Cristiano Ronaldo says it was “an easy decision” to swap life at Real Madrid for that at Juventus, with a €100 million (£89m/$114m) transfer allowing him to fulfil a childhood dream.
Having broken countless records over the course of nine years in the Spanish capital, the Portuguese superstar has opted to take on a new challenge this summer.
He is 33 years of age, but has shown no sign of slowing down as he chases down a sixth Ballon d’Or crown and another FIFA Best prize.
It could be that those awards are secured as a Bianconeri player, with Ronaldo claiming that he needed little persuading to move to Italy once interest from Turin materialised.
He told JuventusTV after linking up with his new team-mates for pre-season training: “Great club, first of all it is a great club. Since I was a kid, I looked at this team and said I hope to play there one day. Now I will play for a fantastic club, one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’m happy.
“I don’t have a precise moment when I decided. During the years, we played a few times against Juve and I had a special feeling that the Italian supporters like Cristiano.
“It’s the biggest club in Italy, one of the best in the world, so it was an easy decision, as Juve are an unbelievable club.”
Ronaldo also reiterated that his desire to represent Juve grew on the back of the appreciation shown to him by the club’s supporters after he netted a stunning overhead kick in a Champions League quarter-final clash in Turin last season.
He added: “Unbelievable. I remember every day, that never happened to me before. In the Champions League against Juve, a quarter-final, you score a goal and see everyone in the stadium applaud you. It was an unbelievable feeling.
“I felt surprised at the beginning. I am used to following Juve and I like the club, but since that moment I liked them even more. I won’t say it was the key point in my decision, but every detail helps. Maybe. Of course, it helps when you see the people like you, the supporters and club like you, the feeling is completely different.
“I have to say thank you to all of them for the support. My priority is to do my best, be professional, try to make the team even better. That is my job, I’ll try to enjoy it as much as I can and make Juventus even better.
“My first goal will happen in a natural way, I’m not thinking about that. I know that I will be prepared, I’ll be ready, but my first goal doesn’t matter. I just want to be ready.
“I want to be in good shape, help the team, win trophies – that is what I’m looking for.”
Ronaldo has been at the top of the world game for over a decade now, but feels there is still plenty for him to achieve as he prepares to open an exciting new chapter.
He added: “I don’t know, maybe it’ll be different here in this club. So far, I feel the people at the club are different, they are nice and like a family. The supporters are the same.
“I’m excited and of course I want to make them happy. I’ve been a professional for 15-16 years, so my method is always the same. I played for many years at Manchester United and Real Madrid, now is a new adventure, but I want to always keep the same working method and ethic, helping the team to achieve our goals.”