Manchester United have re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese superstar joining the club on a two-year deal with a third kept as an option to extend. United have paid Juventus an initial Є15 million with Є8m in add-ons to sign the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Speaking to the club’s website for the first time since re-signing, Ronaldo revealed that it was Sir Alex who convinced him to rejoin Manchester United. The 36-year-old said:
“Everyone knows Sir Alex was the key when I signed for United in 2003. Sir Alex is like a father in football to me. He helped me a lot and taught me many things. We have a relationship and we keep in touch all the time. He is an unbelievable person. I like him a lot. In my opinion, he was the main reason for me to re-join Manchester United.”
The Portuguese forward first played for the club back in 2003. He joined the Red Devils as a 18-year-old winger from Sporting Lisbon. Over the next six years, he became one of the best wingers in the world under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Cristiano Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup, one Champions League, and one Ballon d’Or with Manchester United. By the end of his six-year spell at Old Trafford, Ronaldo had made a remarkable legacy at Manchester United.
Manchester United and Ronaldo parted ways in 2009
While Ronaldo went on to enjoy more glory over the next decade, United waned away from their gargantuan state after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. The other managers who followed could not live up to the legacy of the Scottish tactician.
Meanwhile it was United’s noisy neighbors Manchester City who became one of the most feared clubs in that spell. Circumstances brought forth a strange situation this summer.
Ronaldo had decided to leave Juventus after three successful years in Italy and was seeking to join a new club. Manchester City, who were in the hunt for a new striker, found Ronaldo to be a plausible target after missing out on Harry Kane.
The deal seemed close to completion and social media went ballistic with the thought of the Manchester United legend joining their fierce rivals.
The likes of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, Ronaldo’s former team-mates at United, have since come forth and revealed how they asked the Portuguese international to turn down City. However, Ronaldo has now himself revealed that the most influential figure in his move to Manchester United has been Sir Alex Ferguson.
It seems even in retirement, there is no keeping Sir Alex out of Manchester United. A true great of the game.