Monday, July 21, 2008

Ronaldinho, Number 80

The new Milan uniforms were presented today: Ronaldinho chose his birth year as his shirt number. In the meantime, shirt sales boom: 11,000 sold since the arrival of the Brazilian. Galliani on Kakà: "We would sell him only if he wanted out"

MILAN, 21 July 2008 - Mystery solved...if you can call a shirt number a "mystery": Ronaldinho will wear number 80. Not 10, 11, 20 or any other number; the inspiration for Ronnie's number is his birth year, 1980.

TRADITION - Milan's vice president Adriano Galliani, clears any potential doubts on the day of the presentation of the squad's new Adidas uniforms for the 2008-09 season: "In the last two decades of the club's history we have never, never asked a player to give up his number for another player. Therefore, no one has even dreamed of asking Seedorf to give number 10 to Ronnie. This matter has been resolved without the club's intervention." And that's the end of the speech. And Kakà, who joined Seedorf and Nesta in Milanello, jokes about it: he was in charge of giving Galliani a personalised Milan shirt, with number 9 on it. Then, turning to the press, he says with a smile: "You know how it is... number 10 wasn't available..."

REAL AGAIN - Although Kakà jokes about Galliani's words, Galliani does not joke when talking about Kakà: "Everyday I read on the papers astronomical contract offers for Ricky," says the VP. But we are not transferring him, ever, not even if we were to get a 250-300 million offer from Chelsea. The only reason why we would decide to sell him would be if he wanted out; but he is happy in Milan." About the London Blues, Galliani adds: "Yes, I have been on Abramovich's boat. I wanted Sheva, he wanted Kakà... And we ended nil-nil. But we never talked about numbers. However, I can tell you something: Real Madrid have been enquiring about Ricky. But he is not going anywhere."

THE RONNIE EFFECT - The news of the day in Milanello is the presentation of the new team apparel, that will be on sale starting tomorrow. The new shirts designed by Adidas (with which Milan have a partner contract until 2017) have larger red and black stripes than last season's shirts and a scoop neck design. The second shirt will be "lucky" white, and the third shirt will be black. The new outfit is already very successful: the requests of the new Milan shirts have skyrocketed to 11,000 in just a few days. It's the Ronaldinho effect: it doesn't matter if he wears number 10 or 80; the enthusiasm is back in Milanello.

Text Source: By Stefano Cantalupi,
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