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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 11, 2008

Bruce rejects Blatter 'slavery' outburst

Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce believes footballers 'have the best job in the world' and dismissed FIFA president Sepp Blatter's comments about them being like slaves.

Blatter was giving his opinion on the transfer saga surrounding Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid have openly courted the player through the media, much to the indignation and annoyance of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who believes he has the security of the contract his star signed last year.

The FIFA president said if players wanted to leave their clubs they should be able to do so providing their employers were adequately recompensed.

He likened Ronaldo's situation to slavery, suggesting United were preventing him from leaving against his will.

However, with no formal offer from Madrid - although it would be rejected out of hand by United any way - the player's situation should be unchanged but feverish and sustained speculation has only contributed to the problem.

Bruce, however, believes Blatter is wrong in speaking out about players' contractual obligations.

'I don't agree with Sepp Blatter's comments on them being slaves because I believe they have the best job in the world,' he said.

'If they are slaves what the hell are the rest of us? They have got a good job.'

Bruce's Portsmouth counterpart Harry Redknapp echoed those views, insisting that modern players were in an enviable position.

'The difference in the way the modern player is treated is amazing,' he told Sky Sports.

'The way they are treated, the way they travel, the money they earn...they don't realise, it's a different world.

'They have fantastic opportunities and a great life.'

He was also clear in his disagreement with Blatter's views.

'What Sepp doesn't realise is that it works both ways. If you sign a player on a four-year contract and he's no good for your club, you can't shift him because he doesn't do well,' he added.

'So when you get one that does well, you want to keep hold of him.

'He's way off beam with those comments.'

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