Real Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that star forward Cristiano Ronaldo will move to Serie A champions Juventus from the upcoming campaign, putting an end to his nine-year stay with the Spanish club.
A statement on the official website of the Champions League winners read: "Real Madrid CF communicates 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."
The statement did not reveal any details about the transfer amount but Spanish media reports have said it could reach 105 million euros ($120 million), with the 33-year-old signing a four-year contract worth 30 million euros per season.
In a letter posted on Real Madrid's website, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner said his time in Madrid had been one of the happiest of his life.
"I only have feelings of huge thanks for this club, for the fans and for this city," he said.
"But I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that's why I asked the club to accept to transfer me.
"I ask everyone, and especially our supporters, to please understand me."
Ronaldo, whose Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup in Round of 16 by Uruguay, had hinted after Champions League victory over Liverpool in May, that he was considering leaving Santiago Bernabeu.
"It was very nice to be in Madrid," he said at the time, using the past-tense. He later played down the statement, but doubts over his future at Madrid lingered.
Ronaldo's stint at Madrid was a largely successful one as he won 16 titles that included four Champions League crowns, two La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey winners' medals. In process, he also became Real Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer netting 451 goals in 438 games.
"For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Real Madrid will always be your home." the statement concluded paying tribute to one of the greatest players to have donned the Real Madrid jersey
With inputs from AFP