Real chief more concerned about Arsenal than Ronaldo
Real Madrid's new president
Fernando Martin says the future of Brazil striker Ronaldo at the club is of
minor importance compared to Wednesday's Champions League clash against Arsenal.
"I'm not bothered whether or not Ronaldo plays, all I want to do is to win,"
Martin told sports dailies Marca and AS on Tuesday.
"You have to give people your confidence and understanding, but when they don't
do what they are supposed to then you have to leave them out. If you don't solve
problems then thinks turn rotten."
Ronaldo was recalled to the squad for the Arsenal game after being dropped for
last weekend's league match against city rivals Atletico Madrid.
The 29-year-old has been in disappointing form for Real this season and hinted
that he may leave at the end of the present campaign because he is unhappy with
the criticism he has received from the club's fans.
Martin, who took charge at Real after the shock resignation of Florentino Perez
last week, said he was convinced the team could turn the tables on Arsenal after
a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at the Bernabeu.
"The team are going to go all out against Arsenal. The fans should have no doubt
that we will do everything that is humanly possible to win. And if we do win we
will turn the whole season round."
The 58-year-old businessman has distanced himself from Perez's policy of giving
priority to the club's economic interests and said that the nine-times European
champions needed to concentrate on achieving success on the pitch.
"We have to reflect deeply on the state of the club," he said. "We have to
balance a lot of interests, but sporting matters need to take precedence over
He took a thinly veiled swipe at his predecessor's policy of signing
high-profile "galacticos" who were recruited as much for their marketing value
as for their sporting prowess.
"No players should be guaranteed a place in the team. Players won't be coming to
this club to retire in the future."
Martin has also made it clear that he wanted to change the image of a club that
has become resented by many for its immodest attitude and endless trumpeting of
"The more humble a club is the greater it becomes," he said. "If the players
give everything and sweat for the shirt they are wearing then the victories will
come because our players have more quality than the rest."
But he paid tribute to Perez's success in achieving financial stability at a
club that was on the verge of bankruptcy six years ago.
"History will judge the Florentino era. He has established the foundations for a
great project. He did a splendid job on the economic side of things."