Friday, April 13, 2007

Ronaldo signs new contract at Old Trafford

Cristiano Ronaldo insists Manchester United is the 'right' club for him.

Ronaldo has snubbed repeated overtures from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona to sign a multi-million pound five-year extension to his United contract. The deal, which will keep the 22-year-old at Old Trafford until 2012, has rocketed Ronaldo into the game's top earners, befitting his status as one of the most influential players on the planet. Born on the sunshine island of Madeira, it would have been no surprise if the climate and lifestyle in Spain had proved attractive to the former Sporting Lisbon star, particularly given the abuse heaped on him during the aftermath to last summer's World Cup. However, Ronaldo, who joined United for £12million as a raw teenager in 2003, insists he never had any intention of quitting Old Trafford and is happy to stay exactly where he is. 'I wanted to stay,' he told MUTV. 'I am at the right club and this is why I signed 'Everything is okay here. I am happy with my colleagues, my friends and my coaches. 'The supporters have also helped me very much and I am really happy here.' With an impressive 20 goals to his name this term, Ronaldo has been the major driving force behind United's Treble bid. He scored twice in the midweek Champions League rout of Roma and will tomorrow hope to guide the Red Devils into the FA Cup final at the expense of Premiership basement boys Watford. Yet, despite the host of accolades coming his way, the youngster admits he still has plenty of improving to do. 'I was only 18 when I came here but everyone at the club has helped me,' he said. 'I have learned a lot already but I still have more to learn and I just want to keep going. 'I want to win more trophies here and hopefully, I can do that this season.' 'It is fantastic news,' said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. 'It emphasises the point that Cristiano is happy here and that he is at the right club. 'He has a great relationship with the team, staff and the fans and he will go on to be one of Manchester United's great players.' As a winger of world-class proportions himself, team-mate Ryan Giggs has nothing but admiration for the way Ronaldo has performed this season. And the Welshman has no hesitation in backing those who claim the Portugal winger is the best player on the planet at present. 'I don't believe there is anyone who could rival him as being the best player in the world,' he said. 'For someone in his position, and of his age, to be as consistent as he has been, is remarkable. 'His performances have been brilliant. 'To secure his future for the next five years is great news for everyone.' Giggs has nothing but admiration for the way Ronaldo has emerged from the adverse reaction he received after the World Cup. 'Sometimes situations like that make you as a player,' he said. 'You have seen that many times, especially at this club. It can drive you on. 'It is all about individual characters and the determination within themselves. Cristiano has shown that this season. 'The booing seems to have stopped to a certain extent because people respect the way he plays the game and respect the ability he has.' Giggs does believe Ronaldo needs to maintain his current form for a few years before he can truly be bracketed with the all-time greats. But the 33-year-old is adamant his young team-mate can get better. 'Cristiano has improved as a player and he is still improving, that is the scary thing,' he said. 'He isn't bothered by the challenges that face him. 'He can definitely get better. The thing he has to do now, is do it over the next 10 years and be consistent. Then he will be up there with the greats.'


The Gaffer said...

You lot can leave him alone now... he is by far the best player in the world at the moment. I hope he can do it for several years to come. The problem is he is getting better. I wonder what his buy our price is set at... :-)