Cristiano Ronaldo has made an astonishing £88million move to Juventus after Real Madrid granted him permission to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo met Juventus club president Andrea Agnelli on Tuesday afternoon in a hotel in Greece before agreeing a four-year deal worth an estimated £500,000 a week.
It is believed that the transfer was finalised at the meeting in Greece, where Ronaldo is currently on holiday with his girlfriend and family.
Real Madrid confirmed the transfer late on Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement, the club admitted that they had granted Ronaldo his wish to leave the club.
It read: ‘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 titles won, the trophies collected and the triumphs achieved on the pitch during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.’
WILL RONALDO’S FIRST GAME BE AGAINST REAL?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game for Juventus could be against his former club.
The two sides meet in the International Champions Cup at the FedEx Field in Washington on August 4.
Ronaldo thanked Real Madrid for making his time at the club ‘possibly the happiest of my life’, but added that he felt it was the right decision to move on.
He said: ‘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.’
An hour after Real Madrid’s statement, Juventus confirmed the news of Ronaldo’s capture on their website.
The club confirmed that they will pay £88m (€100m) to the Spanish giants, with a further payment of £10m is believed to be going to his first club Sporting Lisbon.
RONALDO’S STATEMENT IN FULL
These years in 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 this hobby 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 9 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 9 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 9 years ago: Hala Madrid!