IT wasn't quite delivered with the infamous wink but it easily could have been.

Cristiano Ronaldo's parting shot at the hecklers who hounded his every prancing step in the Premier League.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Wayne Rooney can rule the world but I don't regret my wink - Click here for full story

Cristiano Ronaldo - click here for his United career in pictures

"My final message to your country? To all those who supported me, thank you. And to all those who hated me, thank you even more."

Those who supported him were dwindling day by day towards the end of his remarkable six-year stay in England.

But today, Ronaldo tries to explain why he has deserted the club and the manager who turned him into a global phenomenon.Not for the cash, he says. Not for a salary that could reach £500,000 a week. But for the dream.

The dream of wearing the white of Real Madrid - and the dream of becoming the game's GREATEST-EVER player.

He explained: "Of course, I have not gone for the money. It is a new challenge and a great honour to play for Madrid Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and they pay top wages, so it is nothing to do with money.

"The white shirt is a great honour and one I am looking forward to. It is, I think, every boy's dream to play for Real. I grew up watching them play with Zidane, Figo, Ronaldo and all the other greats and there is something about that white shirt that just attracts you. It was a great dream and, fortunately, one that is coming true."

And no-one will be surprised to learn that Ronaldo is facing up to his new challenge with a breathtaking degree of confidence.


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