Cristiano Ronaldo believes returning to Manchester United is the best decision he could have made this summer and has set out his ambitions for his second spell with the club.
Ronaldo originally joined United as a teenager and left them as a Ballon d’Or winner after a six-year spell. He scored 118 goals in 292 games before leaving for Real Madrid, where he further enhanced his reputation as one of the game’s best. Scoring 450 goals from 438 games, he won the Ballon d’Or a further four times during his stint in Spain.
He then made a slightly surprising move to Serie A with Juventus, whom he helped to two Scudetti but couldn’t win the Champions League with again.
After three full seasons in Turin, Ronaldo recently completed a sensational return to Man Utd, when it had seemed likely he could have ended up with rivals Man City instead.
But Ronaldo will be donning the more familiar red colours and will be hoping to help United rediscover the glory days.
On Wednesday, he gave his first interview to the club website since sealing his return. Within it, he explained why he wanted to return.
“I have a fantastic history with this amazing club,” he said.
“I was there at 18 years old and of course I’m so happy to be back home after 12 years. So I’m really glad and looking forward to start my first game.
“I think it’s the best decision that I have made it (the move). It’s right on point in my opinion.
“I moved from Juve now to Manchester. It’s a new chapter. I’m so happy and glad, and I want to carry on again, to make history, to try to help Manchester achieve great results, to win trophies and number one of them, to win great things.”
Ronaldo won nine trophies during his previous spell in Manchester, including three Premier League titles in a row before his exit.
He was a key part of one of the many high points in Sir Alex Ferguson’s long reign as manager. Ferguson, coincidentally, is said to have played a part in convincing him not to join City but to choose United again.
Upon the confirmation of his move, Ronaldo wrote on Instagram: “Sir Alex, this one is for you…”
Indeed, Ronaldo elaborated on how important his former boss has been to his connection with the club.
“As everybody knows, since I signed for Manchester (United) at 18, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key. I remember when we played against Manchester when I was at Sporting Lisbon.
“For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me. He helped me a lot. He taught me many things, and in my opinion of course he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he’s an unbelievable person.
“I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.”
Cristiano Ronaldo reviews Solskjaer relationship
Ronaldo has a new manager to work under now, though – his former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer led United to the Europa League final last season, which they lost on penalties. He is aiming for a first trophy in the Old Trafford dugout this season.
Although the dynamic of their relationship will have changed, Ronaldo gets on well with his new boss.
“We had a chat, but of course I’m going to have time to speak with him face to face, to know what he expects,” Ronaldo said.
“As you know, I played with him for two or three years at Manchester United so I have a good relationship with him but now with a different role, I’m a player and he’s a coach.
“But it doesn’t matter; my relationship with him is great and as I say before, I’m there in Manchester to help the team achieve his results and the coach can count on me for whatever he wants. So I’m available for everything.”
Ronaldo, 36, is looking forward to playing in front of the Man Utd fans again after signing a two-year contract.
“The Manchester United fans, they are special, I know, I remember very well,” he concluded.
“I know they still sing my music which has made me feel even more happy and my commitment is to give everything on the pitch, like I did before, like I do it all the time, and try to do my best, help the team score goals, make assists, win games, and I hope to see them very, very soon.”
They will be hoping to see him in action when Man Utd return from the international break. Next on the schedule is a home game against Newcastle on 11th September.