Cristiano Ronaldo signs for Juventus from Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Italian giants Juventus have signed Cristiano Ronaldo, with the former Real Madrid star heading for his first spell in Italy, after nine years starring in Spain's La Liga.

Six years, three Premier League titles and a Champions League later and he was on his way to Real Madrid, having joined George Best and Eric Cantona among the greatest players to wear United's prized number 7 shirt.

The first signs of an uneasy relationship emerged when he declared on the pitch in 2012, "I'm sad and the club know why", and they reared their head again after the 4-1 win over Juventus in the 2017 Champions League final when newspaper A Bola said he had chose to leave.

"I believe that the time has come to begin a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept my transfer request". This is how I feel and I want to ask everyone, and especially our fans, to please understand me.

Ronaldo spent nine years in Madrid after moving from Manchester United - and leaves as the club's all-time top goalscorer.

Ronaldo has regularly been linked with a move away from Madrid, but speculation has intensified in the wake of comments he made after the team's Champions League final win over Liverpool in May. On an individual basis, with the Real Madrid jersey he has won 4 Gold Balls, 2 The Best, and 3 Gold Boots, among many other awards.

Kylian Mbappe, Eden Hazard and Neymar have all been touted as Ronaldo's potential replacement.

"I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle".

Real has not given any details on the financial terms of this transfer.

The 33-year-old and his world renowed agent Jorge Mendes met with Juventus' CEO on Wednesday to finalize the move to the club that has won the past seven Serie A titles.

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli flew out on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time) to meet the five-time Ballon d'Or victor.

Among Ronaldo's goals against Juve last season was a spectacular overhead kick in the first leg which even drew cheers from the Bianconeri faithful.

Juventus will play four preseason games in the United States this summer - including the MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on August 1 and an International Champions Cup match against Real Madrid in Washington on August 4.

Juventus have reached the Champions League final twice in the last four years and lost both.

Juve, meanwhile, were compelled to publish a statement after their stock price rocketed amid news of the superstar's potential arrival . Ronaldo scored the fourth in a 4-1 victory against city rivals Atlético, setting a UEFA Champions League record of 17 goals in a single season in doing so.