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Cristiano Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid to join Juventus

Five-time World Player of the Year has signed for Seria A champions in a deal worth $123m, according to media reports.

Spanish football giants Real Madrid have confirmed the sale of Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Italian Serie A champions Juventus, in one of the most spectacular transfers in the sport's history.

The 33-year-old five-time World Player of the Year was moved on Tuesday for a fee reported in Italian and Spanish media as $123m.

"Real Madrid announces that it has agreed to transfer Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus FC due to the will and desire expressed by the player," the Madrid-based club said in a statement.

"Today Real Madrid would like to express its gratitude to a player that has proved to be the best in the world and has carved out one of the most brilliant eras in the history of our club and world football," the statement added.

Juventus have not yet confirmed the transfer, which was revealed just hours before the World Cup semi-final between France and Belgium.

Ronaldo joined Real from English side Manchester United in 2009 and won two Spanish titles and four Champions Leagues with the club in addition to a host of individual awards.

But he hinted his time at the Santiago Bernabeu could be up immediately after the last Champions League success and  Juventus captured his signature.

Ronaldo wrote an open thank you letter to Real Madrid supporters that was published on the club's website.

"These years at Real Madrid, and in the city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest in my life," he wrote.

"I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for the fans and for the city. I can only thank all of them for the affection I have received.

"However, I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to agree to transfer me. I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to understand that." he added.

Ronaldo was the Spanish club's all-time leading scorer with 451 goals in 438 matches.

Juventus are record Italian champions and have won seven consecutive Serie A titles.

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