Ronaldo not coming to South Africa


The Red Devils are set travel to Nigeria after the Vodacom Challenge to play fellow Premier League side Portsmouth in a friendly in July.

The match between the two English Premiership sides will give Nigerian fans the chance to see their heroes in person.

The precise date and venue have yet to be determined, although the game will take place in Abuja.

“Sir Alex (Ferguson) and the team are always keen to visit new places,” United’s chief executive David Gill told a news conference.

“This match will give an opportunity for our many fans in Nigeria to see the team in the flesh and will provide a climax to our summer tour.

Nigeria fans may soon be kitted out in red, not green.

“Our own research has shown Nigeria is home to our fourth largest fan base - some 13.6 million supporters - so this is an opportunity for us to say thank you to those fans.”

Ronaldo, who has been the subject of constant speculation about a move to Real Madrid, is in action with Portugal at the European Championship.

But even if he stays at Old Trafford, as United have stressed that he will, Ronaldo will not go on tour.

Gill said the player would be allowed to rest after his exertions in Austria and Switzerland.

Portsmouth have several African players, notably Nigeria's Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka.

United may have the Angola star Manucho with them by the time of the Vodacom Challenge.

He has been on loan to Greek side Panathinaikos, but is hopeful of moving to Old Trafford, once he has a work permit for the UK.