Ronaldo: I don't care what happens at Real
Cristiano Ronaldo has dropped the clearest hint yet that he intends to reject a summer move to Real Madrid by insisting he "only cares what happens next season at Manchester United".
The annual speculation surrounding the 24-year-old's future has started up again, with plenty of pundits claiming a deal has already been done that will see him move to the Bernabeu Stadium in the upcoming transfer window.
United have always rejected talk of any secret pre-contract Madrid deal, with Sir Alex Ferguson famously declaring: "I wouldn't sell them a virus" during his side's successful Club World Cup quest in Japan last December.
But if Florentino Perez wins the Madrid presidential elections as expected he is likely to make signing the world player of the year his number one priority. Ronaldo acknowledges that the architect of the Real's previous galactico era could build another great team, but insists he won't be part of it.
"I am sure Perez would create an incredible team at Madrid but at the moment I am at United and I don't care about what happens there," he told Atena 3. "I only care about what will happen next season at Manchester United."
Ronaldo added that all his attention is fully focused on Wednesday's clash with Barcelona in Rome. "At the moment I am only thinking about the Champions League final independently of what will happen to me or my team-mates next season."
Ronaldo's assessment will be welcomed by all Red Devils supporters, who have watched the Portugal star return to top form at the back end of the season, scoring stunning goals at FC Porto and Arsenal to guide United towards becoming the first club to retain the European Cup since it was rebranded as the Champions League in 1992.
Ronaldo admits it will be tricky to keep their crown. "It will be very difficult to do it again, because Barcelona have a good team, great players and a great coach," he said.
"The two teams are very good, they play very well and they have dream squads."
Both teams have had great seasons. Barcelona are on course for the treble while United are looking to add to the World Club Championship, Carling Cup and Premier League trophies they have already lifted this season.
Ronaldo is relishing the clash but insists it should not be billed as a personal duel between him and Barca star Lionel Messi.
"It's a battle of teams," he said. "Without my team I won't win and neither will Messi without his team-mates.
"It's clear that we are the two best teams in Europe. Not only because we are in the final but also because of the football we have played this season and for the trophies we have won.
"It will be the match every fan dreamed about."