11th of July 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Italian champions Juventus have pulled off probably the biggest player transfer of their history as they paid 112 million euros to Real Madrid for Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. The player has agreed to sign a four-year contract with the Bianconeri, even though he is 33 years old. Cristiano Ronaldo won the Champions League four times during his nine seasons at Real Madrid and was the club's icon for the past few years. This is the most expensive transfer in the club's history for Juventus, surpassing the 75 million pounds they had paid to Napoli for striker Gonzalo Higuain back in 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo released a letter to the Real Madrid fans, in which he explained his decision to leave the Blancos after nine seasons. "I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for its fans and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received," the letter read. "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 fans, to please understand me. They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an emotional time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of the highest demands, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way."
Cristiano Ronaldo could face his former team mates for the first time on August 4, when Juventus and Real Madrid are scheduled to meet in a friendly match at FedEx Field in Washington. Real Madrid had paid 80 million pounds to Manchester United for Ronaldo back in 2009 but he was worth every penny: he has broken the club scoring record with no less than 450 goals and won the Ballon d'Or on five occasions. Moreover, Real Madrid have won the Champions League four times with Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch. "For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols," said a club statement. "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. Real Madrid will always be your home."
Juventus are now 7/1 at Bet365 to win the Champions League next season, a trophy that they have been chasing unsuccessfully since 1996.
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