On Friday, Cristiano Ronaldo signed a lucrative contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, completing a historic move for soccer in the region. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was seen holding up the team’s shirt on social media by Al Nassr, and the club hailed the signing as “history in the making.” The club tweeted.
“I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country,” Cristiano Ronaldo said in Al-Nassr’s statement announcing the deal.
“The vision of what Al Nassr are doing and developing in Saudi Arabia both in terms of men’s and women’s football is very inspiring. We can see from Saudi Arabia’s recent performance at the World Cup that this is a country with big football ambitions and a lot of potential.
“I am fortunate that I have won everything I set out to win in European football and feel now that this is the right moment to share my experience in Asia. I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and together with them help the Club to achieve success.”
The 37-year-old did not have to wait until the start of the January transfer season to sign a new contract since he was a free agent and instantly available following his public breakup with Manchester United last month.
Since leaving Manchester, there have been persistent rumours that Cristiano Ronaldo is about to sign with a team in Saudi Arabia, despite his prior denials.
Ronaldo discussed his feelings of being deceived by United and his lack of respect for manager Erik ten Hag in an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV that was broadcast just before the World Cup began.
With just one goal in 10 Premier League games this season, Cristiano Ronaldo’s short tenure at United came to an unhappy and disappointing conclusion with his departure from the club.
In an October incident against Tottenham Hotspur, he refused to enter the field and instead chose to walk down the tunnel with minutes left in the game. Ten Hag primarily used him as a substitute.
Cristiano Ronaldo changed from a cunning, skilled winger to one of the top players in the world when he initially joined United in 2003.
Before joining Real Madrid in 2009, he won the first of his five Ballon d’Or awards, the Champions League, the FA Cup, two League Cups, and three Premier League championships.
He is by far the most well-known player to move to the Saudi Arabian league, it appears that he will spend the last years of his career beyond the limelight of elite European soccer.
At the World Cup in Qatar last month, Saudi Arabia defeated eventual winner Argentina to record its largest ever international soccer victory. However, it was eliminated early, there aren’t many other stars in the domestic league, and there isn’t a huge international following.
According to Al-Nassr president Musalli Almuammar, “this is more than 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.
“He is a special footballer and a special person whose impact is felt far beyond football. Cristiano Ronaldo is joining a club with big ambitions, a competitive club amongst the very best in Asia and will be welcomed to a country that is making massive progress on and off the pitch with opportunities for all.
“But first and foremost, we can’t wait to see him in the number 7 shirt of Al Nassr doing what he does best, scoring goals, winning titles and bringing joy to those who love the beautiful game.”
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