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10th Jul 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo pens open letter about his decision to leave Real Madrid for Juventus

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

Darragh Murphy

This is going to take some getting used to.

It is a transfer that will not be believed by some supporters until they physically see Cristiano Ronaldo in a Juventus jersey but it’s definitely happening.

Ronaldo has agreed to leave Real Madrid this summer and move to Juventus in a deal said to be worth £105 million.

The 33-year-old hinted at a desire to change clubs in the immediate aftermath of May’s Champions League triumph over Liverpool and speculation ramped up after Portugal were eliminated from the World Cup at the hands of Uruguay last week.

It is a decision that has shocked many fans because one could argue that Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world but, in a lengthy open letter, the reigning Ballon d’Or holder has explained what inspired him to seek a change.

“These years with Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” Ronaldo wrote.

“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this hobby and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.

“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 a transfer fee for me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our supporters, to please understand me.

“They have been absolutely wonderful for 9 years. They have been 9 unique years. It has been an exciting time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of a very high demand, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.

“I have had fabulous teammates on the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won 3 Champions League titles in a row and 4 in 5 years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won 4 Ballon d’Ors and 3 Golden Boots. All during my time with this immense and extraordinary 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: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly.

“Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these 9 exciting years I have had great players in front of me. My respect and my recognition for all of them.

“I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabéu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.

“Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium 9 years ago: Hala Madrid!”