Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge leaving Real Madrid to sign with Italian champions Juventus, both clubs announced on Tuesday.
Ronaldo, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner is poised to end his nine-year spell at Real Madrid with a move to Turin following a reported rift with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over a new contract.
“Real Madrid would like to communicate that we have listened to the wish and request expressed by player Cristiano Ronaldo and have agreed to his transfer to Juventus FC,” the Champions League holders said in a statement.
Juventus also confirmed the clubs had agreed on a transfer fee of €100 million (approximately $117 million), with the Italian club also paying €12 million in ancillary fees to land the 33-year-old Ronaldo, who signed a four-year contract.
According to reports on ESPN, Real Madrid were willing to match Juventus’ gross salary offer of around €55 million annually (approximately $64.5 million), but Ronaldo still opted to leave.
“Ronaldo’s existing contract with Madrid had three years left to run at €38.5 million ($45.2 million) gross annually, sources said, making it worth significantly less than those of his fellow superstars — Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (€73.6 million) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar (€66 million) — despite the Portugal captain helping Madrid extend their record haul of European Cup trophies to 13,” the report stated.
“However, despite Ronaldo’s deal having an official release clause of €1 billion, Madrid were reportedly willing to accept an offer worth 10 percent of that sum in order to free up space and capital to replenish their successful but ageing squad under new coach Julen Lopetegui.”
Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s all-time top goal scorer, will leave the club after leading them to four Champions League titles — including three in as many years — and he claimed a host of personal accolades and records from his time in Spain, including four of his five Ballon d’Or awards.