Cristiano Ronaldo 'overwhelmed' as Manchester United complete signing on two-year deal

Portuguese forward returns to club 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid

Manchester United have completed the signing of Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo on a two-year deal with the option of a third year, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, 36, makes a sensational return to the club he left 12 years ago having spent six seasons at Old Trafford. Juventus earlier confirmed on Tuesday they had agreed a €15 million ($17.7m) transfer fee with United with an additional €8m based on performance-related bonuses.

"Manchester United is delighted to confirm the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo on a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further year, subject to international clearance," the club said in a statement.

Ronaldo returns to United after three years with Juventus. He made it clear to the Italian club last week that he wanted to leave and had appeared poised to join United's local rivals Manchester City. However, after United entered the race for his signature - and following a conversation with former United manager Alex Ferguson - the five-time Ballon d'Or winner opted to re-sign for the Old Trafford club.

"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 said in the statement. "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.”

During his first spell at United, between 2003 and 2009, Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games, winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, and the 2008 Champions League - the same year he won the first of his five Ballon d'Ors.

Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 for a then world record €94m and spent nine record-breaking years at the Bernabeu, scoring a club-leading 451 goals and winning two La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, and four Champions League titles, including an unprecedented three in a row between 2016 and 2018.

Over three seasons at Juventus, whom he joined for €100m in 2018, Ronaldo scored 101 goals, becoming the first player in history to score 100 or more goals for three different clubs. He won two Serie A titles and last season's Coppa Italia.

In total, Ronaldo, who came through the Sporting Lisbon academy, has scored 674 goals in 895 club appearances - plus 229 assists.

“You run out of words to describe Cristiano," United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. "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.”

Updated: August 31st 2021, 9:43 AM
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