The most sensational transfer of the decade was finalised Tuesday with confirmation that Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid to join Italian champion Juventus.
Shortly after the reported €100-million transfer was confirmed by Real Madrid, an open letter from Ronaldo was published on the Champions League winner's website. The Portuguese superstar, as translated by ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan, expressed his gratitude to Los Blancos fans who supported him for nine years.
Related: Real Madrid confirms Ronaldo's sensational transfer to Juventus
"I just have enormous thanks for this club, these fans, and this city," he said. "But I believe the time has come to open a new stage in my life, so I have asked the club to accept to let me go."
He added: "I have thought a lot and I know that the moment has come for a new cycle. I am leaving but I will always feel that this jersey, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu are mine, no matter where I am."
Ronaldo ends his illustrious Real Madrid career with 451 goals in 438 games. He also helped the club win 16 trophies during his nine-year stay, including a quartet of Champions League trophies and two La Liga crowns.
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