Cristiano Ronaldo Heads To Juventus In $157 Million Deal
It's been the worst kept secret in the soccer world, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s time as a Galactico has finally come to an end.
On Tuesday Juventus confirmed Ronaldo was on his way to Serie A in a four-year deal worth €100 million ($157 million AUD) -- and the player himself will be raking in nearly $1 million AUD a week.
"Juventus are delighted to announce that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has signed for the club on a four-year contract until 30 June 2022," the club said in a statement.
In a farewell letter to fans, Ronaldo said the move was to begin a "new chapter" after a nine year stint with the club.
"Real Madrid have captured my heart and those of my family members and for that reason, now more than ever, I want to say thank you," he said.
Los Blancos released a video of highlights of his time at the Spanish giants, where he won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
The rumour mill has been in overdrive for weeks with speculation about where Ronaldo would be playing next season.
Ronaldo made comments back in May after Real Madrid’s Champions League win, leading many to believe he was unhappy at the Bernebeu, and told reporters he would discuss his future in the "coming weeks".
“In the next few days I will give an answer to the fans,” he said.
“Because they have always been by my side.”
Days later, Ronaldo seemed to retract his previous comments, after Real Madrid became unhappy with the connotations.
“Thank you so much guys, see you next year," he said to media.
While it wasn’t the first time transfer season rumours have surrounded the five-time Balon d’Or winner, this time the club reacted differently.
For years Los Blancos had been desperate to keep the goal (and money) machine on their books, and any talk of discontent from Ronaldo was met with a pay rise from club President Florentino Perez.
Just two seasons ago, Ronaldo signed a contract extension until June 2021, with $50 million a year.
But this time there was no statement of denial from the club or player, nor was there a pay rise.
Just days after Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup, Juventus’ name made an appearance as a possible suitor.
Adding fuel to the fire, Juventus released a statement on July 6 in response to the rampant Ronaldo rumours.
"Following recent media coverage, Juventus Football Club S.p.A. clarified that, during the transfer window, the Company evaluates many market opportunities and, if any agreement should be reached, a press release will be issued in compliance with the regulations," it said.
What followed was a week of media met with silence from both the clubs and the player, until Tuesday's announcement.
Ronaldo will face an interesting reception at the Allianz Stadium in Turin when he runs out for the first time, Juventus fans won't be quick to forget the goal he scored against the Old Lady in the Champions League final just two years ago.