Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Manchester United for a second time, it was confirmed on Tuesday, after joining from Juventus. The deal is a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further year, subject to international clearance.
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.”
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Later on Tuesday, Ronaldo opened up further on Instagram surrounding his return to the club and said: “Everyone who knows me, knows about my never ending love for Manchester United. The years I spent in this club where 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 Man 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!
“My first domestic League, my first Cup, my first call to the Portuguese National team, my first Champions League, my first Golden Boot and my first Ballon d’Or, they were all born from this special connection between me and the Red Devils. History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word!
“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…”
Earlier on transfer deadline day, the Serie A side outlined the financial details surrounding the deal — a maximum €23 million, payable over five years. Ronaldo will be 41 by the time the final installment from Manchester United is due.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “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.”
Tuesday’s announcement brings to an end a transfer saga which almost saw Ronaldo join United’s rivals Manchester City. Sources told ESPN that Pep Guardiola’s side turned their attentions to Ronaldo once their top target Harry Kane decided to remain at Tottenham Hotspur. However, according to ESPN sources, City pulled out of the deal allowing the 36-year-old to re-join United, who was persuaded to make his Old Trafford return following WhatsApp conversations with former teammates.
🇵🇹🔴 𝗩𝗜𝗩𝗔 𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗗𝗢 🔴🇵🇹
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 31, 2021
The five-time Ballon d’Or-winner moved to the Premier League club for the first time as an 18-year-old from Sporting CP in 2003 and won three Premier League titles and the Champions League before joining Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world-record fee of £80 million.
At Madrid, Ronaldo won the Champions League on another four occasions as well as LaLiga twice before he made the switch to Italian giants Juve in 2018, where he won two Serie A titles in three seasons.
Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or haul is second only to Lionel Messi‘s six while his tally of five Champions League triumphs is the most of any player in the modern era.