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By ESPN Staff
May 18, 2008

Sir Bobby slams 'unethical' pursuit of Ronaldo

Sir Bobby Charlton has described Real Madrid's public pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo as 'unethical' and is adamant the Portuguese will be at Old Trafford next season.

The 23-year-old has had a superb season, scoring 41 goals as Manchester United retained the Premier League to edge out Chelsea, their opponents in next Wednesday's Champions League final.

His efforts have made the forward one of the hottest properties in world football and Real Madrid have consistently voiced their interest with Ronaldo hinting earlier this week he could consider his Old Trafford future after Wednesday's game in Moscow.

Charlton, though, has criticised the Spanish club and insists they are undermining the player.

Charlton told the Mail on Sunday: 'Ronaldo's on a long-term contract with us.

'I don't have to say we expect him to honour it because he will honour it unless something tragic happens. Do I think Ronaldo will be at United next season? Absolutely.

'It really irritates me how people can set rumours going and undermine people through the media. It's unethical.

'They have not got the right to undermine the way we have helped this lad.

'Everybody seems to think that Real Madrid or Barcelona are the two greatest clubs in the world. I don't think I have to tell Cristiano that Manchester United is the biggest club in the world.'

Meanwhile, Ronaldo has acknowledged the important role Sir Alex Ferguson has played in the five years since his move from Sporting Lisbon including the manager's support against public anger following Wayne Rooney's sending off at the 2006 World Cup.

Ronaldo told the News of the World: 'The boss is the reason I am here in the club.

'He helped me a lot, not just this season but the seasons before. I feel very good at the club. I want to carry on like that.

'I have many friends here in the club. I am five years in the club and I know everyone now - the staff, the players, and I feel like this is my home.'

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