Ronaldo: I considered Manchester United return

The Portuguese spent six years at Old Trafford but wants to stay in the Spanish capital to win trophies, despite Rio Ferdinand’s efforts to persuade him to re-join the Red Devils

Cristiano Ronaldo says he considered returning to Manchester United after Rio Ferdinand tried to lure him back to Old Trafford during the summer.

Ferdinand had already revealed that he was constantly on the phone to the Portuguese about moving back to Old Trafford before he penned a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo ended Lionel Messi’s four-year domination of the Ballon d’Or on Monday and confirmed afterwards that he had given serious thought to the prospect of re-joining the Red Devils after discussions with Ferdinand.

“I did think about United,” he told reporters. “They are still in my heart. It’s a club where I played for six years and I love that club. I have a lot of friends there and I wish them the best.

“It was true that Rio spoke to me a lot. Rio is a great friend of mine, we played many years together at Manchester United and we were neighbours when I was there in Manchester. He’s a fantastic guy and tried to change my mind.”

Ronaldo first won the Ballon d’Or while at United in 2008 after he helped the Red Devils win the Champions League, and is now focusing on leading Madrid and Portugal to further glory.

“I’m going to try to do my best to win trophies with Madrid and my country,” he continued.

“This season is a challenge for me. Last year was amazing. It was very intense. I scored so many goals, 69 for Real Madrid and helped my national team to go through to the World Cup.

“This gives me motivation to work more and be better for the future. It means a lot to me that I won it after Eusebio’s passing.

“I dedicate this award to him and to my team-mates. It is for Eusebio, my team-mates, all those people who like me. It was a special night and of course Eusebio passed away but he was watching from the skies to see this great moment for a Portuguese player.”

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