New Delhi: Cristiano Ronaldo has recently bore the brunt of his fair share of criticism.
Following a show-stopping 2007-08 and the resulting summer speculation of a world record-breaking move to Real Madrid, the winger's reluctance to declare his intentions one way or another for weeks on end made him an unpopular figure among many a concerned Manchester United fan.
He eventually declared his desire to move to the Spanish champions, only to soon announce his intention to stay at Old Trafford, following a heart-to-heart with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
There was no chance of the Portuguese possibly replicating last season's superhuman achievements, and indeed, his less-than-incredible start to this campaign, somewhat affected by injury, has in fact drawn criticism. This is just as much due to the player's attitude as it is his performances, with petulant pouts and negative body language leading many to believe he is already regretting his summer U-turn and attempting to pave himself a way to Madrid this summer.
The man himself is prepared to let everybody draw their own conclusions. "There’s always speculation, not just about me, but about the future of players all around the world," he told MUTV. "People were speaking about me this summer but that was normal because of what I did during the season.
"What people are saying now [the recent speculation about an agreement with Real Madrid] is not true. Who says that is a liar because I am happy at the club, I want to stay here. I feel at home here. I feel very happy here."
He went on to reveal that he wasn't even nervous when coming back to play his first game for the club after that unforgettable summer. "I think the people don’t forget quickly what you do for the club," he explained. "When I arrived at the stadium, to play [my first game of this season] against Villarreal, I felt a little bit of pressure. But the fans were very good and this is why I feel the Manchester United supporters are amazing.
"I love the fans because they have been brilliant with me, not just this season but every season. Like I said before, I feel at home in Manchester."
The infamous meeting with Sir Alex that proved to be the turning point in keeping the 23-year-old at the club is something he won't be forgetting in a hurry. He said, "The boss is always important for me, not just last season but every season.
"I am at this club because of him. He saw me in a few games before I played against Manchester United - people think I came here just because I played [well] against United but it’s not true. He’s always helped me and I said to him, 'I want to be part of this club with you. I want to win trophies with you.' He’s very important in my career, Sir Alex Ferguson."