I’m here to stay for £31m – cRApril 15, 2007
Cristiano Ronaldo last night warned the rest of Europe that he is only going to get better after signing a new five-year contract with Manchester United worth a staggering £6.2million a year.The 22-year-old winger completed the deal yesterday to give him a new weekly wage of £119,000 which outstrips that of Rio Ferdinand who was the club’s highest earner.
The lucrative deal is also designed to keep him from the clutches of Real Madrid.
United manager Ferguson took a swipe at Madrid for trying to lure his star player to Spain and confessed he was momentarily worried about whether Ronaldo would stay.
But Ronaldo said: “Everything is sorted and I’m happy here. I never wanted to leave. I have good friends and colleagues here and everybody has helped me so much since I came here when I was 18.
“I want to win trophies at this club and I think that is what will happen. I’ve improved a lot since I’ve been in Manchester and I think that will continue. I will improve more.”
Ferguson was last night continuing efforts to take midfielder Owen Hargreaves to Old Trafford and it is understood the Bayern Munich star’s signature could be the next good news to be revealed by the club.
Bayern’s exit from the Champions League this week has speeded up the deal and it is now thought that Hargreaves could be a United player as soon as the season is over.
Ferguson said: “The Spanish clubs kept talking about Cristiano as they don’t care about United or anybody else. They just care about themselves.
“When that happens constantly you do worry about the substance of it. But you know deep down it’s a game they play over there.
“It’s no use complaining to UEFA as nothing much would be done.”
Asked if Ronaldo could one day be spoken of in the same breath as world greats Pele and Maradona, Ferguson did not dismiss the notion.
“I think Cristiano is the best player in the world,” he said. “He has the skills of those players.
“Whether he will be remembered like those players is the challenge for him now.”
United face Watford in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park today, with 2,000 Watford seats unsold.
Ferguson said: “There’s something wrong in the game when we get fewer seats than Watford.
“Our fans will be disappointed with that and I find it surprising.”