MADRID. Real Madrid have moved to tie Cristiano Ronaldo to the club until the end of the 2017-18 season by agreeing a three-year contract extension with the prolific Portugal forward.
The announcement of the deal on Sunday ended speculation about a possible return to Manchester United in 2015 when his previous deal expired.
Ronaldo left the English Premier League club in 2009 to join Real for what was then a world-record fee of 94 million euros ($125 million).
Big-spending Real president Florentino Perez and the 28-year-old Ronaldo signed the new contract at the club’s Bernabeu stadium and appeared before the media at a glitzy ceremony on the giant arena’s VIP tribune.
Neither Ronaldo, who said 2018 could mark the end of his career, nor Perez provided details about his salary, but Spanish media reported that his net annual wage would rise to 17 million euros, making him one of the world’s best-paid players.
Ronaldo’s renewed commitment to Real is excellent news for the nine-times European champions and comes two days before they begin their latest bid for the 10th continental crown that has eluded them since 2002.
Ronaldo will likely line up alongside record signing Gareth Bale, who eclipsed the Portuguese as the most valuable player in soccer when he joined from Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of 100 million euros this month, in Tuesday’s Champions League Group B opener at Galatasaray.
Wales winger Bale scored on his Real debut in Saturday’s 2-2 La Liga draw at Villarreal, while Ronaldo netted his 203rd goal in his 203rd official game for the Spanish giants.