Real Madrid confirm decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus
By Dave Redshaw Real Madrid have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo is to join Juventus for a fee in the region of €105m, with the move coming at the ‘will of the player’. Madrid granted the Portuguese superstar permission to leave the Santiago Bernabéu after he met Juve club president Andrea Agnelli earlier this week in a hotel in Greece, where he is currently on holiday with his girlfriend and family. Reports agree it is the most expensive purchase in Italian football history and Ronaldo departs after nine years, having made 438 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring 451 goals and winning La Liga twice, in 2011-12 and 2016-17, and the Champions League four times in 2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
“Real Madrid wishes to communicate that, in response to the will and request expressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, he has agreed a transfer to Juventus,” read a statement on Madrid’s official website. “Today, Madrid wants to show its gratitude to the player, who has proved to be the best in the world and marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football. Beyond the titles won, the trophies achieved and the triumphs on the pitch during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication and hard work, responsibility, talent and improvement. He has also become the top scorer in the club’s history.
“On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid shirt he has won four Ballon d’Ors, two FIFA The Best awards and three Golden Boots, among many other things. For this club Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols and a unique reference for the next generation. Madrid will always be your home. “
Ronaldo, who also claimed three Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League during his time in England with Manchester United, will reportedly earn a staggering €30m-a-season with the Serie A giants, which Juventus are expected to pay for in part with lucrative new sponsorship deals Ronaldo: Madrid my happiest time Cristiano Ronaldo says he will look back on his time at Real Madrid as the happiest years of his life. “These years with the club, and in the city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” wrote Ronaldo in an open letter to fans on Madrid’s website. “I only have feelings of enormous gratitude towards the club, for these fans and this city. I can only thank them all for the love and affection shown. However, I believe the time has now arrived where I want to open a new stage in my life, and that is why I have asked the club to accept my transfer request. That’s the way I feel and it’s why I ask everyone, especially our fans, to please understand. They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. It has been an exciting time, full of consideration but also very hard as Real Madrid is very demanding, but I know I will never forget that I’ve enjoyed my football here in a unique way.
“I have had fantastic teammates, both on the pitch and in the dressing room, and have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd. Together we have won three Champions Leagues in a row, and four in five years. With them, as well, on an individual level I have the satisfaction of having won many awards, all during my time at this extraordinary club, which has conquered mine and my family’s heart. That is why, more than ever, I want to thank the club, the president, the directors, my teammates, the coaches, doctors, physios and incredible people who make everything work and attend to every detail tirelessly.
“Thank you again to our supporters and also thank you to Spanish football. I’ve had great players alongside me, so respect and recognition to all of them. I’ve reflected a lot and know it’s time for a new era. I’m leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Bernabéu will continue to feel my own wherever I am. Thanks to everyone and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!” Ramos hails Ronaldo Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos as well as other players paid tribute to Ronaldo after the confirmation of his departure was announced. “Your goals, your numbers and everything we won together speak for themselves,” tweeted defender Ramos, alongside a picture of the pair celebrating. “You have earned a special place in the history of Real Madrid. As Madridistas we will remember you always. It’s been a pleasure to play alongside you. Big hug and good luck! “
Gareth Bale also showed his respect via Instagram. “An incredible player and a top guy! It has been a pleasure to play alongside you for the last five years. Good luck for the future my friend.” Midfielder Marco Asensio joined in the praise by saying Ronaldo had been an example for him to follow. “It has been a pleasure to play by your side and you have been an example in every way. I wish you good luck in your new stage,” tweeted Asensio. Enrique appointed
La Roja boss Spain have chosen former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique to become their next coach following the departure of Fernando Hierro. Enrique, who has also been in charge at Celta Vigo and Roma, will we the permanent La Roja coach for the qualification campaign for the 2020 European Championships. The Spanish FA has also confirmed that former Villarreal boss José Francisco Molina has been appointed as their new sporting director following Hierro’s exit. Former Real Madrid captain Hierro left the role ahead of the World Cup to step in for axed coach Julen Lopetegui, but his country’s exit at the last 16 stage had left both positions vacant. Several other candidates had also been mentioned as coach of the national team including Quiqué Sánchez Flores, Paco Jémez, Pepe Mel, Michel and Roberto Martínez.
Cristiano Ronaldo poses with Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez following the announcement of his move to Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Juventus last season
Luis Enrique has been named new Spain boss