London, July 10 : FIFA President Sepp Blatter accused Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson of treating Cristiano Ronaldo like a slave.
The most powerful man in world football told Ferguson that he should let Ronaldo join Real Madrid, even though the winger has a four-year contract to stay at Old Trafford.
"In football there's too much modern slavery. I'm always in favour of protecting the player. If he wants to leave, let him. If Ronaldo stays at a club where he does not feel comfortable to play then it's not good for him or the club," The Sun quoted Blatter, as saying. Asked about Ronaldo's public flirting with Real, Blatter said: "The important thing is we should also protect the player. And if the player wants to play somewhere else, then a solution should be found."
Speaking on Sky News, Blatter added: "There is this slavery in transferring or buying players here and there - and putting them somewhere. We're trying now to intervene in such cases."
"The reaction to the Bosman law was to make long-lasting contracts, in order to keep the players. Then, if he wants to leave, there is only one solution - he has to pay his contract," he said.
Portugal star Ronaldo, 23, is one of the hottest properties in the sport after a superb season at Old Trafford last term and speculation about a move to the Spanish side has dominated the summer's transfer gossip.