Real Madrid have announced that Cristiano Ronaldo has brought the curtain down on his illustrious career at the Santiago Bernabeu after agreeing to join Juventus.
The Portugal international revealed after his country’s exit from the 2018 World Cup that he was “evaluating several opportunities” amid rumours of a move to Turin.
The speculation intensified on Tuesday when Juve president Andrea Agnelli flew out to Greece to meet with Ronaldo, who is on vacation there.
Los Blancos later confirmed that their all-time leading scorer with 451 goals had requested to move on after nine glorious seasons in the Spanish 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,” the European champions said in a statement.
“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 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 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 Golden Balls, two The Best FIFA 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.”
The 33-year-old forward added in a statement: “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.
“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 Bernabeu 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!”