The formula would appear to be very simple, score over 20 goals a season and gain immunity from Alex Ferguson's gum chewing wrath. Perhaps in the privacy of the changing room, Cristiano Ronaldo's claim of sanctuary may not be quite so safe.
In the public arena however, Ferguson and all of Ronaldo's followers will blissfully ignore the petulance shown after being substituted during the Manchester derby, arguing it demonstrates just how much the "boy" wants to play, and his passion for the Manchester United cause.
From the enlightened neutrals perspective though, Ronaldo's antics make it increasingly difficult to appreciate his talent. Obviously, no player wants to be substituted with half an hour still on the clock in a derby match, and plenty will illustrate their dissatisfaction, but snatching your coat from the hospitable kit bag guy, and then pouting in the dug out for rest of the game, was naive at best and disrespectful at worst, and didn't win over any opposition fans who just jump at the chance to have a pop at the Worlds best player. Much as I am doing right now.
Being a Liverpool supporter, having any admiration for a United player, irrespective of the undoubted talent is hard to concede, and in Ronaldo, we have the unfortunate combination of talent and over inflated ego in equal proportion. In Ronaldo's defense, being popular among non Trafford devotees, is probably not among his top concerns. The same can be said for any professional, but others do manage to balance their talent and legions, while still earning respect even from their rivals.
Which, is why I have to do the disloyal deed, and heap praise on Carlos Tevez. Apart from Sheffield United fans, how can you not admire the guy? I was wondering how the acquisition of Berbatov last summer, would effect United's team line up and how they would cater for four quality forwards. Unfortunately for the hard working Tevez, it would appear, rather unfairly that his Goal haul the previous season didn't grant him immunity from Ferguson.
Despite all the pre-match tabloid squalor, prior to the Manchester derby, Tevez did start the match, and notably celebrated in Ferguson direction after scoring a cracking right foot effort, curled in off the post from the edge of the box. Such is the determination of Tevez, that he was even willing to head the post in an effort to get his second and a United third! Fortunately for Manchester City, the post won that battle against Tevez -this time.
For City, if they ever needed motivation in a derby, derailing United's Premier league title aspirations would suffice. Unfortunately, toothless finishing in front of goal by the Premier League's most expensive player Robinho, has already started the rumour mill that Tevez will be plying his trade over at Eastlands next season.
For all the Tevez brilliance, Ronaldo petulance and City impotence here are the highlights.
Manchester United V Manchester City