Ferguson said: "Cristiano will now settle down and enjoy his career here.
"He has four years left on his contract and, hopefully, at some point, we would like to extend it.
"I can't deny it was an important issue to keep him here.
"It was good and I was pleased with it, and that's why I felt everything was going to be all right. He is happy to be a Manchester United player and he has always been happy here.
"It's just the unfortunate participation of Real Madrid in the player's life that has made it difficult for him.
"The important thing is that we have ended all the stuff about Real and as he gets older, he will appreciate being here more. That happens with players the longer they stay here and they don't want to leave."
Fergie held up Rio Ferdinand as the example of another 'foreigner' who has become embedded in the fabric of United - and joked that may have been a culture shock for the Londoner as well.
"He also comes from another country - London! But it's true, because he comes from a different world and there's not much difference between people leaving London and people leaving Portugal to come to Manchester. They come north, to a colder, wetter climate. But they come to a real football city, which not many cities can say."