Cristiano Ronaldo has opted to leave Spanish giants Real Madrid for Italian champions Juventus for the next — and possibly final — chapter of one of the greatest careers the game has seen.
The shock move by the 33-year-old superstar comes shortly after losing what is likely his last chance to collect the only honour missing from his glittering resume — a World Cup for Portugal. Speculation that one of the game’s greatest players could be up for grabs began when he hinted he was considering leaving the Santiago Bernabeu following May’s Champions League final victory.
Then the transfer rumour mill went into overdrive after Italian media said Juventus had put in a bid and Spanish sports daily Marca cited reports of Ronaldo looking for a home in Turin. There was little left for Ronaldo, Real’s all-time record goalscorer with 450, to prove in Madrid. He said he had spent nine fantastic years at the Spanish giants. “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,” he said in a statement.