A packed Bernabéu welcomes Cristiano Ronaldo | inside World Soccer


A packed Bernabéu welcomes Cristiano Ronaldo

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A staggering 80,000 fans crammed into the Bernabéu last night to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo following his world-record £80 million switch from Manchester United.

Monday night's attendance at the Bernabéu eclipsed the 50,000 that turned up to welcome Brazilian Kaká there last week, and is believed to be the biggest turn-out for a presentation since a reported 75,000 saw the arrival of Diego Maradona at Napoli from Barcelona 25 years ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo enters the Bernabeu in front of a reported 80,000 fans
Cristiano Ronaldo enters the Bernabeu in front of a reported 80,000 fans
Photo: Reuters

Supporters, many equipped with food and drinks to ease a lengthy wait, had been queuing outside the Bernabéu for much of the day in order to get a seat to see Ronaldo.

In searing 37-degree heat they waited patiently in order to make sure they were allowed in.

Two hours before the start, the gates opened and the people flooded into the stands within half an hour.

At least 10,000 were estimated to have been locked out.

"I am just so happy to be here," Ronaldo said.

"For me, I have made my childhood dream a reality, which was nothing less than playing for Real Madrid.

"I didn't expect a jam-packed stadium - this is truly impressive. Thank you very much."

Watch Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid presentation



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