Italian press divided over Ronaldo's move to Milan

January 31, 2007

ROME, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Italy's sports press have given a mixed reception to Brazilian striker Ronaldo after he completed his transfer from Real Madrid to AC Milan.

Milan-based sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport applauded the signing of the three-times FIFA World Player of the Year, who began angling for a transfer after falling out with Real coach Fabio Capello.

Ronaldo, who is ineligible to play for the club in Europe this season, would add momentum to Milan's drive for a fourth-place finish in Serie A and qualification for next season's Champions League, the paper said.

'Ronaldo has enough charisma for both the dressing room and the sponsors. If he is fit, he remains the best finisher around.

'His presence means that Milan's other strikers can be rested ready for the Champions League, and the club can concentrate on finishing fourth, which is their big target.'

Corriere dello Sport, however, was less enthusiastic.

Milan's decision to pay Real €7.5 million for the 30-year-old Brazilian was not in line with 'its declared intention to invest in young players', argued the paper.

'He is one of the greats of world football - that is beyond discussion,' it said.

'It is reasonable to ask oneself, however, in what condition has he arrived from Spain, how much of the great Ronaldo remains after his long and not particularly fortunate experience in Madrid, and how long we will have to wait before seeing him back to his best?'

Milan have not announced when they plan to hold their first news conference with Ronaldo but, with Carlo Ancelotti'sm team in Rome for Wednesday's Italian Cup semi-final, second leg match against Roma, it is likely to be on Thursday or Friday.