Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed he is ‘back where I belong’ after sealing his return to Manchester United after 12 years away, describing the move as a ‘dream come true’.
The Portuguese superstar is back at Old Trafford after he completed his £19.8million move from Juventus on Tuesday. He left the Premier League in 2009 for Real Madrid in a £80m move but will now feature in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season.
In an emotional Instagram post confirming his return, Ronaldo opened up on the ‘never-ending’ love for United and dedicated his dream move to former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who was the man who managed him during his first spell.
Cristiano Ronaldo says he is ‘back where I belong’ after his return to Manchester United
The 36-year-old posted an emotional message to United fans after his move was confirmed
‘Everyone who knows me, knows about my never ending love for Manchester United,’ Ronaldo’s post read. ‘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!
Ronaldo told United fans that returning to Old Trafford is now a ‘dream come true’ for him
‘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…’
During his first stint at Old Trafford, the Portuguese forward became a worldwide sensation, scoring 118 goals in 292 games for Sir Alex’s United.
Ronaldo (left) dedicated his United return to the club’s former boss Sir Alex Ferguson (right)
Under the legendary Scottish manager, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, lifted his first Champions League and Club World Cup trophies, while he was also named Premier League Player of the Year on two occasions and won the English top-flight’s Golden Boot Award.
Ronaldo’s then-world record move to Real made him an even bigger global superstar, scoring 450 goals in just 438 games and adding four more Champions League medals to his trophy cabinet.
The five-time Ballon D’Or winner then moved to Juventus for £100m and won two more domestic league titles but cut short his stay in Turin early by a year to move back to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo was strongly linked with a move to United’s arch-rivals Manchester City this summer as the Etihad club were offered the chance to sign the Portguese star by his manager Jorge Mendes.
Ronaldo cut short his stay at Juventus early in order to move back to Old Trafford
City rejected that proposal after Mendes and Juventus insisted the English side had to fork out a transfer fee, leaving Solskjaer’s United to pip them to Ronaldo’s signature.
Ronaldo’s new contract at United is worth around £385,000-a-week, making him one of the highest paid players in the Premier League.
The 36-year-old is now widely expected to make his second United debut when the Red Devils host Newcastle on September 11, with Ronaldo revealing he cannot wait to step out on the Old Trafford pitch once again.
Ronaldo told the club’s official website: ‘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.
Ronaldo’s move was first announced on Friday but the deal was finalised on Tuesday
Ronaldo admitted he is eager to step out at Old Trafford again for his second Man United debut
‘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.’
United manager 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.’