The new Ronaldo? Not on your nelly
Wait hold the presses, sensational news- Antonio Valencia signs for Manchester United– what, what? Ok, so this isn’t groundbreaking stuff, although Sky Sports News may beg to differ, a reporter is being sent to Quito post-haste, but I feel there are a few wrongs to right about how the media is set to report this story.
Inevitably the Ecuadorian will be compared to Ronaldo with the clichéd comparisons flying out the ether like verbal meteorites.
I can already imagine the hogwash that is set to be mentioned by Sky’s identikit reporters…
“Ronaldo scored an impressive xx goals for United, but wait Valencia only scored a miserable xx goals for Wigan. Oh well he can’t be any cop.”
Please spare me this nonsense.
Yes they play the same position, but whereas Ronaldo left United as the current Ballon d’Or Valencia arrives to the Theatre of Dreams as an unknown quantity.
And in that sense the comparisons just are not valid.
What Ferguson sees in Valencia is the raw talent that he saw in Ronaldo as a teenager and this is what Fergie will look to adapt into honed ability as he looks to rebuild United’s attacking forces.
Ronaldo as the world’s best player is streets ahead of Valencia no-doubt about it, it would be folly to suggest otherwise.
The more apt comparison would be the arrival of Ronaldo sans the attitude in 2003. Replacing the outgoing David Beckham, who incidentally left to join Perez’s Galaticos, Ronaldo was faced with a daunting challenge.
Six years later Ronaldo leaves United with a reputation that has Beckham looking like a mere footballing workhorse.
It is now Valencia’s challenge to replace the Madrid-bound pre-madonna and to create a legacy of his own.
A word of warning, however, Antonio! Leave the hair gel out of it.