By Olufemilade Oyinade
Cristiano Ronaldo has finally returned to Manchester United after years away having completed his move from Italian club Juventus.
United have paid 15m euros (£12.85m) and a possible 8m euros (£6.85m) in add-ons for
the 36-year-old who signed a two-year contract with the Old Trafford club, with the option to extend for a further year.
Ronaldo had this to say, “Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart. I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday.”
Ferguson, during his time as Manchester United’s coach bought Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of £12.24 million after his revealing performance to make him the club’s first Portugese player , and at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances in his first spell at United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009, and was the leading scorer last season in Serie A with 29.
Ronaldo said he couldn’t 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”, the Portuguese declared.
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.”
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 under Sir Alex Ferguson who the football star disclosed influenced his return to United.
Ronaldo could be available to Solskjaer for United’s 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 the most extreme circumstances.