I had a quite in-depth conversation with a chappy on the train today. He was talking to a friend and going on about Ronaldo going to Madrid and it being 'a step up' to a true giant of the game. I didn't know the chap from Adam, but couldn't help but interject and surprisingly the fella knew his stuff to a much greater degree than your average ABU spouting imbecile. In fact, he seemed to be very knowledgeable in the short time we were discussing this issue and had perfectly valid counter-arguments to what I was saying. To summarise his points. 1. Manchester United are not feared in Europe and haven't been for years. 2. Manchester United haven't beaten a so-called peer in a 2-legged KO stage consistently enough to be classed as a giant who can sit at the top of the tree. 3. Manchester United often look out of their depth when faced with bona fide European giants (he cited Milan and Madrid) 4. In relative terms, we're no better than a Celtic or Rangers who batter domestic competition season in and season out, but do nothing of note in Europe - this is not the make-up of giant. 5. Manchester United cannot compete on an even footing with the giants for players and cannot keep hold of their best talent once they reach the maturity that has the bigger guns come calling. He was quite adamant about the things he was saying and in many ways I could see his points. I personally believe that the only way we'll actively be able to keep Ronaldo is if we can actually win the CL in the next year or two, if we can't I truly believe he'll be off. The finances and fanbases weren't really discussed as he was quite assured of his position from an onfield perspective. I mentioned Franco and his disgusting regime, he countered with Madrid's 3 CL's in the late 90's and early 00's to our 'paltry' one. I did also mention that these clubs have no qualms about just stuffing their teams to the rafters with foriegn, bought talent... he said you can and do do the same since winning the CL. He had to get off a few stops before me, so the convo was cut short, but he gave me a lot to think about in rather blunt terms. If you do ever leave this board and read around the forums of the truer giants, you will often see us looked down upon, as a level below, is it warranted? If it isn't, why isn't it? What are your thoughts on this subject. An open invite for those supporters of giant clubs (Madrid, AC and Barca - in terms of sway and pull it's these three who expect to get any target they want and also have no fears of their top talent actually leaving without being pushed) to throw in their two-pennies worth, feel free to do so even if you don't follow one of these clubs. Me personally, I've always felt that we can't hold onto players who aren't of British or Irish extraction and perhaps Northern European. Not just because the Iberian or S>A would have followed or admired La Liga or Serie A when growing, but because, as cited, we do not show impact in Europe that is demanded and expected of a giant. Anyway, I hope this can be an interesting discussion.