Spanish media still raving about £80m Manchester United raid half a decade ago

Ronaldo Strikes

Five years on and Real Madrid's purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United is being hailed.

This week marked the fifth anniversary of the date Manchester United accepted a £80 million offer from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Not only has the Portuguese international lived up to that world record fee at the time, he has exceeded all expectations, made it look like a bargain, and won the lot.

Ronaldo is now a two-time Champions League winner, and has La Liga and Copa del Rey medals in his collection too.

It is though the personal figures which are astounding, for he has a magical 253 goals in 246 games.

His scoring has the sort of goals per game ratio associated with a bygone era of the 1950s and 60s, when defenders were not as athletic as they are today and tactics not as fine-tuned.

Ronaldo's half-decade of success in Madrid has been touched upon glowingly by the Spanish press, with Marca hailing his transfer from Manchester United, dubbing him 'quite spectacular', and the deal as one which 'shocked the football world'.

"He has become a legend at the Santiago Bernabéu in just five short years, his impressive list of achievements more fitting to a lifetime in the club.

"He is already the fourth highest scorer in Real Madrid history, with the glittering podium ahead of him - Santillana, Di Stéfano and Raúl - seemingly doomed to fall one after another to the Portuguese player's insatiable quest for more."

It is easy to wonder albeit a little torturous for Manchester United fans, what position they might be in today had Ronaldo committed to Old Trafford for life.

Not only did he knock them out of the Champions League in 2012/13, he spurned talk of a potential return the following summer to sign a contract extension with Real to take him up until 2018.

Spurred on by his personal rivalry with Lionel Messi, Ronaldo's challenge to take him past the Barcelona man has turned him into a better player, culminating in winning his second Ballon d'Or this season.

The biggest challenge awaits this month with the World Cup. If Ronaldo is to become unequivocably one of the all-time greats, he can rubber-stamp it in Brazil with Portugal.

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