View Full Version : Brazilian Ronaldo to New York Red Bulls; Pele & Franz Beckenbauer management level.

04-05-06, 06:51 PM
Gone are the MetroStars, and with them the days of apathy and paltry crowds. Red Bull Company Ltd. intends to make its $100 million investment in MLS pay off and is throwing money at the team, specifically the marketing department.

Former New York Cosmos Pele and Franz Beckenbauer will participate in the ceremonial opening kickoff on the all-grass field (a $200,000-per-game investment). The outlay for the national anthem performance and halftime entertainment (Rihanna, Shakira, Wyclef Jean) will exceed the annual salaries of most MLS players.

The Red Bulls' goal is a sold-out stadium. They are even sending buses for Revolution fans; more than 500 had signed up for the trip as of last week.

Unfortunately, for the Red Bulls, though, none of the money or promotion is going toward players. But the presence of Pele and Beckenbauer will not only recall the days of the Cosmos playing to packed houses at Giants Stadium, it also signals their future involvement in the team at the management level.

Beckenbauer is expected to take a hands-on role after the World Cup; he is head of the Germany 2006 World Cup Organizing Committee. Pele would likely be a figurehead, for the purpose of attracting players and sponsors.

But this week will not be all about smoke, mirrors, music, hoopla, and hype. There is some very real pressure on the team and coach Mo Johnston.

The Red Bulls opened the season with a 2-2 tie at D.C. United Sunday, but they will be expected to defeat the Revolution. Now that the team has the attention of fans and media, mediocrity won't be tolerated.

There is a question about who will call the shots, though. General manager Alexi Lalas is expected to move to Los Angeles to replace Hamilton, who died of heart failure early last month. Nick Sakiewicz, who was the MetroStars GM before being shuttled over to Red Bull Park stadium affairs, could return to his former position.

But there are other scenarios.

Giorgio Chinaglia, another former Cosmo, is also expected to attend the game, along with former MetroStar Roberto Donadoni.

Should the Bulls falter, Donadoni could emerge as a candidate for the coaching position. Donadoni appeared to be developing into one of Italy's better coaches, but was fired by Livorno despite guiding the team to the verge of a UEFA Cup berth. Donadoni's dismissal caused an outcry in Italy, not only because he was regarded among the classiest of players as a member of the national team and AC Milan, but also because he was proving that a small, provincial club could compete with the traditional powers.

Donadoni will certainly receive a solid offer from an Italian club before next season; meanwhile, he is available.

And the Red Bulls could be just getting started.

They considered signing Brazilian star Romario, but decided against it at the last minute. So Romario, 40, went to Miami FC, which will play in 7,000-seat Tropicana Field, in pursuit of his 1,000th career goal.

But the Red Bulls will doubtless be going for younger Romario types, even though they will cost more than the $500,000 Romario requested.

This type of ambition and willingness to spend money is shaking up MLS, but the Red Bulls will have to present a stronger team for others to play the keeping-up-with game.


Red Bulls will doubtless be going for younger Romario types. According to Metrofanatic.net web site, Could that younger type be Ronaldo?

April 4, 2006

MetroFanatic has learned that Red Bull is not sitting still on their most recent acquisition. In fact, it has approached a number of players about wearing New York's Red. One of the targets is Brazilian superstar Ronaldo, who is under contract with Real Madrid through 2008. However, Red Bull, who has been dropping money in various directions including advertising, the grass field, and the players' locker room, doesn't look at the potential mammoth transfer fee as a problem.

Of course, an issue remains of fitting Ronaldo, a three-time World Player of the Year, under the salary cap. The Reds could use him in the way LA is using Landon Donovan and DC is using Freddy Adu; sign him where only the league's "official" maximum counts against the salary cap, while the real salary would be much more than that. The question is, when would Ronaldo (or whoever Metro signs) come to MLS; after the World Cup? Next year?

In the past years, Ronaldo has made numerous comments about playing in the U.S. Who knows... can it actually become true? Or is this just another rumor which will fizzle out?

Interestingly, Ronaldo and Youri Djorkaeff were teammates on Inter for two seasons. Another side note is that Ronaldo shares (shared?) an agent, Giovanni Branchini, with Roberto Donadoni. The ex-Metro will make a return to Giants Stadium for this week's team opener, and is rumored in some circles to be first in line to succeed Mo Johnston if (when?) the latter is pushed out by the Austrian overlords.

04-05-06, 07:33 PM
I don't beleive it!

04-06-06, 07:56 AM
Which one you don't beleived? ... The entire story ....
Ronaldo story....Beckenbauer story ... Pele story .. or Donadoni story ... ..Which one ...

04-06-06, 01:30 PM
Red Bulls interested in Ronaldo and vice versa
April 6, 2006

Ronaldo (above) joining the Red Bulls would "be interesting, not just for Ronaldo, for us, for the world, for the American people," forward Youri Djorkaeff says.
By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

A generation or so after the great Pele helped boost the Cosmos into a higher orbit, another Brazilian World Cup star could wind up doing the same thing for the New York Red Bulls.

Ronaldo, the star of the 2002 world champion Brazil, has spoken to representatives of the New York Red Bulls about the possibility of playing for the MLS team, BigAppleSoccer.com has learned.

Ronaldo, who performs for Real Madrid in Spain and who is expected to play for Brazil in the World Cup in Germany this summer, is interested joining the team, according to sources close to the club and sources from around the league. There is even some scuttlebutt that Ronaldo already has agreed to join the team, but that has not been confirmed.

MetroFanatic.com had reported that the club had interest in Ronaldo.

If the Red Bulls can obtain the services of the 29-year-old Ronaldo, it would make them a much bigger drawing card and place them in a much higher orbit in terms of recognition for the team and even the league.

Ronaldo, three-time winner of FIFA's player of the year, recently spoke with Red Bulls forward Youri Djorkaeff, a member of the 1998 French national side that defeated Brazil, 3-0, at the France '98 finale.. Djorkaeff said that they are good friends, having played two seasons together at Inter Milan in Italy's Serie A.

Asked if he thought Ronaldo would be interested in playing for the Red Bulls, Djorkaeff replied: "Yeah. It will be interesting, not just for Ronaldo, for us, for the world, for the American people."

Djorkaeff said that Ronaldo has been following the Red Bulls, formerly the MetroStars, who were purchased by Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink producers last month. The club was re-branded and has been spending money hand over fist, using radio, print and television ads to promote the team.

"He asked me how was the team, how many goals I scored," he said after practice at Giants Stadium yesterday. "We talked about life in New York, about the team."

Further pursued about Ronaldo, Djorkaeff replied with a laugh: "I don't want to talk a lot."

Ronaldo last month told the Associated Press that this season with underachieving Real Madrid "had been one of the most difficult years" of his life. There is speculation in the Spanish and international press that Ronaldo is looking elsewhere to play.

Despite an all-star and world-class player at every position, Real has grossly underachieved this season.

Ronaldo has said before that the 2006 World Cup could be his swan song from international soccer, if not from professional soccer itself.

Talking about acquiring Ronaldo is one thing, trying to corral one of the highest paid players in the world could be something else. Ronaldo's contract with Real runs through the 2008 season and it probably would take a hefty transfer fee to buy him out.

When he moved from Inter to Real in 2002, Ronaldo's transfer fee was $42 million. After enduring several injuries through the years, the transfer fee probably wouldn't run as much today. But he obviously won't come cheap (in contrast, the total combined salary cap for the 12 MLS teams is about $21.6 million).

But with Red Bull spending money to promote the team prior to this Saturday's home opener at Giants Stadium,, the new owners want to make a splash and a major impact in the country's most important media market. So money from Red Bull billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz might not be an issue.

Ronaldo, along with teammates David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane, earn $8.25 million annually from Real. That makes the trio the world's highest paid soccer players, according to France Football magazine.

It is likely that Ronaldo would earn in the neighborhood of $1 million with the Red Bulls, although the league's $1.8 million per team salary cap or money apparently wouldn't be an issue with him.

Ronaldo's salary would be exempt under the proposed Beckham rule -- one mega-star per team.

And Ronaldo certainly won't be going to he poorhouse with all the endorsements he has (the U.S. would open up a new frontier for him). He earns $25 million -- second to Beckham's $37 million -- when you include salary, commercial endorsements and image rights, France Football reported last year.

"I hope Dietrich and Red Bull can pull it off because it would be wonderful," Red Bulls coach Mo Johnston said.

Then the coach quipped with a laugh: "I don't think we can afford his hairdresser, and Ronaldo doesn't have any hair."

Ronaldo, who is one goal shy of German Gerd Mueller's all-time World Cup scoring record (13), has scored 57 times in 90 international appearances through October.

Internationally, he is best known for his performances at the past two World Cups.

In 1998, Ronaldo was ineffective in the final, after taking injections of a painkiller to alleviate pain in his right knee, which caused a fit prior to it. The injections entered the bloodstream, which raised his heart rate and sent him into convulsions.

In 2002, he connected for a tournament-high eight goals, including two in the final as the Brazilians bested goalkeeper Oliver Kahn and his Germany teammates, 2-0, in a personal comeback for the ages.