Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1401, (12 - 18 July 2018)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1401, (12 - 18 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Ronaldo to Juventus

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo is set to join Juventus, Marawan Zayed reports

Ronaldo thus becomes one of the four most expensive players of all time after the two clubs signed a deal worth £105m that will see the 33-year-old Portuguese end a nine-year stay at the Bernabéu.

Real Madrid CF communicates confirmed that, in response to the will and request expressed by the player Cristiano Ronaldo, he has agreed to transfer to Juventus FC. “Today, Real Madrid wants to express 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. For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home,” the statement said.

On the other hand, the footballer of the year Ronaldo posted a letter on Real’s website, where he confirmed that he had asked to move on as “the time has come for a new cycle”. He also said the time he spent in the Spanish capital, following his then world-record £80m move from Manchester United, was “possibly the happiest of my life”.

The full statement of Ronaldo read as follows: “These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.

“I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this hobby and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.

“However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.

“They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an exciting time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of a very high demand, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.

“I have had fabulous teammates in the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won three champions in a row and four champions in five years. And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won four Gold Balls and three Gold Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club.

“Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly.

“Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these nine exciting years I have had great players in front of me. My respect and my recognition for all of them.

“I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabéu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.

“Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!”

The past days have seen football fans around the world talking about what was then rumoured as the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus more than the World Cup. Ronaldo sparked speculation regarding his exit from the Santiago Bernabéu after beating Liverpool 3-1 to win a third successive UEFA Champions League title with Los Blancos in May. Via ESPN he was asked if he’ll stay next season. He said he “might be on the move but let’s see”. But talk of a move to Turin has escalated quickly over the past week, with the Bianconeri moving at great pace to secure a player who, even at 33, could revolutionise the club’s direction in the years to come. The €90 million paid to Napoli for Gonzalo Higuain’s signature in July 2016 is Juve’s existing transfer fee on one player which means that even at 33 years old Ronaldo will be the most expensive player in the history of the historic club.

And even though Juventus won the last seven consecutive league titles, they have failed to have the same success in Europe as they finished runners up to Real Madrid and Barcelona twice in the last four seasons and that’s obviously the main reason they want Ronaldo for he is arguably the best player in the history of this competition as he won it five times in addition to being the leading goal scorer with 120 goals in 153 games. These numbers alone say a lot about Cristiano in the competition and Juventus surely feel that he’s the missing piece of their puzzle to cross the final line and finally win the most prestigious European cup.

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