Cristiano Ronaldo will be taking his striking good looks, confident personality and sensational soccer talents to Turin, Italy.
Ronaldo, by acclaim one of the world’s best one or two players, will leave Real Madrid, where he has played since 2009, winning four of the last five Ballons d’Or as player of the year, and head for Juventus, Italy’s dominant team.
No terms were disclosed by Real Madrid, which announced the deal.
Transfer Market, which assesses the value of players, rates Ronaldo at $117 million.
Even at 33, Ronaldo has dazzled on the pitch, leading Real Madrid to three straight Champions League titles.
For whatever price it paid, Juventus has also acquired a player who is a compelling figure for soccer fans and nonfans alike, with the kind of worldwide profile that also brings lucrative marketing opportunities.
Real Madrid said in its statement that the transfer came at Ronaldo’s request.
“Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world,” the club said.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.”
In a letter on Real Madrid’s website, Ronaldo said:
“These years with Real Madrid, and the city of Madrid have been possibly the happiest years of my life.”
“Nevertheless, I believe the moment has come to begin a new stage in my life, and that is why I have asked the club to accept my transfer. I feel this way, and I ask everyone, and especially to our followers to please understand my decision.”
Ronaldo began his senior career with Sporting in his native Portugal, before transferring to Manchester United in 2003 for $16 million. He moved on to Real Madrid six years later for $105 million.
He has also starred for his native Portugal, helping it to a European Championship in 2016 and captaining the team — and scoring a hat trick — at the current World Cup, where it was eliminated in the round of 16.
Ronaldo has been part of a long-running debate among soccer fans about the world’s greatest player with Lionel Messi of Barcelona also having his partisans. At this writing, both have won the Ballon d’Or five times.