Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo during the press conference to announce the signing of his new contract with Real MadridReuters

In a blow for Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo signed a new five-year contract with Real Madrid, which will keep him at the club at until 2018.

United were reportedly extremely keen on bringing back their former player and were hoping to conclude a deal possibly next summer, or even the one after that when Ronaldo's previous contract would have expired.

However, the Portuguese, who sent nervous butterflies fluttering amongst the stomachs of Real fans when he said he was "sad" last year, has decided to commit his future to the Spanish giants, saying he would like to retire at the Bernabeu.

"It's a very special day for me," Ronaldo said. "I want to thank my teammates, the coach, and, above all, the president.

"This contract makes me really happy and it's a privilege to continue in this house. It's given me a lot. For me it's as if today were my first day here. I'm always going to give my best for this shirt.

"I hope that I'm here until I retire. This is a great club."

There were doubts creeping that Gareth Bale was brought in from Tottenham for a world record fee as a potential long-term replacement for Ronaldo, and that the current top dog would be slowly eased out in the next couple of seasons.

However, that doubt has proved to be ridiculous following Ronaldo's decision to, at the very least, complete the prime of his career with Real Madrid.

"This is a great day for the club," Real president Florentino Perez said. "We've made the dream of all madridistas come true. Cristiano is and will eternally be madridista."

The new contract, which is reportedly worth €17 million  (£14.25 million) a year, makes Ronaldo one of the highest paid players in the world and the Portuguese superstar also makes a million a year more than his great rival Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

"That's not the most important thing," Ronaldo said when asked about the terms of his new contract. "Money is important but it was never a priority. I don't care if I'm the first or the third (highest paid player). I just feel fine."

Ronaldo also seemingly poured ice-cold water over a possible future switch to his old club United. "Manchester is the past," he added. "Now this is my home."