Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: Real Madrid agree £88m deal with Juventus for five-time Ballon d'Or winner

The 33-year-old reigning Ballon d'Or winner joins the Serie A champions on a four-year deal ending a glittering and record-breaking spell in Spain

Ed Malyon
Sports Editor
Tuesday 10 July 2018 17:03
Cristiano Ronaldo's career in 60 seconds

Real Madrid have agreed a stunning deal that sees Cristiano Ronaldo leave the club for Juventus.

The 33-year-old reigning Ballon d'Or winner joins the Serie A champions on a four-year deal after the two clubs agreed a fee understood to be in the region of £88million.

The Champions League winners confirmed the news with a statement on Wednesday afternoon insisting that Ronaldo himself had asked to leave the Bernabeu after nine years and 451 goals.

"Real Madrid communicate that, adhering to the expressed wishes of the player Cristiano Ronaldo, it has agreed his transfer to Juventus," they said. "Today Real Madrid would like to express its thanks to a player that has shown himself to be the best in the world and who has led one of the most brilliant eras in the history of our club and world football.

"Beyond the titles won, the trophies and the triumphs on the field of play in these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of hard work, responsibility, talent and achievement.

"He has become beyond that the greatest goalscorer in the history of Real Madrid with 451 goals in 438 games. In total 16 titles, among them four European Cups, three of those consecutive and four in the last five seasons.

"For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great idols and an example for future generations. Real Madrid will always be his home."

Ronaldo has won the Champions League four times at Real Madrid 

The player himself expressed his gratitude to the club and its fans after a glittering, goal-filled spell in Spain.

"These years in Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life," he wrote. "I only have feelings of enormous thanks for this club, this fanbase and this city. I can only give thanks to all of them for the love and affection that I have received.

"However, I think that the moment has arrived to start a new chapter in my life and therefore I have asked the club to accept letting me leave. I am sorry it is like this and I ask all of you, especially our followers, to please understand me.

Zinedine Zidane denies Cristiano Ronaldo 'crisis' is behind his departure

The Portuguese forward’s up-and-down relationship with the Bernabéu club over the past few seasons hit a new low in the immediate aftermath of winning the Champions League in Kiev, where he reopened the subject of his future in interviews on the field before a single celebratory firework had even been lit.

It was the latest in a series of unsubtle efforts from Ronaldo at getting an improved contract, with the Real Madrid man’s entourage believing he was due a significant salary increase in the wake of Lionel Messi and Neymar being handed bigger deals.

Ronaldo's time in the Spanish capital is over (Getty )

And while he tried to walk back his comments the following day, this time Real Madrid haven’t been willing to play ball and intermediaries let it be known to a gaggle of top European clubs in late June that the 33-year-old forward could be available for as little as €100m (£88m).

In the end, Juventus - serial losing finalists in the Champions League who are desperate to get over the hump and return to the peak of European football - were the only team to show serious interest and after weighing up the significant financial outlay, the Serie A giants are keen to press ahead with a deal.

They spent nearly £90m to sign Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli in 2016, when he was seen as the final piece needed to win their first European Cup since the mid-1990s, but the reality has been more difficult.

Ronaldo leaves after a record-shattering spell in Spain 

It will require some financial manoeuvring on the part of the Italians and Higuain himself could become a casualty with Chelsea linked to the Argentina forward. But in black and white terms, Ronaldo’s expected gross remuneration of around €60m (£53m) remains around 40% of Juve's current wage bill and though this has not put off the Agnelli family, who own a controlling stake in the club, it will almost certainly push the club into selling players.

Madrid want to stage manage any departure and give Ronaldo the farewell his goal-laden time in the Spanish capital deserves.

Their next focus is on signing Neymar or Kylian Mbappe this summer as part of their desire to make the squad younger, but Eden Hazard has emerged as an alternative should Paris Saint-Germain stonewall advances over their superstar attacking duo.

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