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What next for United's stars?
by Paul Kennedy, May 28th, 2009 11:10AM



[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Will the breakup of Manchester United begin? Soon after Wednesday's loss to Barcelona, speculation began about the future of United's big stars. Asked if he'd be back next season, star Cristiano Ronaldo said, "I don't know."

Last year, Ronaldo almost moved to Real Madrid, and we've surely not heard the last of this sage, especially if Florentino Perez returns to power as Real Madrid power.

Argentine Carlos Tevez, so discreet in the final against Barca, has been playing on loan and gave hints at the end of the EPL season that he would be leaving Old Trafford.

Longtime United star Ryan Giggs won the PFA Player of the Year award as the top player in the EPL this season, but a poor showing in the final against Barcelona raised doubts about his near-term influence on United.

Of United's attacking stars, only Wayne Rooney is assured of being around at Old Trafford. Rooney drove ball after ball into the penalty area -- about the only way United threatened in Rome -- in an all too unsatisfactory approach for a team supposedly laden with such talent.

About the only thing certain was that Alex Ferguson, United's manager, won't be leaving any time soon.

Asked after Wednesday's defeat if he was thinking of retiring, Ferguson responded, "How long have you known me? Stupid bloody question."


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