The impossible has happened.
Real Madrid confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Juventus on Tuesday, announcing it has agreed to let the 33-year-old join the Bianconeri.
Madrid said in a statement it accepted the player’s wishes to leave the Spanish capital for Juventus.
Juventus later revealed Ronaldo put pen to paper on a four-year contract, with €100 million to be paid in two instalments to Madrid and a further €12 million in solidarity payments and commission.
The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano expects Ronaldo to earn €30 million a year after taxes. The total cost of the move is expected to reach €340 million in fees, wages, and taxes.
Ronaldo – who joined Los Blancos in 2009 from Manchester United for a reported €94 million – collected four Champions League titles, three Club World Cups, two La Liga crowns, and two Spanish Cups during a trophy-laden nine-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu. He also surpassed Raul as Madrid’s all-time leading scorer, netting 451 goals in 438 matches across all competitions.
Ronaldo sent the rumour mill into overdrive immediately after the Champions League final when he said “it was very nice to be at Real Madrid.”
Rumours of a split came as Ronaldo pleaded innocence in a tax evasion trial. He reportedly reached an agreement with authorities to settle the matter before Portugal’s first World Cup match.
There were also reports of a rift between Madrid president Florentino Perez and Ronaldo. The two were apparently at loggerheads over the renewal of his contract, which was set to expire in 2021.
Juventus seemingly decided to strike after sensing the discord. Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported earlier in the month that the Old Lady would be able to meet Ronaldo’s contract demands. The club worked closely with super-agent Jorge Mendes – who brokered Joao Cancelo’s move from Valencia to Juventus in the weeks prior – and ultimately received Ronaldo’s word.
Club president Andrea Agnelli even flew to Greece, where Ronaldo is vacationing, to finalise personal terms.
Ronaldo’s arrival caps Juventus’ methodical rise from the ashes of a match-fixing scandal that condemned the club to the second division in 2006. Juventus opened Italy’s first privately owned stadium in 2011, and has since increased revenue on a yearly basis.
The first sign of Juventus’ financial strength came in 2016 when the club snatched Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli for a reported €90 million. He became Juventus’ record signing and leading earner at €7.5 million a year after taxes.
However, Ronaldo is now set to surpass his former Madrid teammate in both departments.
It’s unclear if the seven-time defending Serie A champion will have to sell any players to lessen the financial burden of Ronaldo’s transfer.