Madrid, Sep 15 (IANS) Real Madrid confirmed Sunday that they have reached an agreement with striker Cristiano Ronaldo to extend his contract for a further three years until 2018.
The club confirmed the agreement, which was reached a few weeks ago, in a packed press conference at the club`s Santiago Bernabeu stadium here Sunday lunchtime, reports Xinhua.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who presented the ceremony said the player had Real Madrid in his heart and that his intention had always been to stay at the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo commented that he and Perez had reached a verbal agreement on the new contract at the end of last season and that it had never entered his head to leave the club.
"The president gave me his word at the end of last season and I gave my word to him. It is something I always wanted to happen and the president as well. Also the fans want it to happen and it was for them that I decided to carry on," he said.
The striker was thought to have negotiated a possible return to Manchester United over the summer, but denied that he had considered leaving Real Madrid.
"It never entered my head to leave Madrid, because I feel very happy here. The people treat me well and that is important," added Ronaldo.
Ronaldo`s previous deal had been due to expire in 2015, meaning that had Madrid not moved to renew their agreement they could have been forced to sell him at a reduced price next summer or run the risk of seeing him leave on a free transfer at the end of the following season.
The Portuguese international joined Madrid on what had been a world record deal worth 96 million euros in the summer of 2009 from Manchester United and has scored 203 in 203 games for the club since then, The last of those goals came in Madrid`s 2-2 draw away to Villarreal Saturday night.
"I hope to score another 200 goals in the coming years. I am very ambitious and I don`t put any limits on myself," he said.
The club has now assured the services of the two most expensive players in the world: Gareth Bale and Ronaldo, for the next five years.
Although Real Madrid have yet to release details of the contract, it is thought he will remain at Real Madrid until 2018 and will become the highest paid player in the world with net earnings of around 18 million euros a year, which after tax will cost his club around twice that amount.
"It`s not important if I am the highest paid player or not: there are more important things in life than money," said Ronaldo.