In a deal worth more than 200 million euros, Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia on Friday. The 37-year-old signed a contract through 2025. “I can’t wait to discover a new football league in a different country,” he said. The Portuguese star was pictured on the Al Nassr Twitter feed holding a blue and yellow shirt with his favoured number seven printed on the back.
“Al Nassr’s vision is very inspiring, and I’m happy to join my teammates so we can work together for greater success,” he said.
In 2019, Al Nassr won their ninth Saudi Arabian league title.
“This isn’t just history in the making. It’s a signing that’s going to inspire our club to do even better, but it’s going to inspire our league, our nation and future generations. @cristiano, welcome to your new home @alnassr_fc,” said the Saudis.
History in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome @Cristiano to your new home @AlNassrFC pic.twitter.com/oan7nu8NWC
— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) December 30, 2022
He’s headed to the Gulf after being benched by Portugal and cut loose by Manchester United.
In an explosive TV interview, the veteran forward said he felt betrayed by United and had no respect for coach Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo’s contract was terminated while he was at the World Cup with Portugal.
When he converted a penalty against Ghana, Ronaldo became the first player to score in five global tournaments.
He didn’t start in Portugal’s rout of Switzerland in the last-16.
He started on the bench when Portugal lost to Morocco in the quarterfinals.
One of the highest-paid players in football is Ronaldo.
According to reports, he made 31 million euros at Juventus, but their accounts are being investigated for underreporting.
Despite taking a pay cut to rejoin United, his basic annual salary is reported to be between 15 million and 28 million euros, before bonuses.
Ronaldo was linked to Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Napoli as his relationship with United soured.
Sporting in Lisbon was also rumored to be his next club. A move to Inter Miami, part-owned by former United teammate David Beckham, was talked about. Those deals didn’t work out.
His diminishing contribution and growing dissatisfaction made him a luxury they couldn’t afford.
Ronaldo is the latest high-priced sporting jewel Saudi Arabia bought to spruce up its reputation.
LIV Golf offers big contracts and purses to attract stars.
In eight tournaments, Dustin Johnson won more than 35 million, including bonuses, on a contract worth up to 125 million dollars.
The kingdom has hosted a Formula One grand prix the last two years, as well as the Dakar Rally.
Newcastle United was acquired by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in 2021.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have long been competing for the titles of greatest player and biggest earner.
The sums of money Ronaldo will reportedly receive in Riyadh far exceed what Messi makes from Paris Saint-Germain.
He’s won five Champions Leagues (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), Italian league titles with Juventus (2019, 2020), Spanish league titles with Real Madrid (2012, 2017) and English league titles with Manchester United (2007, 2008, 2009).
As well as being the top scorer in the Champions League, he won Euro 2016 with the Portuguese national team.
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