The deal that will see Cristiano Ronaldo return to Manchester United has now been completed, the club have confirmed. The Portuguese international’s future has been subject to a plethora of rumours throughout the summer, but despite links to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, the 36-year-old will now return to Old Trafford for a fee of £12.85 million (plus £6.85 million) on a two-year contract.
Manchester United Complete Cristiano Ronaldo Return
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Legend at the Theatre of Dreams Whose Future Was in the Balance
While his prime didn’t come while he was playing in Manchester, Ronaldo, most would argue, is the best player ever to have appeared in a United shirt.
Joining from boyhood club Sporting Lisbon in 2003 for a fee of roughly £17 million, the attacker was nurtured by former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson into the world-class player that he became–and that he still is.
During his six years at Old Trafford, Ronaldo scored 118 goals and assisted a further 69. Particularly impressive was his 2007/08 season, when he scored 31 goals in 34 Premier League appearances. He was also United’s only scorer in normal or extra time during the Champions League final that year, which the Red Devils went on to win 6-5 on penalties after John Terry’s infamous slip.
Although he ended up moving to Real Madrid a year on from this, he had already secured legend status at the Theatre of Dreams.
While playing in the Spanish capital, Ronaldo became arguably the best player in the world, scoring more goals than he had appearances during his time there.
He joined Italian giants Juventus in 2018 and maintained his impressive record, but it was reported on Friday that his time there was up, with the player only appearing at the training ground in order to bid his teammates farewell.
There were reports of a move to Manchester City being on, with Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes in direct talks with the Citizens, but that fizzled out, leaving just United left in the race.
According to Samuel Luckhurst, Sir Alex Ferguson spoke to Ronaldo on Friday morning, and it took mere hours for the transfer saga to take yet another turn.
With his return to United now confirmed, Ronaldo will look to continue his impressive form back where it all began and could help the Red Devils to their first Premier League title in over eight years.
What Was Said?
Speaking to the club website, Ronaldo said: “Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday. I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: “You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player, but also a great human being. To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person. I have no doubt that he will continue to impress us all and his experience will be so vital for the younger players in the squad. Ronaldo’s return demonstrates the unique appeal of this club and I am absolutely delighted he is coming home to where it all started.”