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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid for Juventus as ‘new chapter’ begins

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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid for Juventus as ‘new chapter’ begins

After nine years, 16 trophies and 451 goals, Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid.

The Portugal star, 33, is to join reigning Serie A champion Juventus from the Champions League holder for a reported $117 million transfer fee.

“He’s called Cristiano Ronaldo and he’s now officially a Bianconero,” read an announcement on the Juventus website Tuesday.

The club also confirmed that Ronaldo would sign a four year contract, tying him to Juve until 2022.

Real Madrid had earlier released a statement “expressing its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.”

In an open letter to Real’s fans, Ronaldo said that he had “reflected a lot” and knew that “the time has come for a new cycle.”

Last season, the Portuguese star scored a stunning bicycle kick against Juventus in Turin, which was widely viewed as one of world’s greatest ever Champions League goals.

Ronaldo had a barnstorming start to the World Cup scoring a hat-trick against Spain in a 3-3 draw, before Portugal was knocked out by Uruguay in the last 16 stage.

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Unique reference’

Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United in 2009 for a then-world record fee of £80 million ($106M) and was given a €1 billion buy-out clause.

He went on to become Real’s all-time leading goalscorer, winning four Champions League titles — including a historic three consecutive crowns — two La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey trophies.

“For Real Madrid, Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations,” added the Real statement.

“Real Madrid will always be your home.”

Sergio Ramos, captain of the Spanish club, saluted Ronaldo’s achievements and wished his former teammate luck going forward.

“Cristiano, your goals, your numbers and everything we’ve won together speak for themselves,” tweeted Ramos. “You’ve earned yourself a prominent place in the history of Real Madrid. The Madristas will always remember you. It’s been a pleasure playing by your side. Big hug and good luck!”

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