Most Chelsea fans, including myself, has been quick to label Manchester City's newest darling, Robinho, greedy. Or heartless. Or a greedy, heartless mercenary.
After allowing the blow of losing out on the Brazilian -- to City no less -- to expunge from my memory, I'm now beginning to believe the real enemy in this whole ordeal is, of course, Real Madrid.
Lets look at the facts.
Using the impeccable work of Sid Lowe as foundation for my argument, it's clear Robinho had no choice but to leave Real Madrird -- no matter the destination. Some of the slights from Madrid are known, some arent.
- Robinho was openly dangled by the club in its attempt to lure Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid
- Robinho was among the club's lowest earners salary wise, dwarfed by even Royston Drenthe(?!?)
- When Robby asked to renegotiate his contract, he was denied. Instead, Real chose to renew the contracts of Guti, Raúl, Iker Casillas and even Mamadou Diarra.
- In a hilariously arrogant move, the club offered to flush out a new deal for Robinho after a move for CRon7 was ultimately ruled out
After looking at that laundry list, I assume most of us can understand why Robinho felt he had no choice but to leave Madrid. Now, it comes down to him joining Manchester City instead of holding out for a move to Chelsea.
Any man who calls his own press conference to announce his intention to join a club, in this case Chelsea, is pretty set in his ways. But, now that we can kind of see this case through Robinho's eyes, it makes sense why he joined City.
It might look like a snub to the Stamford Bridge faithful, but I would wager a hefty sum that Real presented Robinho with an ultimatum: You can either join Manchester City or rot here at Madrid. Which do you fancy?
If that was your only choice, and you had suffered through a year like he has, wouldn't you jump at the chance to leave regardless of the destination?
Now, I'm not purging Robinho from any wrong doing. The kid certainly has plenty of issues, some to which Pele has offered solutions. But I can certainly see why he felt he needed to leave Real, and I hope that somehow he can find a level of comfort and stability in his life -- as long as it's not against Chelsea.