Soccer

Ronaldo seems resigned to staying with Man U

Cristiano Ronaldo has told a Portuguese newspaper he will continue to play for Manchester United, though he still wants to join Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo has pledged to stay with Manchester United for at least the coming season, but still wants to join Real Madrid, according to a Portuguese newspaper interview published Wednesday.

The Portugese winger was quoted as telling Publico that he believed the Spanish champion submitted a "very high bid" after he expressed a desire to join them.

"For some time, what I wanted was for Manchester to have agreed to my transfer to Madrid," Ronaldo said. "Saying otherwise would be fooling myself and others."

But manager Alex Ferguson convinced him to stay at Old Trafford next season when the pair met in Lisbon last month.

The 23-year-old Ronaldo is contracted to United for almost four more years and Ferguson has been steadfast in refusing to sell the player who amassed 42 goals last season.

"Ferguson listened to my arguments, I listened to his and we agreed that it would be best for both parties for me to continue," Ronaldo said.

"I can affirm that I will play for Manchester during the next season."

Ronaldo said he will display full commitment to United's cause next season after spearheading its Champions League and Premier League triumphs in May.

"Before there are rumours and speculation that I will be upset, I want to make one thing clear: anyone who says or writes such a thing will be lying," he said.

"I will be playing for Manchester with all my heart and soul. I will fight for and honour my jersey with the same dedication I have always shown."

Ronaldo apologized for sparking the rift between United and Madrid, saying he was "the main culprit for all this controversy."

United complained to FIFA about the Spanish club's persistent attempts to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from Manchester United.

Soccer's governing body said no regulations had been broken, but Madrid was warned of potential legal consequences of inducing a player to breach his contract without just cause.

"They cannot be blamed because it was I who publicly expressed my desire to go to Real Madrid," Ronaldo said. "And without wanting to I ended up being responsible for the friction between the two clubs."