Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed he decided to leave Manchester United last summer as he prepares to fulfil his dream of playing for Real Madrid.
The Portuguese winger is finalising a world record move to Real after Premier League champions United accepted a staggering £80million offer.
Ronaldo was courted by Real 12 months ago, but was persuaded to spend one more season at Old Trafford during which he was crowned European and World Footballer of the Year, and won a third domestic title in a row.
However, the 24-year-old concedes that, after beating Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final in May 2008, he had set his heart on joining Real.
Having won every honour with United, Ronaldo felt it was time for a fresh challenge and he is looking forward to the chance to pull on a Real shirt.
"After we won the European Cup I thought there is no more I can achieve here," Ronaldo told the News of the World.
"And when you have done all you can, you know it is time for a new challenge.
"I stayed one more season and it was nice to make it three titles in a row, but it was my dream to play for Madrid."
The former Sporting Lisbon youngster also insists his decision to join Real is not motivated by money, but a desire to be the 'greatest'.
He added: "Of course, I have not gone for the money.
"To go down as the greatest. It will take lots of work, but that is my target. If you go down as the greatest at Madrid it means you are one of the greatest of all time."
Ronaldo also reflected on his role in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final between Portugal and England when he was caught winking after United striker Wayne Rooney
had been sent off.
"Sometimes you do things because emotions are running high, but Wayne is my good friend," said Ronaldo. "I can't regret it because I think the whole experience made me stronger.
"But looking back it was not the right thing to do and not something I would do any more."