Cristiano Ronaldo bids farewell to Real Madrid via a press release

The day most fans feared has finally arrived. Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Real Madrid this summer to join Juventus, closing one of the most successful stints in the history of the Spanish club.

Minutes after Los Blancos made the announcement via a press release, a letter written by Cristiano Ronaldo was published on the team's website, where he explained his reasons to leave the club and his desire to continue his playing career elsewhere.

Here's Cristiano Ronaldo's goodbye letter, word for word.

"These years at Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, were possibly the happiest of my life.

I have feelings of great appreciation for this club, for the fans and for this city alone. I can only thank them for all the love and affection that I have received. 

However, I think it's time to open a new stage in my life and that's why I asked the club to transfer me. I feel it's the right thing to do, and I ask everyone, especially my fans, to understand my desire.

It's been 9 absolutely wonderful years, nine unique years. It has been exciting times, full of consideration and hard work, because Real Madrid demands it, I know in my heart that I will never forget how I enjoyed playing football here in such a unique manner.

I've shared the pitch and the locker room with wonderful team-mates, I've felt the warmth of our amazing fans, and together we won three Champions League titles in a row and four in five year. Alongside them, I was able to win 4 Ballon D'Ors and 3 Golden Boots. All of that during my stint with this inmense and extraordinary club.

Real Madrid conquered my heart and my family's heart, and that's why I want to say thanks. Thanks to the club, to the President, to the board, to my team-mates, to all the coaches, doctors, physios and workers that make everything function, and to those who are always paying attention to every detail.

Once again, my infinite thanks go out to all our fans, and I'd also like to thank Spanish football. During this nine passionate years, I've had the privilege of facing great players. My respect and recognition to all of them.

I've reflected a lot, and I know it's time for a nerw cycle. I will leave today, but I will feel this crest and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium as part of me wherever I go.

Thank you all, and of course, like I said during that time at our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!"

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