Fee Of £105m Agreed As Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves Real Madrid For Juventus
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Unless you've been living under a rock - or at least, so consumed with England's World Cup run that your name is Ross Kemp - you will be aware of the push and pull between Real Madrid and Juventus over the services of one Cristiano Ronaldo.
Well, the deal looks like it's finally happened - Real confirmed today that the Portuguese star has joined Juve, for a reported fee of £105 million.
Ronaldo had previously put feelers out suggesting that he was done with Real Madrid and wanted to have a crack at the Seria A title, with Real not doing a great deal to hold onto him.
In a statement, the Spanish club said: "Real Madrid CF confirms 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.
"Beyond the titles conquered, the trophies achieved and the triumphs on the playing field during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.
"He has also become the top scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 451 goals in 438 games. In total [he has won] 16 titles, including four European Cups, three of them consecutive and four in the last five seasons.
"On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won four Golden Balls, two Best Players and three Golden Boots, among many other awards. For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations."
The statement concluded: "Real Madrid will always be your home."
In truth, the deal makes perfect sense for all three parties so let's talk through them all: Real, Juve and CR7 himself.
Ronaldo is 33 and, despite claims that he has a 'biological age' of 23, he isn't getting any younger.
For him, this represents another rebirth in a league that he's never won, a chance to play for another superstar club - seven leagues in a row and counting - and an opportunity to win over another legion of fans, as well as prolonging his career in what is, despite a recent upturn, still one of the slower of the big leagues in Europe.
He'll make a shedload, probably pick up a scudetto and score a load of goals.
Real have form for signing the biggest star to come out of a World Cup and, while that might not happen this summer, the chances of one of Neymar, Eden Hazard or Kylian Mbappe making their way to the Bernabeu might well plummet now.
Ronaldo was all-encompassing in their team, demanding the ball and distorting their shape to get it. With a new manager in Julien Lopetegui, they can build a new team around Bale, Modric, Isco, Asensio, Benzema... or just buy Eden Hazard or Neymar.
Gracias, Ronny, and thanks for the memories.
As for Juve, he provides something that they lack. For all their seven league titles in a row, it is now over 20 years since they last picked up the Champions' League and, with Ronaldo in tow, they can orientate themselves to have a proper tilt at it.
He fits in a structure with Higuain and Dybala, their established stars, and adds to their star power, especially now that Buffon has departed for PSG. They should at least retain Serie A and hope to bat very deep into next year's Champions League with the man who just brought three in a row to Madrid.
And of course, we can't mention the transfer without talking about the fourth party in the room: Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes. He'll pocket an astonishing amount, wring another two years out of his star asset and then flog him onto China or the MLS after one more final Euros in 2020.
Well done, everyone.