Manchester United announced on Friday that there is a transfer agreement with Juventus for Cristiano Ronaldo. On Tuesday, Ronaldo was officially unveiled as a Man. United player.
The English giants will pay Juve a $17.6 million transfer fee. The amount could go up by $9.4 million, depending on certain clauses. Ronaldo completed a medical examination in Portugal over the weekend and will be available to play for United starting the next round in the Premier League. The 36-year-old penned a two-year deal at Old Trafford, with the option to extend for a further season.
Ronaldo’s comeback is said to be welcomed by the Manchester United locker room. During his previous time at the club, Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games, winning the Premier League three times, as well as the Champions League and the FA Cup. He spent six years in Manchester (2003-2009), before moving to Real Madrid for a then-record transfer fee of $111 million. Ronaldo also won his first of five Ballon d’Or trophies as a Man. United player.
Before agreeing to re-join United, the Portuguese national team captain was close to signing with arch-rivals Manchester City.
🇵🇹🔴 𝗩𝗜𝗩𝗔 𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗔𝗟𝗗𝗢 🔴🇵🇹
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 31, 2021
Solskjaer: ‘You run out of words to describe Cristiano’
Ronaldo will play for Portugal in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, then head to Manchester to start his new life in the Premier League.
“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again,” Ronaldo told United’s official website. “I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead. 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,” he added.
A former colleague of Ronaldo’s in his playing days, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is eager to have a top attacking weapon at his disposal.
“You run out of words to describe Cristiano,” Solskjaer said. “He is not only a marvelous 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,” the Norwegian coach added.
In an Instagram post on his page, Ronaldo wrote “I’m right here! I’m back where I belong. Let’s make it happen once again,” finishing the message with a special dedication: “PS- Sir Alex, this one is for you …”
Sir Alex Ferguson played a key role in Ronaldo’s comeback, calling to persuade him into choosing Manchester United over rivals City as news of an agreement with Pep Guardiola’s team was flying in.
Ronaldo, already a record-breaker in his second stint at United
Manchester United’s announcement that a deal was reached with Juventus generated a swift response from the club’s social media accounts. The post announcing the news on United’s Instagram got more than 12.3 million likes, being the most-liked Instagram post from a sports team ever. The 1.9 million likes on Twitter are also a record for sports teams, while the 1.3 million reactions on Facebook represent a club record.
Nick Speakman, the global head of social media at Manchester United, said “the announcement post has surpassed even our own predictions for social numbers cross-platform. To little surprise, Friday’s announcement day is now Manchester United’s biggest ever day for social interactions – which can hopefully be beaten as we officially announce him as a player. The “Cristiano Effect” is certainly underway,” Speakman commented.