Manchester United captain Harry Maguire says the club have added the ‘greatest player to play the game’ to their squad by completing an ‘amazing’ deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo this summer.
In an extraordinary turn of events last Friday, Ronaldo, 36, had looked set to damage his Old Trafford legacy by securing a move from Juventus to United’s bitter rivals Manchester City.
But Ronaldo had a change of heart, thanks in part to the intervention of Sir Alex Ferguson, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner went on to rejoin the Red Devils, 12 years after bringing an end to his first spell at the Theatre of Dreams.
Ronaldo has put pen to paper on a two-year contract back in the north west and the Portuguese’s new skipper, Maguire, is confident he will make a ‘huge’ impression both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
‘It’s amazing,’ the defender told reporters at a press conference ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier with Hungary.
‘Obviously, I’m away with England at the moment so my focus is on the game tomorrow.
‘But for him to sign back for the club… for me, he’s the greatest player to play the game so it’s amazing to have him at the club and I’m sure he’s going to have a huge impact on and off the field and many players can look, learn and improve.
‘Obviously, he’s going to improve our team as well with his goalscoring record so it’s amazing to have him at the club.
‘I’m looking forward to meeting him in a few days.’
Ronaldo will become the highest paid player in Premier League football at United, with the iconic attacker reportedly set to earn a staggering £480,000-a-week over the next two years.
The Red Devils are yet to confirm what number Ronaldo will wear this season, with Edinson Cavani currently occupying his favoured No.7 shirt.
The veteran ex-Real Madrid and Juve forward can become the all-time top scorer in international football with a goal In Portugal’s World Cup qualifier with the Republic of Ireland this evening.
Ronaldo is currently tied with Iran’s Ali Daei’s on 109 goals, a tally he has managed in 179 games.
Speaking to MUTV earlier this week, Ronaldo revealed that legendary ex-United manager, Ferguson, who first lured him to United from Sporting back in 2003, was the ‘main key’ behind his return this summer.
‘As everybody knows, since I signed for Manchester [United] at 18, Sir Alex Ferguson was the key,’ he explained.
‘I remember when we played against Manchester when I was at Sporting Lisbon. For me, Sir Alex Ferguson is like a father in football for me.
‘He helped me a lot, he taught me many things, and in my opinion of course he had a big role because the relationship that we had, we keep in touch all the time, and he’s an unbelievable person.
‘I really like him a lot and he was the main key for me to be in the position that I am, that I signed for Manchester United.’