The possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United is over after he signed a new contract at Real Madrid, which will keep him in Spain until 2018.
A sensational return to Old Trafford, where he spent six glorious years and is still held in high regard, was rumoured to be on the cards, especially after Real Madrid added fellow winger Gareth Bale to their ranks for a world-record £85m million fee.
However, Real president Florentino Perez has moved quickly to nail down Ronaldo’s future by making him, allegedly, the highest paid player in the world, eclipsing the deal Bale signed.
His new deal will make the 2008 World Player of the Year a cool £76m over the next five years with Perez keen to erase the damage done to Ronaldo’s ego after Bale became the new Madrid poster boy.
This new package will see Ronaldo, who can be backed at 7/2 to finish as the top scorer in the Champions League, earn nearly twice as much a year as the Welshman, which works out in the region of £15m every 12 months.
Ronaldo joined Real from United in 2009 for what was then the highest ever transfer fee of £80m and he has consistently delivered brilliance on a weekly basis, spearheading their charge to the La Liga title in the 2011-12 season.
His goal in Madrid’s latest 2-2 draw with Villarreal – a game where Bale marked his debut with a goal – was remarkably his 203rd goal in 203 appearances for Los Blancos.
One thing missing from Ronaldo’s Real Madrid CV is a Champions League success, which they can be backed at 5/1 to achieve this season.
They begin their European campaign on Tuesday, where they face a trip to Galatasaray in a repeat of last year’s quarter final.