Cristiano Ronaldo. Picture: REUTERS/MASSIMO PINCA
Cristiano Ronaldo. Picture: REUTERS/MASSIMO PINCA

Manchester — Cristiano Ronaldo declared he is back where he belongs after he rejoined Manchester United from Juventus on a two-year deal on Tuesday, with the forward dedicating the move to his mentor Alex Ferguson. 

United announced it has had agreed to 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 test, secured a visa and agreed on personal terms.

“Everyone who knows me knows about my never-ending love for Manchester United. The years I spent in this club were 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 upon was €15m plus €8m in performance-related add-ons as Ronaldo returns to the club where he won eight major trophies from 2003 to 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 reported last week that the Scot had 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 by saying: “Welcome home, Cristiano.”

Ronaldo is set to join up with the squad after the international break and could make his first start on September 11 when they host Newcastle United, if he returns unscathed from his duties with Portugal.

He spent six seasons at Old Trafford, 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 £80m move to Real Madrid.

During his first spell in Manchester he scored 118 goals and won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2007/2008 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 €100m from Real Madrid in the hope that he could help the Italian team secure their first Champions League title since 1996.

“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”.

Reuters

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