Cristiano Ronaldo has described his impending world record 80 million pounds move to Real Madrid as "historic" and is looking forward to starting a new stage of his career. Manchester United announced on Thursday they had accepted Real's staggering offer for the 24-year-old, who is currently on holiday in Los Angeles. While Florentino Perez has marked his return as Real president with the bid for the Portuguese winger and the signing of Brazilian Kaka from Milan, former president Ramon Calderon is now insisting he set up the Ronaldo deal six months ago. "I have had my time at Man United," Ronaldo, who only recently said he wanted to stay at the English Premier League champions, was quoted as saying in British media. "It's time to look forward and 80 million is quite a sum of money. This deal is historic." Calderon tried to lure Ronaldo away from Old Trafford a year ago but he opted to stay and try to win a third consecutive English title with United. However, Calderon said Ronaldo knew he would be joining Real Madrid for next season after striking a "gentleman's agreement" last December, shortly before Ronaldo was named FIFA's World Player of the Year. "Let's just say that everyone involved in the operation agreed to do it this season," Calderon said in The Sun. "That is what I can say. It has happened now, it was a bit early last season." VIRUS Calderon's claim that he masterminded the deal will take some of the shine off Perez, who took over on June 1 and paid almost 60 million pounds for Kaka. "Yes, I did it at the time," Calderon said. "That was the time to do it. I'm very proud. For me, it's an honour and a pleasure to be able to do that. "I don't mind that someone else is going to present him. That's not important. The important thing is Real Madrid. I think it's a fantastic signing for Real Madrid." Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson memorably said last season that he would not sell Real Madrid a "virus," making Calderon's claim all the more surprising. The club's chief executive, David Gill, denied any deal had been done with Calderon last season. "David has asked me to assure you that at no point until last night has there ever been an agreement of any sort between Real Madrid and Man United over anything to do with Cristiano Ronaldo," a club spokesman said. Ronaldo himself said he had only heard of the deal while in Los Angeles. "Now I can look forward to Real Madrid and a new stage in my career," he said. "I learned of the deal here in LA and heard from my people that United had accepted." Ronaldo also dispelled fears that a hernia injury could stop the deal going through. "I've been told that Madrid want to have a medical team look at me, as expected. I do not require surgery. The hernia is nothing to worry about."
12 June 2009
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