Ronaldo to stay on with Inter Milan till end of contract

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Updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Brazilian superstar Ronaldo will stay with his Italian club Inter Milan through the end of his contract in 2006, the player's agent Alexandre Martins said on Wednesday. Dismissing reports that the striker wants to leave Inter and join Spain's Real Madrid, Martins said, "Ronaldo is an Inter player and will stay with Inter 365 days a year for four years," according to Italian news reports. The announcement came as the player, who helped Brazil clinch its fifth title at this summer's World Cup, trained for about one hour at Inter's camp in Appiano Gentile, near lake Como. Ronaldo met some teammates at the training camp, but most Inter players, as well as Coach Hector Cuper, had traveled to Bari, in southern Italy, for a pre-season tournament. "There are neither negotiations nor bids with Real," Martins said, possibly putting an end to speculations which have filled Italian and Spanish papers ever since Saturday. Martins said Ronaldo planned to meet Inter President Massimo Moratti within the next few days to explain his position and fix details of his continuing career with the Milan club. "He's tranquil, in good form. He worked with Inter today and will do the same in the coming days," Martins was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency. Ronaldo, who has been with Inter since 1997, including two years in which he was sidelined with a torn right knee tendon, was reportedly denied a meeting with Moratti on Tuesday, hours after he arrived in Milan amid protests by Inter fans angered over his reported transfer plans. Instead, he met for nearly two hours with Rinaldo Ghelfi, Inter's chief executive officer. While Inter did not disclose details of the talks, Moratti was quoted by Italy's largest sports daily, Gazzetta dello Sport, as saying he wanted Ronaldo to respect his contract. Moratti had been also quoted as saying that Ronaldo could be released only at the transfer tag of $ 100 million. Inter fans have flooded Inter's official website with insulting messages against Ronaldo in the past days. Others, unaware of Martins earlier announcement, shouted "shame" as Ronaldo left the training camp in his black BMW along with his agent and his spokesman Rodrigo Paiva. The Brazilian left the facility without making any comment. The 26-year-old striker, a two time FIFA player of the year and perhaps the world's most popular and recognizable player, had a brilliant World Cup after his lengthy injury problems. He scored both goals in Brazil's 2-0 win over Germany in the World Cup final to become the highest scoring player in the competition. Ronaldo's reported plans to leave Inter were possibly due to his difficult relations with coach Cuper, who is expected to extend his contract with Inter through 2005. (AP)

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