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'He's got the brain for it' | Hunter impressed with Ronaldo's Real Valladolid

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

06:18 7 Nov 2019

Ronaldo Nazário has the skills and intelligence to be a successful club owner, according to Spanish football expert Graham Hunter. 

The former Brazilian Ballon d'Or winner became a majority stakeholder in La Liga club Real Valladolid in September 2018 and while some may have thought he was a front for an investment group, Hunter said the purchase is solely Ronaldo's venture.

On Thursday's OTB AM, Hunter explained that despite Ronaldo's reputation as a party boy, he believed the former striker has the astuteness and commercially capability to run a football club.

"This is a guy who you don't judge by his morphing body size or you don't judge by the fact he liked, or may still like, quite a busy nightlife," Hunter said.

"He's got a brain. He's articulate. It's really clear that he's in this project not for the ego or fame because why would you pick Valladolid, storied club though they are."

While some American athletes, such as Michael Jordan, have taken ownership of sports clubs, Hunter explained it remains rare in football.

"I'm not convinced this exact pattern is going to be repeated. Megastar footballers who have got hundreds of millions maybe, but probably doing so as a front only and then taking legitimately earned profits."

As for Ronaldo, Hunter says that he is unlikely to make any serious money out of Real Valladolid but the project appeared an exciting one at the "storied club".

"If you are interested in the project I would urge you to go to the stadium, go to the city. It's character full, it's beautiful.

"In winter it gets freezing, teams are going be scared to go there. You literally think you will be turned into an ice block when you go there.

"He's in it obviously for commercial reasons, for business reasons but he's very active and it's a lot to do with his wish to run a football club the way he thinks one should be run.

"Their budget is absolutely tiny, I don't really see how he makes a profit but his plan is to get them in the Champions League," Hunter added.

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