Cristiano Ronaldo is on the move, and the soccer world is bound to shake.
Real Madrid announced Tuesday on its website it has agreed to sell the superstar forward to Juventus. Ronaldo is set to end his Real Madrid career after nine years, in which he became the club’s all-time leading scorer and helped it win 16 major trophies.
“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,” a translation of Real Madrid’s Spanish-language statement reads. “Beyond the conquered titles, the trophies achieved and the triumphs achieved in the playing fields during these 9 years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.”
Ronaldo, 33, explained his Juventus transfer in an open letter to Real Madrid fans that the club published on its website.
“These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” Ronaldo wrote, per Sports Illustrated’s Khadrice Rollins. “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.”
Ronaldo reportedly is set to join Juventus on a four-year contract. The Italian club reportedly will pay Real Madrid around €112 million (£99 million/$131 million) to sign Ronaldo and will pay him €30 million (£26.5 million/$35 million) per season.
The Portugal national scored 451 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid, helping the club win four UEFA Champions League, three FIFA Club World Cup and two La Liga (Spanish League) titles among other major honors. Ronaldo also won the Ballon d’Or four times with the Spanish club.
Thumbnail photo via Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports