What started out as a rumor was confirmed today: Cristiano Ronaldo's nine-year stay at Real Madrid is over.
The Portuguese ace has finalized a deal with Juventus, which will make him the best-paid player in the Italian top flight.
Real Madrid revealed the news to the world via a press release, thanking the footballer for his contribution to "one of the brightest eras not only for the club, but for the world of football," according to the document.
Cristiano Ronaldo first expressed his desire to leave right after the end of the UEFA Champions League final. As soon as Portugal was eliminated from the FIFA World Cup, rumors started linking the Portuguese ace to Juventus. Today, the Italian side has agreed to pay CR7's $123M release clause.
Real Madrid's press release also numbered the player's accomplishments during his time with Los Blancos. Added to that, the team left the door open for a possible comeback, as its final words say: "Real Madrid will always be Cristiano Ronaldo's home."
Here's Real Madrid's full press release on Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer.
"Real Madrid C.F. informs that Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus has been completed, according to the player's desire.
Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player that has demonstrated what being the best in the world is all about, and has been a part of one of the brightest eras of our club and world football.
Beyond all the trophies that were conquered and all the victories on the pitch throughout his nine-year stay, Cristiano Ronaldo has become an example of work ethic, responsibility, talent and how to overcome adversity.
He also became the team's all-time top scorer with 451 goals in 438 games. Cristiano Ronaldo contributed to win 16 titles, including four UEFA Champions Leagues, three of them in a row and four out of the last five years. Individually, the player won four Ballon D'Ors, two The Best awards and three Golden Boots, among his many accomplishments.
Real Madrid will always consider Cristiano Ronaldo as one of its symbols, and a unique reference for generations to come. Real Madrid will always be his home."