The Cristiano Ronaldo era at Real Madrid is over. The Ronaldo era at Juventus is just beginning.
Real Madrid confirmed multiple reports on Tuesday, stating that it had agreed a transfer with Juventus for the Portuguese star forward. Italian newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that the transfer was agreed for $123 million, with Ronaldo signing a four-year contract worth more than $35 million per season.
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Real Madrid released a statement thanking Ronaldo for his nine seasons with Los Blancos in Spain’s capital.
“Real Madrid CF communicates that, in response to the will and request expressed by the player Cristiano Ronaldo, he has agreed to transfer 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 in the playing fields during these 9 years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement. He has also become the top scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 451 goals in 438 games. In total 16 titles, including four European Cups, three of them consecutive and four in the last five seasons. On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won four Ballon d’Ors, two FIFA Player of the Year awards, and three Golden Boots, among many other awards.
“For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home.”
One of the big questions now, for soccer fans in America, is whether Ronaldo will be with Juventus’ squad when it takes on the MLS All-Stars in Atlanta on August 1. Ronaldo is still on vacation after another long, grueling season and he may need another 2-3 weeks before he even returns to light training.
But perhaps, to appease the marketing side of Juventus, Ronaldo will make his return a little earlier than expected.
In a letter to Real Madrid fans, Ronaldo said his time in Madrid was the happiest of his life.
These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” Ronaldo wrote. “I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this job 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 supporters, to please understand me.
“They have been absolutely wonderful for nine 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 a very demanding club, 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 three Champions in a row and four Champions in five years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won four Golden Balls and three Golden 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 for 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 nine years ago: Hala Madrid!”