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Ronaldo: I'm staying at Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo last night confirmed that he will be staying at Manchester United next season ending months of speculation over his future. Speaking to the Portuguese paper Publico, the 23-year-old said that he wanted to join Real Madrid to be closer to his family as well as taking on a new challenge after doing the domestic and European double with United last year.

The Portugal international, however, said that he is now totally committed to the Champions League winners and wants to help the club defend its European title. "I can confirm that I'll be playing for Manchester United next season. I'll be playing with my heart and soul and I will fight and honour the shirt with the same desire and dedication as I always have."

Speaking candidly, Ronaldo said that he felt that he had won everything possible with United in his five years at the club and that the time was right for a new challenge at Real Madrid. It remains to be seen, however, how United fans will react to the player's about turn.

Addressing the United faithful directly C-Ron launched a heartfelt defence: "The fans have got to understand, it's very difficult when a young boy is tempted by all this money. Particularly a young lad from Madeira; his father died as a young man so he looks after his mother, sister and brother. But he has always been happy here. We can put this to bed now."

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