Following confirmation that he is set to leave Los Blancos after a remarkable nine years at the Santiago Bernabeu, Cristiano Ronaldo has addressed the Real Madrid faithful.
The statement from Ronaldo reads:
Real Madrid and Juventus have agreed to a transfer deal that will send star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to the Italian champions for a transfer fee which is expected to be the seventh €100M transfer in world soccer history. pic.twitter.com/uHKc8VwjnK— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 10, 2018
"These years in Real Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.
"I have enormous gratitude for the club and for the city. I can only thank them for the love and affection I received.
"However, I believe that the time has come to start a new chapter in my career, therefore I have submitted a transfer request to the club. This is how I feel, and I hope the fans can understand this.
"I have enjoyed nine wonderful years at the club. They have been nine extraordinary years. It has been a exciting time for, full of success and difficulties as there is a lot of pressure to succeed at Real Madrid, but I know that I will never forget how much I have enjoyed football here.
In a letter posted on Madrid's official website, Ronaldo said: "These years in Real Madrid ... have been possibly the happiest of my life.— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) July 10, 2018
"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." pic.twitter.com/jZrdhbYsZF
"I have had fabulous teammates both on and off the field, and I have felt the support of an incredible fanbase. We have won together three Champions Leagues in a row and four Champions Leagues in five years. And with them also on an individual level, I have had the joy of winning four Ballon d'Or titles and three Golden Boot awards. All this during my time at this extraordinary club.
"Real Madrid have conquered my heart, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thank you 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 faced great players. My respect and recognition to them all.
"I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for change. I'm leaving, but this shirt, this crest, and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to feels these things wherever I am.
"Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!"
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to complete his move to Juventus within the coming days, with a £88m fee already agreed and personal terms also reportedly agreed following a meeting between CR7 and Juve's president Andre Agnelli in Greece on Tuesday afternoon.
The reigning Ballon d'Or winner is also reportedly set to complete his medical at Vinovo at the start of next week.