Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that he doesn’t see Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Manchester United in the future.
Despite Ronaldo’s admission that he was “unhappy” earlier this season, Ferguson believes that he will stay in the Spanish capital and sign a new contract.
Speaking to Manchester United’s official website, he said: “Everyone goes on about that but I don’t see it.
“He’s got two-and-a-half years left on his contract and to try and buy that at the moment, you’d be talking about hundreds of millions. It rules out everyone, including Barcelona. I think Madrid are trying hard to get him to a new contract and I think that’s happening.
“The glare of publicity he gets in Madrid is different to here. The players here, I think, are quite well protected – especially in the training sessions. There are cameras everywhere at Madrid as everyone knows. I think he will miss a lot of things here [at United] but that’s not stopped him progressing as a footballer. His progress has been brilliant.”
It is going to be strange when both sets of fans sing “Viva Ronaldo” together on Wednesday night at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo is, and rightly so, adored by United and Madrid supporters alike.
Every United fan would like to see Ronaldo return to Manchester. He came to Old Trafford with a greasy haircut and a chip on his shoulder – he left as the best player on the planet.
Ferguson said he always knew that Ronaldo would turn out like he has and that his importance to the Real Madrid side is of no surprise.
“Ronaldo’s form, I have to say, is pivotal to everything Real Madrid do,” he continued.
“His goal tally – 179 goals in 178 games – tells its own story. I think I will have to bring a bit of blackmail to it and tell the true story of him!
“He’s a fantastic player and I knew he would do well and improve tremendously in Madrid. He was still youngish when he left us and it was obvious he was going to be a top player in the world, no doubt about that.
“When he first came, he was a boy who wanted to display all his tricks and technical abilities but, bit by bit, he overcame all the little flaws in his game because he’s an absolutely rounded player.
“His last game of his last season for us… well in almost every one, he created five chances, sometimes more, by himself. He was unbelievable.”
Can Manchester United keep Ronaldo from scoring on Wednesday? It’s certainly going to be no easy task given his goal scoring exploits but if Rafael and Evra can stifle him, United will surely be favourites to proceed to the quarter finals of the Champions League.