VAN NISTELROOY: MESSAGE FROM MADRID

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VAN NISTELROOY: MESSAGE FROM MADRID

Post by sulehri on Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:20 am

Ruud van Nistelrooy has more than one reason to support the Reds in the Nou Camp next week. Playing for Barca’s rivals Real Madrid should be enough, but the Dutchman's love for United means there’s no confusing where his loyalties lie…



How’s life?
Good. It was a big change moving to Madrid from Manchester. My wife was eight months pregnant and it was a busy year, with the baby, settling in, a new language for us and a new team. But we came through it well and everything is more settled. I now speak the language and know my way around Madrid.

Isn't it true that Dutch people learn a new language every day after breakfast?
[Laughs] I tried to pick up Spanish straight away. I had classes and after six months I could speak a bit. Very few people speak English in Madrid so I had to learn quickly. David Beckham helped me when I arrived. That was a great help.

Do you miss Manchester?
We do. We were very happy there and I always thought that I would finish my career at United. Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, but that’s true in life and not just football. We spent five years there and Manchester will always be part of us. Me and my wife went back last summer for a weekend to see friends. It was nice to be there and drive around the city. When I finish my career I'll return to Holland, but I will visit Manchester a couple of times a year.

What have you made of Cristiano Ronaldo's form lately?
His development has been the biggest change since I left. He stands out now. His improvement has been incredible. He came as a young lad and needed to improve. The manager gave him confidence by playing him all the time. By doing that he got the footballer he wanted. Ronaldo’s now a great player. He makes the right decisions, taking the man on when he needs to and passing the ball at the right time. He does everything – he takes free kicks and corners. He leaves goal kicks to van der Sar, but I expect him to start taking them soon! If he carries on like this he’ll be the best player in the world. He’s got everything.

Do you still watch United's matches?
I see most of the games. United are always on television in Spain, usually before we play. It’s good to see the team doing so well and I like seeing games at Old Trafford because I’ve got happy memories from there.

How do Spanish fans compare to their English counterparts?
The English are the best supporters in the world. The stadiums are always full. When United played away, our section was packed with the hardcore making a great atmosphere. I can hear the United fans singing when I watch matches on television. I noticed that they have changed the words of one song from ‘Glasgow’, where the 2002 Champions League final was held, to ‘Moscow’ the venue for this year’s final. ‘Follow, follow, follow, because United are going to Moscow,’ – that’s the one. United have the quality to get there.
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