Cristiano Ronaldo has ended his flirtation with Manchester United and signed a new five year deal with Real Madrid that will pay him a reported €18m a year after tax, plus 50% of his image rights, making him the world’s best-paid player.
Ronaldo has scored a remarkable 203 goals in 203 games since joining for a then world record €94m from Manchester United in 2009. And he is hoping to continue that sensational form for the next five years.
“It is a priviledge for me to continue with this club,” Ronaldo told a press conference. “It is just like my first day here. I am going to continue with the same spirit of sacrifice and give everything for the shirt.
“It is a special day for me. I want to thank the president for making this happen and the fans who continue to support me. Maybe I will stay here until the end of my career. This club is the biggest in the world and I am extremely happy.”
Ronaldo had been linked with a move back to Man United or to Paris St-Germain and he said that they had been approaches from both clubs:
“It wasn’t something that I really wanted. For me, Madrid is the top and if you leave Madrid you want to stay at the very top.
“Everyone knows that I was very happy at Manchester United for six years and it was a club that gave me everything. I am, and always will be, grateful but Manchester United is my past, Real Madrid is my present. My home is here, my family and I am very happy,” Ronaldo said.
“I respect the clubs that knocked on the door to ask about me but they know that my only goal was to play for Real Madrid. Maybe at the end of my career; I don’t know what the future holds but I am here and I am happy.”
This is a huge signing for Real. Following so soon after the world record signing of Gareth Bale it confirms that Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world. Ronaldo has been brilliant since arriving from Manchester United and at 28-years-old he is entering his prime as a player. If he keeps up the same scoring pace that he has over the last four years, Ronaldo will pass Raúl and Di Stefano and become Real Madrid’s all-time scoring leader.
But it is not coincidence that Ronaldo agrees to this record breaking new deal just days after Gareth Bale arrives at the club for a world record transfer. It is a case of Ronaldo telling Bale and the world that he is still the main man at the Bernabéu.