SOCCER: Cristiano Ronaldo is joining Juventus after the Italian club agreed a €100m (£88.3m) fee for the Portuguese forward with Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old is ready for a new challenge after nine years at Real Madrid and asked the club to let him go. The player and his agent, Jorge Mendes, met the Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, in Greece on Tuesday to discuss the final
Ronaldo is signing a four-year contract with an annual salary of around €30m. In Italy clubs have to pay the same amount in tax, which takes the total cost of the transfer to €340m (€100m transfer fee plus €240m in salary and taxes).
“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club and for this city,” Ronaldo wrote in an open letter to Real Madrid fans. “I have had nine absolutely wonderful years at the club.
“Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thank you to the club, the president, the directors, my colleagues, all the staff, doctors, physios and incredible people that make everything work.”
He finished his letter by saying: “Thanks to everyone and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!”
Real Madrid released a statement on Tuesday saying that they had agreed to the transfer “at the will and the request of the player”. The statement added: “Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has made this one of the most brilliant times in the history of our club.
“Beyond the titles he won during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has also been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and constant improvement.”
Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 after six years at Manchester United. He won four Champions League titles at Madrid and two league championships as well as two Spanish Cups and three Fifa Club World Cups.