So you are leaving us. The day we have all dreaded has finally arrived - and with it, the last news we want to hear. It was the same feeling I had when I heard Raúl was moving on, not long after you'd arrived. And again, five years later with Casillas. And now, Cristiano - my Cristiano - our Cristiano. The man who delivered four Champions Leagues in five years, who won the Ballons d' Or four times and the Golden Shoe three times. A player who came close to reaching 500 goals for Real Madrid in just nine years. An unstoppable, insatiable player who was capable of standing up to and defeating Guardiola's Barça and their tiqui-taca. Let nobody forget that what was predestined to be the Messi era, has been the Cristiano era. And for that, every single madridista will be eternally grateful.
The goals we'll never forget
You scored so many goals - great goals, decisive and crucial goals, that it's a job in itself just to pick out the more memorable ones: for instance, your winner at Camp Nou which silenced the crowd and put the team on the way to winning the league with 100 points - La Liga de los Récords, the two goals you put past Neuer at the Allianz, that hat trick which saved the day against Wolfsburg, that glorious hat trick you bagged in the derby, against Courtois at the Calderón en un derbi - then you did it again, beating Oblak three times in the last derby to be played by the Manzanares, that brace against Juve in the final in Cardiff; the decisive penalty against El Cholo's Atleti which brought us the Undécima in Milan, and the incredible nerve you showed to rifle one past Buffon and into the top corner in the 93rd minute of last season's Champions League quarter final; and then there was that seemingly effortless overhead kick in Turin - the most majestic goal ever scored in the modern day Champions League…
Good luck legend!
None of that can ever be repeated. You will be going to Turin with your memories and those of fans who are devasted to see you go. This might sound like sour grapes, but someone should have told you it's cold outside Madrid - very cold. Madrid is Paradise and moving away is never a wise move... But we admire you so much that a part of us from now on will be bianconera - apart of course, from the days when we cross paths. In Italy, Real Madrid's greatness will become apparent to you in a different way. Winning is part of our genetic makeup. There are no excuses. With Cristiano or without Cristiano, we will be battling to win No.14 at the Wanda Metropolitano next year. Ciao, amigo. See you next time, legend. You will always be ours - THE BEST. Thank you for everything! Obrigado Cristiano!