Cristiano Ronaldo Joins Juventus

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(WFI) It’s the end of an era.

Real Madrid has agreed to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus after nine years of partnership between the Spanish club and the Portuguese superstar.

Ronaldo leaves Spain after the Italian champioins have agreed to pay the equivalent of $120 million for the 33-year-old forward.

The deal was finalized this Tuesday after the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, met the Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, in Greece.

Ronaldo joined Real in 2009 and has became the club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in 438 games, a spell which saw him win a total of 16 titles, including four European Cups, three of them consecutive; two Spanish league championships as well as two Spanish Cups and three Fifa Club World Cups.

On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey, Ronaldo accumulated four Ballons d'Or, two The Best, and three Gold Boots, among many other awards.

Ronaldo put out a statement that said among other things:

“Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly”

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner may be 33, but he remains a player at the peak of his game; just last season, he scored 23 goals in 13 Champions League matches and helped Los Blancos claim an unprecedented third successive Champions League crown.

“I have thought a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle," said Ronaldo in his statement. "I'm leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabéu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.”

Real Madrid also posted an statement about Ronaldo’s departure.

“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.

“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.

“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. “

Ronaldo is on vacation after having played for Portugal in the World Cup where they were eliminated in the last 16 by Uruguay.

Ronaldo is signing a four-year deal with the Serie A club with a yearly salary of around $40 million. Considering the transfer fee and the taxes to go to the Italian Government, the total cost for Juventus ends up around $400 million for the length of the contract.

The Turin giants have won the Serie A title for the past seven seasons. With Ronaldo in the team, Juventus strengthens its bid for the biggest prize in club football, the Champions League, which traditionally has been elusive to the "Vecchia Signora". Juventus has won it only two times and has lost six finals.

Homepage photo: UEFA

By INSIDER Javier Monne

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