Robinho rebuffs criticism after City move

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Football News

Robinho has responded to reports Pele has criticised him for joining Manchester City, insisting the Brazil icon would have done the same.

Former Santos forward Robinho joined City from Real Madrid on Monday in a shock transfer-deadline-day move after having looked on course for a transfer to English Premier League heavyweights Chelsea.

Pele is reported to have said Robinho "needs some serious counselling" as he had been "badly advised" by people close to him but the 24-year-old has hit back saying: "I accept Pele's criticism as he is the king of football, but if he had been me, he would have done the same."

He added: "Real did not want to retain me. They even used me as a potential exchange to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. But as that negotiation fell through, they wanted to retain me then.

"If they didn't want to count on me, I didn't want to stay there either, so that is what I told the president."

Robinho also admitted his first intention was to move to Chelsea to be coached by Luiz Felipe Scolari but a number of issues led to Real Madrid cancelling negotiations.

"My first goal was to go to Chelsea as it was the only club to have made a formal offer," he added. "But Real did not like Chelsea shirts with my name on being sold before sorting out the negotiations.

"Also, they did not reach the value Real demanded so then Manchester City came in at the last minute to sign me."

Robinho conceded Real not releasing him to play at the Olympic Games was one of the main reasons why he quit the Spanish side to join City.

"I cried when he (Madrid President Ramon Calderon) didn't let me play at the Olympics and you can check that by asking him," said Robinho. "I didn't cry to quit. I just told him I didn't want to stay there any longer so I asked to be transferred."

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