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Cristiano Ronaldo officially completes return to Manchester United after 12 years away

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Cristiano Ronaldo has officially completed his return to Manchester United, putting pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Old Trafford club.

The forward will earn around £480,000 a week at United, making him the highest paid player in the Premier League, with his deal also containing a year’s option in United’s favour.

United have paid Juventus an initial £12.86million to re-sign Ronaldo, with a further £6.8million in add-ons.

The Portuguese heads back to Manchester 12 years after leaving United for what was then a world record £80million move to Real Madrid.

Having won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the Champions League at United, Ronaldo went on to lift the Champions League four times for Madrid, where he also won La Liga twice.

One of the most decorated players in football history, the 36-year-old also picked up two Serie A titles following his 2018 transfer to Juventus, while on the international stage he helped guide Portugal to victory at Euro 2016

Ronaldo has returned to United after 12 years away

Ronaldo has returned to United after 12 years away ( Image: PA)

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s emotional return to United comes after he had appeared set to join the club’s Premier League rivals Manchester City, who had moved to the front of the queue for Ronaldo’s services when they missed out on Harry Kane.

However, United’s persistence and the emotional pull of a return to Old Trafford proved too much for Ronaldo to resist, and the club announced that they had agreed a deal in principal to sign him on Friday.

“Cristiano, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has so far won over 30 major trophies during his career, including five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the European Championship for his native Portugal,” the club said in a statement.

“In his first spell for Manchester United, he scored 118 goals in 292 games.

“Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”

Ronaldo first joined United as an 18-year-old from Sporting Lisbon in 2003, and it was his formative years at the club which set him on the road to being considered as one of the greatest players of all time.

Several United figures have been involved in the efforts to bring Ronaldo back to the club, including the forward’s former Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson, his Portugal international teammate Bruno Fernandes and some of the club’s former players Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra.

Ronaldo informed Juventus of his desire to leave the Serie A side on Friday, before jetting from Madrid to Lisbon ahead of his international duty with Portugal.

He undertook his United medical in Lisbon, and is set for his second club debut against Newcastle United at Old Trafford on September 11.

Ronaldo’s former teammate Gary Neville has said that he believes the move will give the club the confidence to compete for the Premier League title this season.

“This is one of the most special players that has ever lived – forget Manchester United, it’s one of the greats of all time,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“I said the other day United should be in for Kane if he was available, or [Erling] Haaland, these types of players.

Ronaldo has picked up the Ballon d'Or award five times

Ronaldo has picked up the Ballon d’Or award five times ( Image: Getty Images)

“To get above Manchester City and Chelsea, they’re going to have to do something big, and this could give them a temporary shot in the arm to get them right up there this year.”

Former United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich agrees, telling the same channel: “I do think they were contenders at the start of the season…now Ronaldo is the icing on the cake.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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