Is Robinho now re­gret­ting his move to the ‘wrong’ side of Manch­ester?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

LIKE much in this sport­ing life, if some­thing sounds too good to be true then it nor­mally is. Which brings us to Robinho, and Manch­ester City.

It was on trans­fer dead­line day last Au­gust (2008) when the-then 24-year-old Brazil­ian signed on the dot­ted line.

Some £32.5-mil­lion was to change hands in a Bri­tish record deal as the am­bi­tious striker pur­sued his dream of be­com­ing the best player in the world.

Then, he said he was leav­ing Span­ish aris­to­crats Real Madrid for a big club in the English Premier­ship be­cause he needed game time.

He needed to be more than a player be­ing used in a “squad sys­tem”, whereby he re­quired a start­ing role more of­ten than not.

There were snig­gers among the as­sem­bled press corps when Robinho was un­veiled to the world as a Manch­ester City player on Septem­ber 2 last year.

Re­mark­ably, Chelsea had been club­house leaders to land the Brazil­ian’s sig­na­ture, with City sway­ing his mind in the fi­nal hours be­fore the mid­night trans­fer dead­line.

Robinho had seemed cer­tain to move to Stam­ford Bridge, telling a press con­fer­ence two days be­fore his change of mind that, “I am only think­ing of Chelsea” as he at­tempted to en­gi­neer a move away from Madrid.

The scep­tics reck­oned that per­haps Robinho had got the wrong Manch­ester. One re­porter wanted to know why the striker had made the dra­matic move.

“On the last day, Chelsea made a great pro­posal and I ac­cepted.” The re­porter replied: “You mean Manch­ester, right?” “Yeah, Manch­ester, sorry!” an­swered Robinho.

The clear in­fer­ence is that Robinho thought he was snub­bing Chelsea for a move to Manch­ester United, but in­stead of pulling over the red shirt of the Old Traf­ford giants, he found him­self don­ning the Blue of the East­land wannabes. Too late to change his mind. A player with pace and trick­ery, Robinho is some tal­ent, but he needs the egos of a big multi-mil­lion pound dress­ing room to make him feel at home.

He wants to be sit­ting next to Michael Bal­lack, Di­dier Drogba, Wayne Rooney or Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov when he laces up his boots, not Stephen Ire­land, Gareth Barry and Martin Petrov.

He wants to be chal­leng­ing for the League ti­tle and the big Euro­pean prize, the Cham­pi­ons League, not sit­ting in sixth po­si­tion on the Premier­ship ta­ble, duelling for a place in Europe among the sec­ond tier of teams.

Re­cently, just 15 months into that four-year signed con­tract, he has been mak­ing over­tures to leave.

He re­cently told a Brazil­ian ra­dio sta­tion: “I’m very happy about the in­ter­est that Barcelona have in me, play­ing in the Nou Camp it is much eas­ier to be the best player in the world than at City.”

At the mo­ment he is still re­cov­er­ing from in­jury, with man­ager Mark Hughes feel­ing that the striker might be ready for se­lec­tion against Liver­pool next Satur­day, but in the mean­time he has been spot­ted paint­ing Manch­ester, er, red.

“It’s nor­mal for me to want to go out. My wife, Vi­vian, lets me go any­where I want to go. I go out and she stays at home. I have been with my wife since I was 15. She is the woman of my dreams, the woman of my life,” he told the lo­cal news­pa­per, which is al­ways looking for scan­dal and sen­sa­tion.

Robinho will be part of the Brazil na­tional team that heads for 2010 in South Africa as the tour­na­ment favourites. What is less cer­tain is which club he will be af­fil­i­ated to. How­ever, the most cer­tain as­pect of all this is that, for all the cash that Manch­ester City has to splash, the real pow­er­houses in their part of the world wear red.

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