Rome , MINA — Juventus have splashed the cash to sign Portuguese superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in one of the most spectacular transfers in football history, DPA reported, citing the confirmation of the Serie A champions on Tuesday.
The 33-year-old five-time world player of the year has moved for a total fee of 112 million euros (131.4 million dollars), payable over two financial years, on a four-year contract to 2022.
Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United in 2009 and won two Spanish titles and four Champions Leagues with the club in addition to a host of individual awards.
But he hinted his time at the Santiago Bernabeu could be up immediately after the last Champions League success and Serie A side Juve captured his signature.
Juve forward Paulo Dybala and midfielder Sami Khedria, who played with Ronaldo at Real, took to social media to welcome their new team-mate.
“We had a great time together in Madrid, I can‘t wait to get back to work with you! Today is a special day for @juventusfc!” said Khedira.
Investors also reacted positively as Juventus’ share price at the Milan stock exchange rose sharply after the deal was announced. By closing time, it was up by nearly 6 per cent, to just under 0.9 euros, from 0.836 at the day’s opening.
Ronaldo wrote an open thank you letter to Real Madrid supporters that was published on the club’s website.
“These years at Real Madrid, and in the city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest in my life,” he wrote.
“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for the fans and for the city. I can only thank all of them for the affection I have received.
“However, I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to agree to transfer me. I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to understand that.
Ronaldo thanked his team-mates, the president, the board, and all the club staff, adding “Real Madrid has conquered my heart”.
He signed off wtih the same “Hala Madrid” salute that he used to greet the supporters nine years ago when he was presented.
He added: “The shirt, the club badge and the Santiago Bernabeu will always feel like mine.”
Juventus have dominated domestically recently and have won seven consecutive Serie A titles.
Expecting Ronaldo to deliver a return on the huge transfer
But it is in Europe they will be expecting Ronaldo to deliver a return on the huge transfer fee paid plus the mega wages he will doubtless command in Turin.
They lost the Champions League final in 2015 to Barcelona and two years later to Real – with Ronaldo bagging a brace.
And in the past season it was Ronaldo’s controversial injury-time penalty which eliminated Juve against Real in the quarter finals.
They will hope with Ronaldo on their side, they now have the final piece needed in the puzzle to add to their European crowns from 1985 and 1996. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)