Time for a new era, says Ronaldo - Portuguese star explains Juventus move
Italian giants Juventus have completed the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the former Real Madrid star heading for his first spell in Italy, after nine years in Spain. Ronaldo was signed on a four-year deal and the Portugal star, who requested the transfer and who also made it clear that he only wanted to move to Turin, believes the time was right for a new challenge.
"I believe that the time has come to begin a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept my transfer request. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand," Ronaldo said in an open letter yesterday.
"Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you. I'm leaving but this shirt, this crest and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am."
Ronaldo leaves Madrid after a trophy-rich spell which saw him lifting 16 titles, including four UEFA Champions Leagues - including the last three-- and two league titles as well as three FIFA Club World Cups titles. He also won the Ballon d'Or trophy on five occasions.
He leaves Real Madrid as the club's all-time leading goalscorer, having bagged 451 goals in 438 games.
"Real Madrid would like 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," the Spanish club said in an official statement.
"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. For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its great symbols and a unique reference for future generations."