Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nike: We Are Not Pushing Ronaldinho To Inter

Sportswear giants Nike have denied claims that they are trying to persuade Ronaldinho to join Inter Milan.

Ronaldinho is virtually certain to leave Barcelona at the end of the season, following a desperately miserable campaign both on-and-off the pitch.

Rivals Milan and Inter have been fighting it out for the Brazilian's signature, but Carlo Ancelotti's men are regarded as the clear favourites at present.

There have been reports for several weeks now though that sportswear giants Nike are trying to push the 28-year-old towards Inter.

Both Ronaldinho and Inter are sponsored by Nike, which commercially would make for the perfect partnership. Milan meanwhile are sponsored by one of Nike's direct competitors, German giants Adidas.

However Nike's Italian General Manager, Andrea Rossi, has rubbished this speculation, pointing to examples of other sport stars who are sponsored by them, inlcuding Paolo Maldini.

"For a footballer's career, the decisions are made only by he and his agent, we do not ever get involved, " Rossi said.

"The assumption about Inter pressure is just speculation. And our show cases like Paolo Maldini, or Kobe Bryant and Lebron James in the NBA, play in teams that have as a sponsor one of our competitors."