Yep, you read right. Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid to sign with Italian champions Juventus.
Both clubs announced Tuesday (July 10) that Ronaldo will be joining Juventus, via a deal that includes a transfer fee of €100 million (approximately $117 million) — a Serie A record.
“Real Madrid would like to communicate that we have listened to the wish and request expressed by player Cristiano Ronaldo and have agreed to his transfer to Juventus FC,” the Champions League holders said in a statement.
The move ends Ronaldo’s nine-year run with Real Madrid, where he’s the allptime top goal scorer and led them to four Champions League titles and earning four of his five Ballon d’Or awards.
His existing contract with Madrid had three years left, paying him an estimated €38.5 million ($45.2 million) gross annually.
“These years at Real Madrid and in this city of Madrid have quite possibly been the happiest years of my life,” Ronaldo said in a statement. “I only have feelings of great gratitude to this club, to the fans and to the city. I can only give thanks to all of them for the love and affection that I have received.
“However, I feel that the time has come to begin a new stage of my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept my transfer. I feel it this way and I am asking everyone, and especially my fans, to please understand me.”