Cristiano Ronaldo News

Thursday, January 18, 2007


By Ken Gaunt, PA Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed a determination to rid Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of some hard-earned cash.

While many would question the wisdom of such a move, given the often abrasive nature of the Scottish boss, Old Trafford's rising star remains keen to win a personal bet.

He was set a 15-goal target for the season - which Ferguson now mischievously claims he knows nothing about - and is only two away with 15 games left after scoring against Aston Villa.

Ronaldo, player of the month in December and November, said: "To beat the manager is my ambition and I want to carry on, I want to score more goals.

"I felt very honoured by the award. It's given me the motivation to achieve more."

With Michael Carrick getting his first goal for the club and Ji-Sung Park also on the scoresheet, United maintained their six-point lead over Chelsea at the top of the table.

Ferguson's side will now face bitter rivals Arsenal on Sunday with confidence.

Ronaldo said: "We're playing away against a big team but we should only think about ourselves.

"We're in great form and we have a chance.

"It is not only me scoring goals, my friends are also having opportunities to score.

"Michael Carrick scored a fantastic goal, Ji as well, and this is good for the team."

Ferguson believes his side have every chance of ending Chelsea's reign as champions because of their ability in front of goal.

Fifty two goals in 23 matches is a record he is rightly proud of.

Ferguson said: "There are several things in our favour in the second half of the season.

"We have youth in our team and historically we are consistent and strong at this stage.

"But the other important factor is there is a goal threat about us. That must give a big chance and an edge."

Carrick, an ?8million buy from Tottenham, was pleased to get off the mark.

He said: "It was a bonus for me. Winning the game is the main thing.

"It was nice to get it out of the way and we can move on.

"We played really well first half. Things were happening and we were creating a lot of chances.

"Our movement was good and we caused Villa all sorts of problems.

"You want to kill the game off early and 3-0 gives you a great cushion going into the second half.

"We were disappointed to concede a goal as we wanted to keep a clean sheet."

Villa manager Martin O'Neill accepts they need some help after a run of 12 games without a victory - Gabriel Agbonlahor's goal their only consolation.

But he refuses to enter the transfer market just for the sake of it.

O'Neill said "We will not be held to ransom. I do not want to be paying exorbitant prices.

"I have to be very careful because we need some points.

"We have to build some confidence again as we basically have a young team.

"Considering we were the last side in the Premiership to get beaten, it has changed around now.

"These fixtures have hit us hard. However we do now have matches we are capable of competing in.

"We are well aware we need to get some points on the board."

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