Speculation that one of the game's greatest players could be up for grabs began when he hinted he was considering leaving the Santiago Bernabeu following May's Champions League final victory.
There was little left for Ronaldo, Real's all-time record goalscorer with 450, to prove in Madrid.
He said he had spent nine fantastic years at the Spanish giants.
"But I think the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that's why I asked the club to accept to transfer me," he said in a statement.
And with both Portugal and Argentina being bundled out of the World Cup in the second round on June 30, it seems likely that the sport's crowning achievement will elude both partners in football's greatest player rivalry.
- Destined for greatness -
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was special from an early age. In the year of his 16th birthday, he played for Sporting Lisbon's under-16, under-17, under-18, reserve and first teams, and two years later he so impressed Alex Ferguson in a 2003 pre-season friendly that the then-Manchester United boss snapped him up.
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.
He was the first player to score 100 Champions League goals, and topped the competition's scoring charts six times. The 17 goals he scored as Real beat local rivals Atletico to the 2014 title remains a single-season record.
He finally got the international monkey off his back with the 2016 Euros win after a lifetime of near misses and flattering to deceive on the world stage.
- Last World Cup? -
Ronaldo also became only the fourth player to score in four World Cups when he started this year's campaign with a hat-trick against Spain that culminated in a stunning free kick.
But he only bagged one more goal before Portugal fell to Uruguay, and will be 37 by the time the next global showpiece rolls around -- meaning it is unlikely he will improve on a run to the semi-finals in 2006.
On the same day Messi, with whom Ronald has long competed for the title of the world's best, was sent home empty-handed by a French side inspired by a breathtaking performance from 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe.
The World Cup in Russia may serve as a changing of the guard at the highest echelons of the sport, with Real Madrid forced this week to deny it made bids for both Mbappe and his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar.
But whoever replaces Ronaldo may find it tough going filling his shoes.
And Ronaldo will be looming at Juventus in European competitions as he continues to rack up records and build his case for being considered the greatest of all time.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)