Cristiano Ronaldo: Former Manchester United forward unveiled as Al Nassr player in Saudi Arabia
Cristiano Ronaldo said the deal for the Saudi club’s superstar was officially announced by Al Nasr on Tuesday, after turning down several other offers from Europe and North America.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to play in the Saudi Pro League, reportedly to make him the highest-paid player of all time. $75 million is paid annually.
Speaking at a press conference, Ronaldo said:
“I am proud to have taken this big decision in my life. My work in Europe is over. I have won everything and played for the most important club in Europe. This is a new challenge.”
He said he turned down offers from various teams around the world before joining Al Nasr.
“No one knows, but in Europe, in Brazil, in Australia, in the United States, in Portugal, there are many opportunities and many clubs have tried to sign me. I made a promise to this club,” said Ronaldo. “I want to give this country and football a different vision, which is why I jumped at the opportunity.”
The 37-year-old, who has won five Ballon d’Or and five Champions League titles, will be playing outside Europe for the first time in his long career.
Ronaldo was introduced to fans at his 25,000-seat Mussor Park in Riyadh. Excitement mounted throughout the day ahead of Ronaldo’s performance, with fans descending into the stadium early in anticipation of his arrival. The Portuguese international’s deal with United ended in November after he gave an explosive TV interview criticizing manager Eric ten Hug and the club’s owners, the Glazer family.
18-time Saudi champion Al Nasr made an offer to Ronaldo during the World Cup in Qatar in November and December. However, the deal was not confirmed until December 30th.
Ronaldo flew into Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport on Monday, where he and his family were greeted by fans before undergoing a health check-up at Muthor Park on Tuesday. The highly ambitious transfer could bring unprecedented focus to Saudi Arabian football and little-known clubs outside Asia, Al Nasr, ahead of a bid to potentially host the World Cup in 2030. It is expected.
Cristiano Ronaldo has defended criticism over his move to Saudi Arabia: “I am a unique player.
Al Nasr manager Rudi Garcia said signing Ronaldo was a big step for the Saudi league.
“I’ve seen in my life that a great player like Cristiano is the easiest to deal with because I can’t teach him anything,” Garcia told reporters.
“As he said, we are here to win, nothing else. Play with Al Nasr, enjoy winning with Al Nasr, that’s all.