Man City's Robinho laughs off Pele attack

Robinho has laughed off Pele's criticism of his move to Manchester City. Former Santos forward Robinho, 24, joined City from Real Madrid on Monday in a shock transfer-deadline-day move after having looked on course for a transfer to Chelsea. City - bankrolled by prospective new owners the Abu Dhabi United Group - stepped in to meet the asking price and Pele is reported to have said Robinho "needs some serious counselling" as he had been "badly advised" by people close to him. However, Robinho has stressed the move to City is the right one.

Robinho has laughed off Pele's criticism of his move to Manchester City.

Former Santos forward Robinho, 24, joined City from Real Madrid on Monday in a shock transfer-deadline-day move after having looked on course for a transfer to Chelsea.

City - bankrolled by prospective new owners the Abu Dhabi United Group - stepped in to meet the asking price and Pele is reported to have said Robinho "needs some serious counselling" as he had been "badly advised" by people close to him.

However, Robinho has stressed the move to City is the right one.

"I accept Pele's criticism as he is the king of football, but if he had been me, he would have done the same," said Robinho, who arrived in Teresopolis in a helicopter yesterday to train with the national team ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia.

"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."

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