After nine years at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo officially vacated his seat in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu dressing room on Tuesday to join Juventus.
On a four-year contract and for a fee confirmed by Juventus as reaching 112 million euros, the 33-year-old leaves having hit a staggering 451 goals in 438 games, lifting four Champions League titles, two LaLiga crowns, and many more.
“Today, Real Madrid want to express our gratitude for a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has defined one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football,” read an official Real statement.
“Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies won and the triumphs achieved on the pitch during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.”
For some time now, Ronaldo’s desire to leave has been public knowledge, perhaps sparking from issues with tax authorities, his lack of new contract, or just a general feeling of Real reducing their affection towards him. Yet, the club knew that no team would come close to offering the player’s 1 billion euro release clause.
Los Merengues opted to inform him that a club need only offer around 100 million euros to acquire his services, a figurewhich Ronaldo initially reacted negatively to.
Juventus were the team who came in with that offer and, since then, they have been waiting to hear from the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, if it would suffice.
Rumours continued to spark and finally a deal was confirmed with Ronaldo penning a farewell letter in which he details his belief that: “The time has come to open a new stage in my life.”