Italy coach Lippi backs Man Utd over Ronaldo

August 2, 2008

ROME, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Italy coach Marcello Lippi has backed Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson's determination to block Cristiano Ronaldo's desired move to Real Madrid.

'The 100 million (euros offered) by Real is astonishing. But not everything can be bought,' Lippi said in an interview in Saturday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'I think it's right that a player is not authorised to have the last word always.

'Ferguson is stubborn. I think Ronaldo will stay at Manchester. It's the right decision from a technical point of view.

'However, Portugal's result at the European championships shows that not even Ronaldo can win a big tournament on his own.'

Lippi reiterated his admiration for Ronaldo's Manchester United team mate, England striker Wayne Rooney.

'I'm in love with Rooney,' he said. 'It's beautiful to see him run after his defender until the (corner) flag. He's the prototype of the modern champion.'

The 2006 World Cup winner added that he thought it was a shame Frank Lampard was not moving from Chelsea to Inter Milan.

He ranked the England international as one of the world's top four midfielders, along with AS Roma's Daniele de Rossi, AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo and Barcelona's Andres Iniesta.

He also had kind words for Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi, describing him as a 'football genius'.