Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he would give his all to help Real Madrid to achieve UEFA Champions League glory this season after the forward was presented to the Santiago Bernabéu faithful for the first time since his record €94m transfer from Manchester United.
The 24-year-old admitted to a “a beautiful feeling” on witnessing 75,000 supporters awaiting him inside Madrid’s famous home and that he had “completed a childhood dream” after signing a six-year deal with the nine-time European Champion Clubs’ Cup winners.
“I’m confident and ambitious and I want to adapt as quickly as possible,” the former Sporting Clube de Portugal player explained. “I’m going to miss many things in Manchester but this is my new life and my new club and I will give 100 per cent in order to win trophies here.”
Since the arrival of new president Florentino Pérez, Madrid have brought in coach Manuel Pellegrini while adding Kaká, Raúl Albiol and, shortly, Karim Benzema to the playing staff. With the addition of Ronaldo, fans of Real Madrid now hope the team can end their disappointing run of failing to advance past the UEFA Champions League first knockout round for the past five seasons.
“We’re creating a great team here and I think if we all work hard we’ll have great possibilities,” the Portuguese international said. “I’m going to do my best to help this team to win and if we can lift the Champions League and the Liga I’ll be very happy. I’m ready for this challenge and I hope to make some problems for the defenders here.”
The 2008 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year went on to say he was looking forward to playing in a “very competitive league” and explained he expected “differences to what I’ve been used to in England”. He added:
“In the Premier League the game is quite a lot faster and the players are perhaps physically stronger. Having said that, there are great players here in every team and even the so-called lesser teams try to play football. I want to play every match and I’m looking forward to a good season.”
Liga runners-up last term, Madrid enter the UEFA Champions League in the group stage.