Ronaldo has Real in raptures

06 July 2009 08:01
Cristiano Ronaldo fulfilled a "childhood dream" on Monday night as he was unveiled as a Real Madrid player in front of a packed Santiago Bernabeu stadium. The Portuguese forward, who has been handed the number nine jersey, was greeted by Alfredo di Stefano - considered the greatest player to have worn that particular shirt - Eusebio and Florentino Perez, the club president whose re-election prompted Ronaldo's £80million signing from Manchester United. "I am just so happy to be here," he said to a rapturous reception from the gathered thousands. "For me, I have made my childhood dream a reality, which was nothing less than playing for Real Madrid." He added: "I didn't expect a jam-packed stadium - this is truly impressive." Perez claimed Monday night's events "might not have a precedent". "We are very satisfied to know that you made the firm decision to play for Real Madrid," Perez said. He told Ronaldo what to expect from his new adoring fans, adding: "They will ask of you the very best, but will also give you their all." Ronaldo is the third player to be unveiled by Madrid since Perez returned to the presidency at the start of June, following in the footsteps of Kaka and Raul Albiol. Monday night's attendance at the Bernabeu swamped the estimated 55,000 that watched Kaka's unveiling here last Tuesday, and is believed to be the biggest turn-out for a presentation since a reported 75,000 saw the arrival of Diego Maradona at Napoli from Barcelona in 1984. Earlier on Monday Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, successfully completed his medical with Madrid after landing in the Spanish capital just after midday.

Source: Eurosport