucky so far in his career losing 2 major finals, FA cup and Euro 2004 final.

And he is still very young.
 

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reassuring.. if he can live up to his statements then weve got a true gem on our hands
 

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sHaHed said:
I am glad that Ronaldo is committed to the club. He is a great player and I think he will be one of the best in the future. I hope his dream of winning many medals with Man United does come true...
hey shahed maybe you can help me out here but the game isn't showing on foxsports or ppv. any idea where i can view it .. thanks a bunch. :hopefull:
 
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