Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo ended his nine-year-long spell with one of the biggest clubs in the world Real Madrid to join Italian club Juventus for $117 million (€100 million) plus additional charges accounting to $14 million (€12 million).
The 33-year old footballer joined Juventus under a four-year contract that will see him pocket $35 million (€30 million) per season. In 2008 Ronaldo was bought by Real Madrid from Manchester United for $110 million (€94 million), making it then the most expensive football association transfer and Ronaldo the world’s most expensive player.
During his nine-year gig at Real Madrid, Ronaldo hit 451 goals, won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey crowns, four Champions League titles and four Ballon d’Or awards.
In an open letter, the Portuguese-forward thanked his fans as he said: “I’ve had nine absolutely marvelous years here. They’ve been nine unique years.”
“I believe that the time has come to embark on a new chapter in my life and that’s why I asked the club to allow me to move on.”
Juventus, the Serie A champions pounced to sign the Portugal captain as he indicated that it was time for him to move after winning the UEFA Champions League final against Liverpool in May.
Ronaldo’s contract with Real Madrid which runs through June 2021 was an extension of his earlier deal with the Spanish club which was set to expire after the 2017-18 season, according to Forbes. Moreover, his annual compensation from salary and bonuses was estimated at more than $50 million a year before taxes.
Last year Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. was bought by Paris Saint-German (PSG) from Barcelona for $262 million (£198 million), one of the biggest transfers ever till date. The French football club also bought France-forward Kylian Mbappe in 2017 for $210 million (€180 million), making him one of the world’s most expensive footballers under 21.
In another transfer, Algerian footballer Riyad Mahrez signed a five-year contract worth $79.5 million (£60 million) with Premier League Champions Manchester City.