Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football European

Ronaldo seals £99m switch to Juventus

 

By Robert Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo will ply his trade in Serie A next season after Real Madrid agreed to sell the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to Juventus in deal worth 112million euros (£99.2million).

The 33-year-old has signed a four-year contract with the Turin outfit and will seek his fourth consecutive Champions League crown next term.

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. 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."

Ronaldo added: "I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me."

Juventus revealed that they would pay €100m to Madrid over two financial years and "additional costs" of €12m.

Real expressed their gratitude to a player who helped the club to four Champions League successes, three Fifa Club World Cups, two La Liga 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 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."

Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez has sealed a £60m move to Manchester City and has signed a five-year deal with the Premier League champions. 

The Algerian winger finally completes what he's described in the past as his "dream move" to the Etihad Stadium after he had twice tried to force a transfer away from the Foxes.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph