Ronal-dough: Money men coin it in as Man United value rockets by $306MN in one afternoon with share price soaring by staggering 8%

Manchester United fans aren't the only ones grinning at Cristiano Ronaldo rejoining the club after the world's most marketable footballer sent the club's value soaring – with some claiming its value grew by $200 million in hours.

Shareholders of the most valuable club in the UK were laughing all the way to the bank in the aftermath of Ronaldo, who has the most followers on Instagram of anyone in the world and is arguably the planet's best-known athlete, made a shock return to the club with whom he became an icon after initially joining in 2003.

United have been valued at around $4.65 billion, and rises of as much as eight percent in the Premier League giants' value were soon being reported following the shock return of a player worth his weight in goals, shirt sales and sponsorship.

"The Glazers are not stupid," one fan account said of the club's controversial American owners after shares which began the day trading at $17.28 made a spectacular leap to $18.70. "This deal made so much sense."

A well-known football finance effort observed: "Although there’s now been some profit taking, when Ronaldo’s signing for Manchester United was confirmed, the club value had risen by $306 million in an afternoon."

A football finance analyst added: "Well, somebody had to. Like it or not, that probably informed United's decision.

"They can leverage Ronaldo's sublime talent on the pitch even as his career ends and hope to profit off it commercially by 'welcoming home' a club legend in ways that [Man] City never could have.

"Also, after the [failed attempt to create a lucrative new European] Super League debacle again drew attention to the Glazers' [often-debated] ownership and record, it will buy them some goodwill with a large block of the support – but, no, not all."

A supporter with reservations feared the six children of late former owner Malcolm Glazer, who have inherited the club, had "agreed to get [Ronaldo] for monetary reasons", causing another to chime in: "Even the village football club wants to make money."

Much was made of the value of Lionel Messi, the man widely considered to be Ronaldo's greatest rival, when he joined super-rich PSG earlier this month – but eagle-eyed observers have claimed that Ronaldo's move has dwarfed the publicity and potential sales figures Messi earned the Ligue 1 heavyweights.

While Paris's tweet revealing that they had signed the Argentina legend has earned around 919,000 likes and 260,000 retweets in a little more than two weeks, United's announcement of Ronaldo's arrival on the social media platform has already smashed those huge numbers.

Within a few hours, more than 1.3 million accounts had liked the news confirming the return of the Old Trafford favorite, augmented by a retweet tally that is well on its way to 500,000.

This is not the first time Ronaldo's remarkable financial influence and reach has been felt this summer.

In June, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's decision to move Coca-Cola bottles away from him during a Euro 2020 press conference was said to have cost the company $4 billion in share prices.

For his part, Ronaldo has appeared to dismiss talk that he is heavily financially-motivated in one of the videos that supporters have pointed to during a frenzied week of rumors about his transfer destiny.

Discussing the idea of a move to United's arch-rivals, Manchester City, Ronaldo said in 2015 that he would "go to Qatar" if he wanted to focus on money.

"You think the money is going to change my mind now?" the staggeringly wealthy superstar asked, adding that his career is "about the passion."

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