Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the favourite period of his career was when he was at Manchester United, describing it as “a dream”.
Ronaldo moved to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon as an 18-year-old and won nine trophies in his six years of playing under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Portugal captain then moved to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £80million in 2009 and is set to return to for the first time since then in the second leg of the clubs’ UEFA Champions League last 16 tie.
Ronaldo will be returning to a place he holds dear and feels he had the best years of his career.
“Yes Manchester was a very good cycle for me,” he said in an interview with The Sun.
“I won everything there. It was a fantastic part of my life there. And maybe it was the time I enjoyed my football the most because I was so young.
“To be at Manchester United — one of the biggest clubs in the world — at just 18! It was a dream!
“And to play alongside those players you had only seen before on television — maybe that’s why I feel I enjoyed it there the most.”
Before returning to Old Trafford, Ronaldo must navigate the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu where Jose Mourinho’s side will be hoping they can gain an advantage before they travel to England.
It is set to be a highly entertaining and finely-balanced clash, despite the two clubs experiencing differing fortunes in their respective leads.
Manchester United are currently 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League, while Real Madrid currently trail fierce rivals Barcelona by 16 points.
However, Mourinho saw his side thrash Sevilla 4-1 on Saturday night with Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick.
Despite admitting fondness for his time at Old Trafford, Ronaldo insisted it did not mean he was unhappy at Real Madrid.
“I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it here in Madrid — I do,” he added.
“But I’m older now, more mature. I’m not a dreamer any more like I was when I was young.
“I’m 28 now so I’m not at the beginning any more. I’m middle-aged!”