Cristiano Ronaldo has written an open letter to Real Madrid fans explaining why he asked to leave the club after nine years.
The Portuguese forward signed from Manchester United in the summer of 2009 but is leaving for a “new step” at Juventus.
Real Madrid released a letter, penned by Ronaldo, on their website:
“These years in Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.
“I only have feelings of enormous thanks for this club, this fanbase and this city. I can only give thanks to all of them for the love and affection that I have received.
“However, I think that the moment has arrived to start a new chapter in my life and therefore I have asked the club to accept letting me leave. I am sorry it is like this and I ask all of you, especially our followers, to please understand me.
“I have reflected a lot and I know that the moment has arrived for a new cycle. I am leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu I will continue to feel as something that is mine wherever I go.
“Thank you to everyone and, of course, like I said for the first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!”