Cristiano Ronaldo agrees new five year deal at Real Madrid
(CNN) — Cristiano Ronaldo pledged his future to Real Madrid as he signed a new five-year deal Sunday which ties him to the Spanish giants until 2018.
The Portuguese international will reportedly become the highest paid footballer in the world but the club did not give details in making the official announcement.
Ronaldo, who had been linked with a return to the English Premier League with his former club Manchester United, revealed a verbal agreement had been in place with Real Madrid since the end of last season.
“It’s a very special day for me,” he said.
“For me it’s as if today were my first day here. I’m always going to give my best for this shirt. I hope that I’m here until I retire. This is a great club.”
With Ronaldo’s current contract set to run out in 2015, the renewed deal is a considerable coup for Real president Florentino Perez.
“Today is a magnificent day for Real Madrid,” he said.
“The best player in the world knows that this is his home forever. A home that demands the most of him, but also loves him the most.”
The 28-year-old Ronaldo signed for Real from Manchester United in 2009 for a then world record fee of $130,000.
He has justified the fee with an incredible scoring rate of a goal per game for Los Blancos, helping them to the La Liga title in the 2011/12 campaign.
Last season saw Barcelona reclaim the Spanish title and Real Madrid were disappointingly knocked out in the semifinal of the Champions League by Borussia Dortmund.
It led to speculation that he may be on the move, but under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, Real have made an unbeaten start to the current season.
Ronaldo has been joined at Real by Gareth Bale, whose transfer from Tottenham Hotspur broke the record fee paid for his new teammate.
The pair played together for the first time Saturday, with Bale scoring Real’s equalizer at Villarreal before Ronaldo put them 2-1 ahead.
The home side equalized in a 2-2 draw to take some of the gloss off Bale’s much trumpeted debut, but Real fans will take comfort in Ronaldo’s renewed commitment.
“For me it’s as if today were my first day here. I’m always going to give my best for this shirt,” he said.