Man Utd announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday; Premier League club will pay €15m (£12.9m) plus a further €8m (£6.9m) in add-ons for the Portugal captain, who completed a medical in Lisbon over the weekend
Tuesday 31 August 2021 22:59, UK
Cristiano Ronaldo has re-signed for Manchester United on a two-year contract with the option to extend for a further year.
United announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus for the 36-year-old forward to return to Old Trafford on Friday.
The Premier League club will pay €15m (£12.9m) plus a further €8m (£6.9m) in add-ons for the Portugal captain, who completed a medical in Lisbon over the weekend.
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games for United between 2003 and 2009, winning three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the FA Cup and two League Cups.
"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.
"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."
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who played with Ronaldo during his previous spell at United, added: "You run out of words to describe Cristiano.
"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."
"Everyone who knows me, knows about my never ending love for Manchester United," Ronaldo said on Instagram. "The years I spent in this club were absolutely amazing and the path we've made together is written in gold letters in the history of this great and amazing institution.
"I can't even start to explain my feelings right now, as I see my return to Old Trafford announced worldwide. It's like a dream come true, after all the times that I went back to play against Man. United, and even as an opponent, to have always felt such love and respect from the supporters in the stands. This is absolutely 100 per cent the stuff that dreams are made of!
"My first domestic League, my first Cup, my first call to the Portuguese National team, my first Champions League, my first Golden Boot and my first Ballon d'Or, they were all born from this special connection between me and the Red Devils. History has been written in the past and history will be written once again! You have my word!
"I'm right here! I'm back where I belong! Let's make it happen once again!
"PS - Sir Alex, this one is for you…"
I'm right here! I'm back where I belong! Let's make it happen once again! PS - Sir Alex, this one is for you…
The Essential Football Podcast takes a deep dive into Ronaldo's return to Manchester United - what must Solskjaer be wary of to make his return a success?
Sky Sports' Nick Wright:
Ronaldo is undoubtedly a different player from the one who left Old Trafford more than a decade ago but even at 36 years old, he remains an exceptional goalscorer.
His output is no longer at the extraordinary heights of his peak years at Real Madrid, where he regularly surpassed the 50-goal mark, but he leaves Juventus having netted 101 times in 134 games for the Italian giants at an average of nearly 34 per season.
Ronaldo was unable to prevent them from slumping to a fourth-place finish last season but there was a Coppa Italia triumph to add to the back-to-back Serie A titles he won in the previous two campaigns and he was no less prolific in front of goal.
In fact, his total of 29 Serie A goals put him five clear of anyone else in the division. Across Europe's major leagues, only two players - Lionel Messi (30) and Robert Lewandowski (41) - scored more.
Ronaldo followed up those domestic scoring exploits with a five-goal haul for Portugal at Euro 2020, eclipsing Miroslav Klose as the top-scoring player at World Cups and European Championships and equalling the all-time international scoring record on 109 goals.
Age has not blunted his goalscoring instincts. In fact, he has scored more times in the last three seasons in Italy than he did in the final three of his first stint with Manchester United.
He remains remarkably robust for a player of his age too. Across his three full seasons in Turin, Ronaldo featured in 85 per cent of Juventus' Serie A fixtures and an even higher percentage of their Champions League games.
The numbers will encourage Solskjaer and United that he has plenty left to offer. Ronaldo turns 37 in February but he remains one of the world's best players. And crucially, for a side which needs more of them, he still brings a guarantee of goals too.