Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United after more than a decade after moving from Italian club Juventus.
United paid € 15 million (£ 12.85 million) – and a possible € 8 million (£ 6.85 million) in allowances – for the 36-year-old.
Ronaldo has signed a two-year contract with the club from Old Trafford, with the possibility of an extension for another year.
“Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart,” the Portuguese superstar said.
“I was overwhelmed by all the messages I received from [initial] announcement on Friday. “
Five-time Golden Ball winner Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances in his first appearance at United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009, and was also the top scorer last season in Serie A with 29.
He added: “I can’t wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again.
“I’m looking forward to joining the team after the international games and I hope we have a very successful season ahead of us.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “You are running out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only an outstanding player, but also a great human being.
“To have the desire and ability to play at a top level for such a long period, you need a special person.
“I have no doubt that he will continue to impress us all, and his experience will be vital for the younger players in the squad.
“Ronaldo’s return shows the unique appeal of this club and I am absolutely delighted to be returning home to where it all began.”
Ronaldo was linked with Manchester City but decided to return to United, where he spent six years and won three Premier League titles, one Champions League, two League Cups and one FA Cup – as well as the FIFA Club World Cup and Community Shield – under the command of Sir Alex Ferguson.
He is believed to have spoken to Ferguson before returning to United.
Ronaldo could be available for Solskjaer for United’s home game against Newcastle United on September 11, the club’s first game since the international break.
Ronaldo wore shirt number seven in his first stay at United, but this is currently held by Edinson Cavani, and even if the Uruguay striker was willing to hand over the shirt number, Premier League rules prevent substitution between seasons, except in the most extreme circumstances.
How did this move come about?
On August 17, Ronaldo, who has been linked with Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain and Manchester City during the summer, criticized media articles linking him to leaving Juventus.
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti said he “never thought about signing” the attacker That was said by Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri the player “never expressed a desire to leave” and “stayed” on the side of Serie A.
Allegri then left Ronaldo out of the starting lineup and brought him in as a replacement to open his league against Udinese before Juventus told the player that he was willing to sell it.
Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has spoken to several major European clubs about his potential signing, including Manchester City and Paris St-Germain.
On Friday, Allegri discovered Ronaldo told Juventus that he “no longer intends” to play for the club, while United boss Solskjaer said his former team-mate at Old Trafford “knows we’re here”.
City boss Pep Guardiola said players like Ronaldo “decide where to play” before the Premier League champion, after careful consideration, decided not to make a deal for him.
In a dramatic transfer saga, United later announced that they had reached an agreement to sign Ronaldo on personal terms, a visa and a medical examination.
In a statement confirming his departure, Juventus described how “two icons of the European and football world merged” in 2018, but that after 101 goals in 133 games and five trophies, “the chapter came to an end”.
“Juventus fans have welcomed CR7 as king, eager to see him on the pitch and cheer with him,” the club added. “It was a great story.”
The Italian club said that they will receive money for Ronaldo for five years – until he is 41 years old.
In numbers: Why Ronaldo is one of the best in the world
- Five-time Golden Ball winner, who won the coveted award in 2008 (with Manchester United) and 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 (all with Real Madrid).
- Five-time Champions League winner in 2008 (with Man Utd), 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 (all with Real Madrid).
- He won seven league titles in three major leagues in 2007, 2008, 2009 (all with Man Utd), 2012 and 2017 (with Real Madrid) and 2019, 2020 (with Juventus).
- Winner of the European Championship with Portugal 2016
- Winner of 32 trophies for the club and the country with Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal.
- The best scorer of the Champions League of all time with 134 goals in 176 appearances.