Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr unveil Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo was officially presented by Al Nassr in front fans at 25,000-capacity Mrsool Park
Cristiano Ronaldo has officially joined Al Nassr
Cristiano Ronaldo has officially joined Al Nassr

(Football news) Cristiano Ronaldo has officially joined Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr, signing a two and a half year contract after completing his medical on Tuesday. The Portuguese superstar will receive $75 million per year, making him the highest paid footballer in history and the 37 year old is also expected to be an ambassador for Saudi Arabia as they attempt to bid for the 2030 World Cup. The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus player said that he turned down multiple offers from Europe, North America, Brazil and Australia to join Al Nassr and will now play outside Europe for the first time in his career.

“I’m so proud to make this big decision in my life. In Europe, my work is done. I won everything and played for the most important clubs in Europe. This is a new challenge. Nobody knows this, but I had many opportunities in Europe, Brazil, Australia, America, Portugal; many clubs tried to sign me. I gave my word to this club. I want to give a different vision of this country and football. This is why I took this opportunity. I’m a unique player, for me it’s normal.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo had his contract terminated by Manchester United after an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticised the club and it’s facilities, Erik ten Hag as well as the Glazer family. 18 time Saudi champions Al Nassr made an offer to Ronaldo during the 2022 World Cup but the deal was not confirmed until December 30th. Ronaldo subsequently flew to Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport on Monday and went through a medical at Mrsool Park on Tuesday, after which he was unveiled.

“In my life, I’ve seen that great players like Cristiano are the simplest to manage, because there’s nothing I can teach him. Like he said, we are here to win, nothing else. I want him to enjoy playing with Al Nassr and winning with Al Nassr, just that.”

Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia

Signing Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly a big statement of intent from Al Nassr and could potentially pave a way for future superstars to join the Saudi Pro League. However, one concern is that they would not want the league to be a retirement home for players who are past their prime.

The country definitely has the financial resources to attract top talent and create an infrastructure that can rival the best in the world, however, players dream of playing in Europe’s elite club competitions as well as the UEFA Champions League, factors that Saudi Arabia cannot match and it might be a tough sell to get the best players in the world participating in the Saudi Pro League in their prime.

Also read: Manchester United score three past Bournemouth at Old Trafford


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