terça-feira, 6 de novembro de 2007


MANCHESTER United star Cristiano Ronaldo has been warned he could be heading for his final step-over – because his footie boots are two sizes too small.

The Portuguese winger has been told he will ruin his feet if he carries on playing in size seven-and-a-half boots – as he is really a size nine.

Ronaldo, 22, who scored in yesterday’s thriller at Arsenal, reckons that wearing a smaller pair of his favourite Nike boots improves his performance.

A pal said: “Ronaldo has his boots made to order – and he insists they are a size and a half smaller than his shoe size.

“He says that helps him have better control of the ball as there is no foot movement in the boots when he runs.

“People have warned him he could do himself permanent damage – but things seem to be ok at the moment.”

But foot experts are concerned that he could do himself permanent damage, as boots – or shoes – that are too tight can cause serious, long-term problems.

These include neuromas – painful enlarged benign growths of nerves between the toes that require surgery – and sesamoiditis, which affects two small bones beneath the first metatarsals which can get inflamed or even rupture.

A source at the British Orthopaedic Association said: “He needs to do everything he can to look after his feet as they are the main tools of his trade.

“It may be working out in the short term – but in the long term there could be serious problems for Cristiano. It is always best to wear the proper size.”

Ronaldo’s mum, Dolores Aveiro, is one of those believed to have warned Ronaldo about the dangers of tight boots.

The pal confirmed: “She is a little concerned and has mentioned it.”

This is not the first time concerns have been raised this season about United stars’ boots.

Striker Wayne Rooney suffered a hairline fracture of his left foot – his third foot injury since 2004.

And there have been repeated suggestions that modern boot designs put players at greater risk of foot injuries.

But Charlie Brooks, head of corporate communications for Nike UK, said the boot Rooney had been testing was not to blame – despite claims by former Liverpool and England star Jamie Redknapp that modern “slipper” boots do not offer enough protection.

Brooks said: “Rooney himself is absolutely confident, as are we, that the boot had nothing to do with his injury.

“Nearly 20% of players in the Barclays Premier League this weekend wear this boot.”

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