Real's Ronaldo switches to Juve

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Five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Italian champion Juventus from Real Madrid, the La Liga club said in a statement yesterday.
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Five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Italian champion Juventus from Real Madrid, the La Liga club said in a statement yesterday.

Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record 80 million pounds (US$106.27 million), is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions, winning two La Liga titles and four UEFA Champions League trophies.

“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come,” European champion Real said, adding that the Portugal star had asked to be transferred. “Real Madrid will always be his home”.

The transfer fee was not disclosed but Spanish media said Ronaldo had signed a four-year deal and had cost Juventus 105 million euros (US$123.24 million).

In a letter posted on Real’s website, the multiple Ballon d’Or winner said his time in Madrid had been one of the happiest in his life. “I only have feelings of huge thanks for this club, for the fans and for this city. But I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that’s why I asked the club to accept to transfer me.

“I ask everyone, and especially our supporters, to please understand me.”

The Portugal international scored two goals against Juventus in Real’s 4-1 win in the 2017 UCL final and earlier this season struck a jaw-dropping bicycle kick against the Italians in a 3-0 win in a quarterfinal first-leg game in Turin which prompted Juventus supporters to give him a standing ovation.

The striker, 33, converted a stoppage-time penalty in the second leg to knock the Italians out 4-3 on aggregate.

The signing of the latest Ballon d’Or winner and top scorer in the UCL for the last six seasons represents a major coup for Juventus, which has had a stranglehold on the Italian title since 2012 but has not won Europe’s top prize since 1996.

The signing also strikes a blow for the profile of Serie A against La Liga, which has now lost two of its three most famous players in the last year after Paris Saint-Germain signed Neymar from Barcelona last August.

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