Cristiano Ronaldo will play for Saudi club from Jan. 1: Report
Portuguese football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo will play for the Saudi club Al Nassr from Jan. 1, 2023.
The Portuguese footballer will join on a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Saudi Arabian side, according to a report in the Spanish sport daily newspaper MARCA.
Before the year is up, the 37-year-old striker is set to agree to a $217 million-per-year contract. The striker ended his relationship with Manchester United just days before the World Cup in Qatar, making him free to negotiate with any team.
Despite the claims that he would have clubs in the Champions League lining up to sign him, Al-Nassr was the one that showed more interest from the beginning.
Ronaldo had been hoping to stay in Europe’s elite club competition contract, in addition to the hefty signing-on fee (just under 100 million euros) is accompanied by financial incentives via advertising, which will make the Portuguese the highest-paid sportsman in the world.
The total worth of Ronaldo 's contract with Al Nassr will be close to 200 million euros per season, the newspaper reported.
Lionel Messi and Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain currently lead the way, but the 75 and 70 million euros that they earn per season fall far short of what Cristiano will receive in Saudi Arabia.
Even going through the list of the highest-paid athletes in the United States, they all fall far short of the money promised to the Portuguese.
Ronaldo will find himself in a team that is looking to regain its lost dominance in its competition, which is a long way off the world’s elite.
The step backwards he is taking in sporting terms is evident, but his own level has declined a lot in recent seasons and he is even being criticized in Portugal.
At Al-Nassr, he will be coached by the Frenchman Rudi Garcia and will be partnered by Alvaro Gonzalez. The central defender arrived in Saudi soccer last summer after finishing his time in France.
The presence of David Ospina also stands out. The Colombian goalkeeper finished his contract with Napoli and decided to accept the Saudi Arabian proposal last summer.
Before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Ronaldo was connected to the Saudi Arabian club, but he declined to comment because he was preoccupied with the competition.
According to reports, Ronaldo and his family, who are in Dubai, are awaiting confirmation of the arrangement, which also involves advertising agreements.