Cristiano Ronaldo has penned an emotional open letter as he says goodbye to Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old Portuguese player spent nine years at the club, bringing many moments of glory for both himself and his teammates, and this won’t be an easy goodbye for anyone at the club.
Ronaldo rose to become their number one goalscorer of all time, racking up an unbelievable 450 goals.
He also lifted two La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey on two occasions, and not forgetting four Champions League crowns within a five year period.
After nearly 10 years on loan at Real Madrid, Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo is off to Juventus.
— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) July 10, 2018
Now, Ronaldo has made a very personal statement on the club’s website, where he spoke with evident emotion about what his time there had meant to him.
Recalling the happy memories he’ll take forward with him, Ronaldo said:
These years in Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.
I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for this hobby and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.
However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.
They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years. They have been nine unique years. It has been an exciting time for me, full of consideration but also hard because Real Madrid is of a very high demand, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed football here in a unique way.
Discover more about Ronaldo’s glorious career below:
Ronaldo continued to praise his teammates, as well as those who’ve worked behind the scenes to ensure Real’s continued success:
I have had fabulous team-mates in the field and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won three Champions League in a row and four Champions Leagues in five years.
And with them also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won four Ballon d’Ors and three Golden Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club.
Real Madrid has conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the President, the directors, my colleagues, all the technicians, doctors, physios and incredible workers that make everything work and that are pending every detail tirelessly.
Ronaldo, who’s set to become to first footballer to play for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, concluded by graciously thanking his many fans for their support:
Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish Football. During these nine exciting years I have had great players in front of me. My respect and my recognition for all of them.
I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this shield and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.
Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!
Ronaldo fans when they hear Ronaldo to Juventus is almost done now. pic.twitter.com/5UAqrjVwpJ
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) July 10, 2018
Can’t believe ronaldo is off to juventus. So wild.
— Ⓑ (@BULLETlN) July 10, 2018
— Sahid. (@contehs20) July 10, 2018
It seems Ronaldo will be sorely missed by those he’ll leave behind.
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos tweeted a heartfelt message to his prestigious teammate, showing the respect he has for Ronaldo’s unparalleled abilities:
@Cristiano, your goals, your numbers and everything we’ve won together speak for themselves.
You have earned a special place in the history of @RealMadrid. As Madridistas we’ll remember you always.
It’s been a pleasure to play alongside you, bicho. Big hig [sic] and good luck!
.@Cristiano, your goals, your numbers and everything we've won together speak for themselves. You have earned a special place in the history of @RealMadrid. As Madridistas we'll remember you always. It's been a pleasure to play alongside you, bicho. Big hig and good luck! ??? pic.twitter.com/NaywaDd3gw
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) July 10, 2018
Thank you @Cristiano for what you’ve done for @realmadrid. History maker and record breaker, nothing less than professional. What a crack, wasn’t a fan when you arrived to Madrid but those number speak for themselves. Hard to hate the guy when he won everything with the club.
— Ivan Amaya (@ivan4thewin_) July 10, 2018
Ronaldo may have bid adios to Real Madrid, but the legacy he leaves behind will not easily be forgotten.
Good luck Cristiano!
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.