Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that "nothing is perfect at any club" but says he is delighted to have signed a new Madrid contract reinforcing his status as the highest earning player in world football.
The morning after the long awaited announcement the Spanish media were divided over how much Ronaldo will now earn. AS and El Pais claimed the new deal was worth €21 million a year after tax -- meaning with taxes and extra charges Madrid are outlaying €40 million per annum to keep him. Marca and Mundo Deportivo went with 'just' €17 million [net] annually.
Either way, Ronaldo is likely now the world’s best paid player, even if it is broadly accepted that €101 million man Gareth Bale has taken over as the planet’s most expensive.
Speaking to TV station RTP in his home country the Portugal captain recalled that the 'most expensive in history' status had been a challenge to overcome when he arrived at Madrid for €94 million from Manchester United in 2009.
"Nothing is perfect at any club," Ronaldo said. "I arrived at Madrid as the world’s most expensive player of all time and the pressure was huge. I had to show Real Madrid that the price they paid for me was justified."
Cristiano admitted that there had been ups and downs since then in his relationship with Madrid president Florentino Perez, but said the pair were now both delighted a new deal had been agreed after more than a year of negotiations between Perez and agent Jorge Mendes.
"I have never had big problems with my president, although it is obvious that many times we were not agreed on many things, but that is part of life," Ronaldo said. "We talked at the end of the season and I knew that sooner or later we were going to reach an agreement. We are happy."
Florentino himself gave no hint of any past or present issues between the pair when smiling for the cameras at Sunday’s signing ceremony at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
"Cristiano Ronaldo will remain a Real Madrid player for the next five years," Perez said. "That is what the followers all over the world had been calling for and asking for. With his total commitment, constant sacrifice, the demands he makes of himself, and his talent, Cristiano has won the heart of the madridistas.
"Cristiano Ronaldo, just like Madrid, is always ready for new challenges. You have a lot more goals left to score, and many successes and trophies to celebrate to make Madrid even bigger."
The Blancos chief put his side’s current galactico alongside the greatest players from the club’s history.
"Santiago Bernabeu taught us that at this club must be the best players and with Cristiano we have the best," Perez said. "I was a witness recently when Alfredo Di Stefano spoke with pride with Cristiano and told him: take free kicks like I used to take them. Cristiano is never going to give up nor does he know any limits. Today is a magnificent day for Real Madrid. The best player in the world knows this is home for ever. What he most wanted, and also where he is most wanted. Cristiano will be a madridista for ever. Congratulations, Cristiano."
Ronaldo’s young Madrid team-mate Alvaro Morata also welcomed the news, as he picked up an ‘Excellence in Sport award’ in Madrid on Sunday night.
"It is good news that Ronaldo has renewed his contract, for madridismo and for the squad," Morata told AS. "He is the best player in the world, and must play at the best team in the world."