After Real Madrid confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo would be leaving the club, the Portuguese superstar has issued a lengthy and emotional statement.
It ends an incredible nine-year spell in the Spanish capital, as he won countless trophies and individual accolades in a glittering stint with the reigning European champions as they created history with three consecutive triumphs in the Champions League.
However, Ronaldo is now ready to close that chapter in his career and move on to a new challenge. A statement from the Madrid talisman was released by the club as he moved to explain his reasoning behind the exit and used it as an opportunity to thank the supporters.
“These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life,” the statement reads. “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 transferring me.
“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!”
While Juventus have dominated in Italy with seven Serie A titles in a row and four Coppa Italia triumphs, they have waited since 1996 for success in Europe. In turn, Ronaldo’s arrival will be seen as the potential catalyst to end that long wait while his impact off the pitch given his global stature will be huge.
For Madrid, they will undoubtedly now have a tough time in replacing his influence and goals, with new coach Julen Lopetegui dealt a huge blow in his bid to sustain the level of success enjoyed by his predecessor Zinedine Zidane.
However, it could also be seen as an opportunity for the Spanish giants as they will look to open up a new cycle by replacing the 33-year-old this summer.