L-R: Giuseppe Marotta, Andrea Agnelli, Ronaldo, Fabio Paratici and his agent Jorge Mendes
Cristiano Ronaldo declared himself the new Special One of football as he vowed to go on and on at the very highest level after sealing a £100million transfer to Juventus. Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, leaves Real Madrid after a nine-year spell with the Spanish giants, in which he scored 451 goals and won four Champions League titles. Including his vast wages, Juventus’ investment in Ronaldo may reach up to £300m over the duration of his four-year contract in Italy, which will take the Portuguese forward through to the age of 37.
Ronaldo, who this morning passed a medical at the club’s Allianz Stadium, insisted he is more driven than the usual mid-thirties star name who heads for ‘China or Qatar’ for a final pay-day and promised to prove he is ‘different’ to his peers. The captain of Portugal’s national team also pledged to carry on representing his country, leaving open the possibility of helping his nation defend their European Championship in 2020 while he could yet appear in another World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
Ronaldo, 33, said: ‘I am not sad to leave Real Madrid. I am here because I want a challenge. Players around my age are going to other countries like China. For this season I am so grateful for the option that Juventus gave me. ‘I will try and show I am a top player. I will work hard. You all know my statistics. I’m ambitious. I don’t want to be in a comfort zone. After Manchester United and Real Madrid, I’d now like to leave my mark on the history of Juventus. It was difficult in Manchester United and Real Madrid to win the Ballon d’Or but I want to be the best. Who knows? Maybe I can do it again if everything goes well.’