LONDON: Manchester United had confirmed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo on a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further year subject to international clearance.
United have paid an initial 15m euros (£12.85m) to sign the 36-year-old from Juventus, a decade after he left the club to join Real Madrid.
Cristiano, a five-time Ballon D’or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the UEFA European Championship for his native Portugal.
Cristiano is the first player to have won league titles in England, Spain and Italy. He was also the highest goalscorer in last season’s Serie A and won the golden boot at this year’s European Championship. In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games.
Cristiano 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.”
“Everyone who knows me, knows about my never-ending love for Manchester United,” he wrote on Instagram. “The years I spent in this club were absolutely amazing and the path we’ve made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution.
“I can’t even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide. It’s like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Manchester United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands.
“This is absolutely 100% the stuff that dreams are made of!” He signed off saying: “I’m right here! I’m back where I belong! Let’s make it happen once again! PS – Sir Alex, this one is for you…”
🇵🇹🔴 𝗩𝗜𝗩𝗔 𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗗𝗢 🔴🇵🇹
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 31, 2021
Ferguson was United manager during Ronaldo’s first spell at Old Trafford, when he scored 118 goals in 292 appearances before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he has run out of words to describe Cristiano, saying 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.”
Ronaldo had been linked with Manchester City but opted to return to United, where he spent six years and won three Premier League titles, one Champions League, two League Cups and one FA Cup – as well as the Fifa Club World Cup and Community Shield.
Ronaldo could be available for the home game against Newcastle United on 11 September, which is the club’s first match following the international break.
Ronaldo wore the number seven shirt in his first stint at United but that is currently held by Edinson Cavani and, even if the Uruguay striker was willing to hand over the shirt number, Premier League rules prevent a mid-season swap except in extreme circumstances.