Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a new contract with Real Madrid, saying he could stay at the club for the rest of his career.
Ronaldo and club president Florentino Perez appeared in the Royal Box at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon to announce the new five-year deal, with Real releasing a picture of the signing on their official Twitter account.
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) September 15, 2013
Marca reported that the 28-year-old’s contract means he will eclipse Barcelona star Lionel Messi as the highest earner in Spanish football, with a new salary of €17 million a year for the next five seasons. Messi is reported to earn a fixed €13 million plus an extra €3 million in incentives.
Ronaldo, who had two years remaining on his previous deal, had been linked with a move away from Madrid in the summer, with the likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain reported to have shown interest.
But speaking at the announcement of his new contract, he said: "I'm really happy here. I'll be here five more years, and I just want to win trophies for this club. I appreciate that the fans like me a lot. I'm happy, I want to give my best on the pitch.
"I will be honest with you -- everyone knows I was in Manchester for six years, but Manchester is in the past. Now my club is Real Madrid. This is my home, my family is here and I'm really happy here.
"I respect all the clubs who asked about me. But they always know that my decision, that my only goal, is to be here and to play at this club until maybe the end of my career. The future, nobody knows."
He said the agreement had been reached "at the end of the season -- I then gave my word to Real, and the chairman his word to me".
"In life, there are things more important than money,'' he responded when asked about what he would be earning. "It is important -- I am not going to lie -- but the project is to win things. I feel integrated into this project. The issue is not whether I'm the best paid in the world, the second or the third.''
Perez said he was delighted that the deal had been done, adding: "It's a great day for the club -- we have achieved the dream of all Madridistas. Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will remain forever.''
Portugal international Ronaldo scored for Madrid in their 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Saturday, with debutant Gareth Bale having netted the first.