Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he will never forget his time at Manchester United but gave no indication that he is considering a future return to Old Trafford.
He eventually made the move to Real Madrid in 2009, however, and has gone on to collect three more Ballon d'Ors, as well as claiming numerous trophies with the Spanish club.
And, in a Nike Football interview with former team-mate Rio Ferdinand, Ronaldo insists he has fond memories of his time at United but says that he always planned to head to Spain to prove his world-class ability.
He said: "I will never forget the Red Devils. I learnt to be better and better, being around the best players in the world. If you make the two things [go together], talent and work hard, you can be a huge player. And I think I'm in that role.
"When I landed here in Madrid I started to feel the atmosphere, I thought it was a game that day because all these people came just to see me. It was a great surprise. It was an unbelievable day, I was so proud.
"I feel inside what the people live for in the football here in Spain, they love it. It was a great day. I just thought in my mind 'I want to go there, to show my level, to show that I'm a different player' and this is what I did.
"I had a fantastic first season, second season and I improved every season. It was a great experience."
Ronaldo was also asked where he sees himself in 10 years' time, and joked that he may follow Ferdinand's route into boxing.
He added: "Ten years? No, in 10 years it will be tough [to win more Ballon d'Ors]. Maybe I will be a boxer like you! The most important thing is to win trophies.
"We work 10, 11 months and if you win nothing you feel empty and I like to win trophies - as a collective and as an individual, because I work hard for that.
"Outside the pitch, it's to have my family and my friends and to try be the most happy person in the world."
Ronaldo has endured a frustrating start to the 2017-18 campaign and has failed to score in La Liga up to now, with the Portuguese having been suspended for his side's first four league games of the season.