Cristiano Ronaldo declared he was back where he belonged after he re-joined Manchester United from Juventus on a two-year deal on Tuesday, with the forward dedicating the move to his mentor Alex Ferguson.
United announced that they had agreed a deal with Juventus.
to bring the 36-year-old back to Manchester last week, with the transfer now complete after the Portuguese forward passed a medical, secured a visa and agreed personal terms.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Juve said the transfer fee agreed was 15 million euros ($17.74 million) plus eight million euros in performance-related add-ons as Ronaldo returns to the club where he won eight major trophies from 2003-2009.
“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,” added Ronaldo, who spent the last 12 years winning a glut of trophies at Real Madrid and Juventus.
“History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word!
“I’m back where I belong. Let’s make it happen once again… Sir Alex, this one is for you.”
Ferguson signed Ronaldo when he was a teenager in 2003 and British media had reported last week that the Scot convinced Ronaldo to return to United.
Ronaldo has often spoken in glowing terms of his time at the club and has previously described Ferguson as his “father in football”.
The club responded to the post, saying: “Welcome home, Cristiano.”
Ronaldo is set to join up with the squad after the international break and could make his first start on Sept. 11 when they host Newcastle United, if he returns unscathed from his duties with Portugal.
He spent six seasons at Old Trafford between 2003 and 2009, where he won the Ballon d’Or as the world’s best player in 2008 alongside his team accolades, before sealing a then world record 80 million pounds ($110 million) move to Real Madrid.
During his first spell in Manchester he scored 118 goals and won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2007-08 season, the year Ronaldo helped United claim their last Champions League title.
He then went on to capture two LaLiga and four Champions League titles with Real Madrid, as well as four further Ballon d’Or awards, ending his stint at the Spanish club as their all-time top scorer with 451 goals.
Ronaldo was signed by Juventus in 2018 for 100 million euros from Real Madrid in the hope he could help the Italian team secure their first Champions League title since 1996.
While that goal never came to fruition, Ronaldo leaves Turin with 101 goals, two league titles and a Coppa Italia triumph.
He informed Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri that he wanted to leave the club last week. The Serie A club confirmed his departure earlier on Tuesday.
Media reports in Italy and England said the forward’s agent, Jorge Mendes, had agreed personal terms with Premier League champions Manchester City.
But in the end it was United who secured his services, instigating much excitement around the club.
“You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player, but also a great human being,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.
“To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person.”
United goalkeeper David de Gea said it would be a “dream” to have Ronaldo back at the club. Former captain Roy Keane said the 36-year-old is a “born winner”.
(Production: Francis Maguire)