Cristiano Ronaldo has been given a final farewell from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - and immediately discovered the downside to fulfilling his childhood dream.
With a world record Â£80million fee banked by United and Ronaldo ready for a public unveiling at Real Madrid next week, Ferguson could only wish the Portuguese star well as he launches the new phase of his career. However, it has immediately become apparent life as a Real star might bring with it a few problems after an unwanted confrontation with a member of the paparazzi in Lisbon last weekend.
"He (the photographer) chased me by car from the Ritz Hotel with my mother in the car with me," Ronaldo told Gestifute, the agency that represents the player. "The chase so perturbed my mother that I had to stop and convince them to leave us."
It is reported that Ronaldo kicked the offending car, breaking the window which in turn caused minor injuries to a 17-year-old woman, who was travelling in the car.
Anyone who witnessed the extraordinary scenes when David Beckham had his medical at Real would realise such acts in Portugal or Spain are pretty common, where even a brief appearance in public can turn into a big event.
Not that such issues are United's concern now they have opted to cash in on the 24-year-old, who cost just Â£12million six seasons ago before going on to be voted FIFA's World Player of the Year for 2008.
"Cristiano has been a marvellous player for Manchester United," said Ferguson.
"His six years at Old Trafford have seen him develop into the best footballer in the world.
"His contribution has been a major factor in the club's success in that time and his talent, his ability to entertain and his infectious personality have enthralled fans the world over.
"Everyone here wishes him well in his future career."
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