AS says Ronaldo is still frustrated over the way he was snubbed for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards last year - as his agent, Jorge Mendes, admitted: "It is clear that if he was playing for Real Madrid, he would have won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player."

Ronaldo knows his hero, Luis Figo, wasn't recognised until he quit Barcelona for Real and fears the lack of recognition will continue unless he moves to Madrid.

For now, Real will stay on the sidelines - as illustrated by sports director Pedja Mijatovic's comments this morning that signing Ronaldo was an "impossible" task.

However, a summer bid for the Portuguese star is already being planned - with the cash raised from their tour of the USA and Mexico in the close-season to be put towards a world record offer for the United ace.