sport

Ronaldo sees United future

Cristiano Ronaldo is 'happy' at Real Madrid but admits that returning to Manchester United is part of his plans for the future.

The current holder of the prestigious Ballon d'Or is tied to a long-term contract at Santiago Bernabeu and has every intention of honouring that agreement.

Talk of a second spell at Old Trafford refuses to go away, though, with Ronaldo's profile having rocketed during six successful years in England between 2003 and 2009.

That stint delivered eight major trophies, including three Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League crown.

Ronaldo has never sought to hide his affection for United since packing his bags for Spain and maintains that an emotional homecoming is a distinct possibility.

The 29-year-old forward told the Daily Mail: "I love Manchester; everyone knows that - I have said it many times. Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day.

"I am happy here in Real Madrid and have four more years, but in the future you never know because they treated me unbelievably there.

"I really did love being at Manchester United.

"Believe me, they will be a good team again. I'm sure of it. It is a great club."

United have endured their struggles of late, with Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement having left a gaping hole at the heart of the club that is yet to be suitably filled.

Ronaldo is, however, convinced that better times lie ahead, with new boss Louis van Gaal having spent big over the summer to bring exciting match-winning talent to the Theatre of Dreams.

"This can happen. Bad moments and good moments," said Ronaldo.

"Manchester is passing through a bad moment. Last year it was a horrible season and this year they haven't started well either.

"But I do think they did well to buy (Angel) Di Maria and (Radamel) Falcao. I think the team will be much better. I want to see them better because it is such a fantastic club and they deserve to be better.

"Falcao is a very good signing. He is a very good player."