Football: Cristiano Ronaldo joins Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr FC in deal extending till 2025
Riyadh, December 31, 2022
Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the Al Nassr Football Club of Saudi Arabia in a surprise deal that will keep him in the country till 2025.
The Saudi Arabian club announced on Saturday that it has officially signed the 37-year-old Portuguese superstar, confirming the news that had broken out during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar that ended on December 18.
"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," the club based in Riyadh said on its official social media account on Saturday.
Media reports have claimed that Ronaldo could be making more than 200 million U.S. dollars a year in West Asia. Some reports claimed that he will get 75 million a year, plus all the incentives and some percentage of ad revenue and sales.
"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," said the Portuguese captain, who will leave major European leagues for the first time in his career.
Ronaldo's arrival gives the Saudi Arabian football league a huge boost in the region too as Al Nassr Football Club participates in the Asian Champions League.
As an iconic figure of European football, Ronaldo has won five UEFA Champions League titles with Real Madrid and Manchester United. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner also lifted Portugal's national team's first European Championship trophy in 2016.
Ronaldo terminated his contract with Manchester United in November this year after he harshly criticized the club's head coach Erik ten Hag and management team in an explosive interview. Later he experienced a disappointing FIFA World Cup in Qatar as he only scored one goal and Portugal lost to Morocco in the quarter-finals.