TURIN/MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo has ended his multi-prize-winning era at Real Madrid by joining Italian champions for €105m.
The transfer has been formally confirmed by the world and European champions, bringing to an end the 33-year-old’s nine years at the Estadio Bernabeu which have brought him a club record 451 goals and 16 national and international titles.
Ronaldo’s transfer has been the subject of speculation for a week, awaiting only confirmation of the finals details to he satisfaction of his agent Jorge Mendes.
A statement from Madrid said: “Real Madrid CF announces that, following the wishes and requests expressed by the player Cristiano Ronaldo , it has agreed to transfer him 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 most brilliant times in the history of our club and world football.
“Apart from all the titles, trophies achieved and triumphs on the pitch during these nine 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 4 European Cups, 3 of them consecutive and 4 in the last 5 seasons. On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won 4 Gold Balls, 2 The Best, and 3 Gold 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 his home .”
Speculation about an imminent parting of the ways was confirmed by Ronaldo’s comments in the minutes after Madrid’s Champions League Final over Liverpool n Kiev in May. For some time it has been rumoured that he was unhappy with the way the club had stood back while he was dealing with his tax evasion court case.
After winning the 12th European crown last year in Cardiff with two goals from Ronaldo, president Florentino Perez promised him a contract improvement that never came even after his fifth FIFA World Player award.
Continuing talk of a bid for Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain also upset Ronaldo while concerns grew at board level about the team’s disappointing form in the Spanish league.
In the meantime Ronaldo has also had to accept a fine of €18.8m and a suspended two-years prison sentence for tax fraud. This was announced at the start of the World Cup and appears to have been the last straw.