Cristiano Ronaldo has ruled out a return to the Premier League this summer by insisting he will see out the remaining two years of his Real Madrid contract, despite claiming that "anxiety" is inescapable at the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo, who signed for Real in a world record 80million-pound transfer from Manchester United in June 2009, is set to face his former team for the first time since leaving Old Trafford when the two clubs meet in the Champions League next month.
With Ronaldo expressing his unhappiness in Madrid earlier this season, rumours of a return to United have been aired in Manchester, despite the obvious obstacles of a potential transfer fee and wages. But the 27 year-old insists he will honour his contract at Real and then decide his next move in 2015. "I want to see out my contract at Real Madrid," Ronaldo said. "I'm very clear about that. After that, well, I don't know what'll happen in the future.
"I think there's more pressure at Madrid than at United. I've been here for 31/2 years now and I think that's the case because everyone involved is totally focused on winning the club's 10th European Cup. That creates a certain amount of anxiety, which can be felt at all times.
"Every Madridista wants that 10th European Cup - we're more than aware of that. Last season we fell just short, which was very frustrating, but fortunately we've got the opportunity to set the record straight this year, though the fact we face Manchester United next makes it more difficult."
United go into next month's last 16 tie having failed to defeat Real over two legs since a European Cup semi-final victory in 1967-68. Real have won the two Champions League encounters since, but while Jose Mourinho's team have been installed as favourites to beat United and progress to the quarter-finals, Ronaldo insists that the tie is too close to call. "It's not going to be easy and I reckon the odds are about 50-50, but I'm still very confident," Ronaldo said to Fifa.com.
"No team is unbeatable, but when we're at our best we're a really good side. Manchester United have started the English championship race very well and are a long way ahead of the rest, but still, if we play the way we're capable of, we can beat them. To do that we need to pull together and play as a team, like we've done in so many matches before," he added.