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Ronaldo joins Juventus

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo -- AFP

MADRID — Modern great Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid to join Italian champions Juventus for €100 million ($117 million) on Tuesday, with the Portuguese superstar saying the time had come “for a new stage” in his life.

Juventus confirmed that Ronaldo had signed a four-year contract and that the transfer fee, including €12 million in add-ons, would be paid over two years, with Spanish media reporting he would receive a salary of €30 million a season.

The 33-year-old striker is expected to have a medical in Turin next week before being unveiled by his new side.

“Today Real Madrid want to give thanks to a player who has demonstrated he is the best in the world and who marked one of the most brilliant periods in the history of our club and world football,” European champions Real Madrid said in a statement.

In a letter posted on the Real website, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said his time in the Spanish capital, during which he became their record goalscorer, had been one of the happiest in 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.” — AFP