Ronaldo seals Juventus move

Five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo is joining Italian club Juventus, ending nine years with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Forward agrees 4-year deal said to be worth €100m to end glittering 9-year Madrid stay

MADRID • Cristiano Ronaldo revealed that the time has come for a "new stage in my life" after signing for Juventus following nine seasons with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The LaLiga club confirmed the move in a statement yesterday without mentioning the transfer fee.

Juventus have confirmed that the deal was worth €100 million (S$159 million).

It is understood that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner agreed to a four-year contract for an annual basic salary of €30 million. Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United for a then world-record £80 million (S$143 million) in 2009, has complained in the past on several occasions that his Real salary of €23.6 million is too low.

In a 374-word statement on the Real website, the 33-year-old thanked the Bernabeu faithful.

"These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life," he wrote in an open letter.

"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."

 
 
 

The Portuguese is the reigning European champions' all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions, winning two LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies with Los Blancos.

"For Real, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come," the club said, adding that Ronaldo had asked to be transferred. "Real will always be his home."

Ronaldo scored two goals against Juve in Real's 4-1 win in last year's Champions League final and last term, struck a stunning bicycle kick against the Italians in their quarter-final 3-0 first-leg win, which famously prompted even the Juve supporters to give him a standing ovation.

He also scored an added-time penalty in the return leg to knock Juve out 4-3 on aggregate.

The signing of the top scorer in the Champions League for the last six seasons represents a major coup for Juve, who have had a stranglehold on the Italian Serie A title since 2012, but have not won Europe's top prize since 1996.

Real captain Sergio Ramos led the tributes for Ronaldo, who won 15 major trophies at Madrid.

".@Cristiano, your goals, your numbers and everything we've won together speak for themselves," the Spain defender wrote on Twitter. "You have earned a special place in the history of @RealMadrid. As Madridistas, we'll remember you always. It's been a pleasure to play alongside you, bicho. Big (hug) and good luck!"

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2018, with the headline 'Ronaldo seals Juventus move'. Print Edition | Subscribe