Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to a £105m transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus after nine years in the Spanish capital.
The Portuguese superstar has pulled the curtain on his decorated career with the European heavyweights as he explains “the time has come to open a new stage in my life.”
Ronaldo urged president Florentino Perez to accept Juventus’s offer following months of intense speculation linking the 33-year-old with a move to the Bianconeri.
The forward follows Zinedine Zidane out of the door after three consecutive Champions League triumphs, and he could possibly make his debut later this month when the Serie A giants commence their tour of the United States. Ronaldo declared his gratitude for nine “wonderful” years with Real while further clarifying his motives behind leaving the club.
“These years at Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” Ronaldo wrote in an open letter published by the club.
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“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this game 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.
“They have been absolutely wonderful for 9 years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an exciting time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of a very high demand, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.
“I have had fabulous teammates in the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won 3 Champions in a row and 4 Champions in 5 years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won 4 Gold Balls and 3 Gold Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club.
“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 that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly.
“Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these nine exciting years, I have had great players in front of me. My respect and my recognition goes out to all of them.
“I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabéu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.
“Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium 9 years ago: Hala Madrid!”