FOOTBALL- Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo finally completed the move to Italian club Juventus for a record 112m euros (£99.2m), becoming the fourth most expensive player of all time.
"The time has come to open a new stage in my life, that's why I asked the club to accept transferring me," Ronaldo said of his decision.
The top three most expensive players are – Brazilian Neymar bought for £200m by Paris Saint Germain from Barcelona, France forward Kylian Mbappe again by PSG for £166m. Barcelona also paid Liverpool £142m for Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho in January.
The four year deal releases Ronaldo from Real Madrid after nine successful years. Ronaldo won four Champions League titles with Real.
In his letter to fans, Ronaldo continues, “They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an emotional time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of the highest demands, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.
“I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I'm leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu but they will continue to always feel part of me wherever I am.
“Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Go Madrid!”
Real Madrid also thanked Ronaldo for nine wonderful years.
"For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of the great symbols," said a club statement.
"Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.
"Real Madrid will always be your home."