Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Robinho slammed across the globe

When footballing legend Pele speaks, he usually has something useful to say. That's why his claim new Manchester City signing Robinho "needs some serious counselling" should probably be taken seriously.

It seems there is a lot of anger back in Brazil about Robinho's move, mainly as there is an assumption the player opted to move to Manchester in order to make as much money as possible. A footballer moving for financial reasons, surely not!

Pele has been quoted by as saying: "Chelsea are lucky. This boy needs some serious counselling. In my view he has been badly advised."

Of course, while Pele deserves the utmost of respect for all he has done for the game - both as a player and following his retirement - it should be remembered he made a few dollars while playing in American towards the tail-end of his career. Sure, nothing like the €6million AFTER tax Robinho is currently earning a year, but still...

Pele, of course, is a man with dignity, one of the reasons he is so respected around the globe. However, others who have made comments about Robinho have been less restrained. On face value, it would seem some in Brazil think Robinho is a national disgrace!

Marcelo Teixeira, the president of Santos, Robinho's former club, said: "This is one of the most disgraceful episodes in Brazilian football. He is a player who is an idol to children, an example. But he has not acted like one."

Superb. I don't know enough about the ins-and-outs of Brazilian football, but I'm sure there have been more "disgraceful" episodes than a 24-year-old opting to make some money. And let's not forget Real Madrid were more than happy for him to go to Manchester City instead of Chelsea. Heck, they may have let him go to any club BUT Chelsea, assuming the cash was there.

Santos general manager Jose Fernandos also came out with a gem - "We are ashamed at having produced such a player."

While the Man City money horrifies me, I do feel somewhat sorry for the player. He had little future at Real Madrid, Chelsea didn't offer enough cash (by most accounts) and he took the only option he had available to him. That Man City were making the headlines on the day it happened has made his decision look worse than it is.

But the fact someone with the grace and class of Pele can speak out in such a way shows all is not well in the once-beautiful game.