Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid for Juventus
The Portugal star’s nine-year stay at the Bernabeu has drawn to a close.
Juventus have signed Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo in a sensational deal totalling 112million euros (£99.2million) from Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with the Serie A champions having revealed he wanted to open a new chapter in his life.
A letter from Ronaldo – who scored a record 451 goals in nine years at the Bernabeu – was posted on Real Madrid’s website in which he pleaded with fans to understand his decision.
He said: “These years at Real Madrid and in this city of Madrid have been possibly the happiest of my life.
Real Madrid C.F. inform that, as per Cristiano Ronaldo's wishes and at his request, the club has allowed the player to...Posted by Real Madrid C.F. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018
“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for these fans and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.
“However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me.
“I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.”
Juventus revealed in a club statement that they would pay 100million euros to Madrid over two financial years and “additional costs” of 12million euros.
Real expressed their gratitude to a player who helped the club to four Champions League successes, three FIFA Club World Cups, two LaLiga titles and two Copa del Rey crowns.
A club statement said: “Real Madrid CF communicates that, in response to the will and request expressed by the player Cristiano Ronaldo, it has agreed to transfer him to Juventus FC.
“Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.
“Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies achieved and the triumphs achieved on the playing fields during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.
“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home.”
Ronaldo, who joined the club from Manchester United for a then world-record fee of £80m in 2009, also paid tribute to Madrid.
He said in his letter: “Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you.
“Thanks to the club, the president, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers. They make everything work and they are tirelessly watching every detail.
“Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish football. I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle.
“I’m leaving, but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.”