Ronaldo ends nine-year Madrid reign, joins Juventus

Massimiliano Allegri’s side claimed a seventh straight Serie A title last season by holding off an inspired Napoli, but fell to Real in Europe after a dramatic quarter-final, when Ronaldo ended a thrilling fightback by the Old Lady with a controversial last-gasp penalty.

Ronaldo also scored twice in the 2016 final as Real downed Juve 4-1 in Cardiff.

It will be the biggest fee ever paid for a player aged over 30, but the Italians are gambling on the hope that Ronaldo can produce similar longevity to their former goalkeeper Gianliugi Buffon, 40, who left for Paris Saint-Germain last week.

But they are not the only ones with faith in one of the best players of all time, with Juventus’ shares on the stock exchange spiking by almost 40 percent since rumours of Ronaldo’s arrival first surfaced on June 28, and by 5.7 percent on Tuesday alone.

Ronaldo won two La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns with Real after joining from Manchester United in 2009 for a then world-record fee of £80 million ($94 million).

The winger was converted into an out-and-out striker, scoring an incredible 451 goals for Los Blancos in just 438 matches, smashing the club’s previous scoring record of 323 held by Raul.

“They have been nine unique years,” added Ronaldo. 

“It has been an exciting time for me, full of respect but also hard because Real Madrid have high expectations, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.”

Serie A will be the third of Europe’s four biggest leagues that Ronaldo has graced, and his move shows that none of his drive and ambition have decreased in the latter stages of his career.

He will also be hoping to take the lead later this year in his personal race with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi for most Ballon d’Or awards, although fans will now have fewer on-field battles between the two to enjoy.

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