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Jun 19, 2009

Charlton: Ronaldo will regret exit for "vulgar" fee

Manchester United director Sir Bobby Charlton thinks Cristiano Ronaldo will eventually rue his decision to quit the club for what he believes to be a "vulgar" fee.

United agreed a world record £80m fee with Real Madrid a week ago and it seems certain the winger will complete a move to Spain within the next few days.

Sir Bobby, at a press conference on Thursday to announce United's partnership with Chinese electronics firm Aigo, insisted Ronaldo will look back on his time at Old Trafford as the best years of his career.

The United great also placed his full faith in manager Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks to reshape his squad for a fourth consecutive Premier League title without the Portuguese star.

"It's a lot of money, it's crazy really," said Sir Bobby. "If you want to be in the race, you have to pay the price... it seems sometimes a little bit vulgar.

"But nevertheless that is business, I'm afraid. We have responsibilities to our company and to all the fans that support Manchester United and it was decided that Ronaldo could go.

"But it's a little bit soul-searching, you never know if you've made the right decision until the start of the season. It's an enormous amount. We will make sure we will use it properly and our club will be better for it.

"He is a great player. He's been with us for five or six years and in that time he has improved beyond all recognition.

"I suppose, in time, he will reflect, and say, that the best time he ever had in football was when he was at Manchester United. It was better for him and it was fantastic for the club.

"But we have no divine rights, we talked him out of it for one year but he's gone and we move on.

"Ronaldo leaves us because as a young boy he always dreamt about playing for Real Madrid, so if he leaves us, it's with our blessing.''

Charlton also claimed that he would not be involved in the search for a replacement. "I'll have to leave that to Alex Ferguson,'' he said. ''He is a great judge of a player, he's very brave with his decisions, he's very decisive with his decisions and that's why he's been a great success.

"Who the players will be I don't know, but they will be worthy of putting on the shirt for Manchester United."

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