Cristiano Ronaldo signs with Saudi club Al-Nassr

This is one of the most resounding transfers in history: the five-time Golden Ball Cristiano Ronaldo, now ignored at 37 by the greats of Europe, favored a golden exile by signing a two-year contract on Friday. and a half with the Saudi club Al-Nassr.

Without a club since the termination of his contract with Manchester United at the end of November, « CR7 », who likes to show his very jet set life on social networks, could have chosen an end to his career in the United States. But the Portuguese, admittedly attracted by a staggering salary of 200 million euros over two and a half years, took everyone on the wrong foot.

« I can’t wait to discover a new football championship in a different country, » he said, quoted on his new club’s Twitter account and posing with his new jersey, yellow and blue, stamped with his usual number 7. .

« Al-Nassr’s vision for men’s and women’s football is very inspiring, we could see during the World Cup that Saudi Arabia was a country with a lot of ambition and potential », continued in a statement. , published by the communication agency that represents him, the five-time Ballon d’Or and five-time winner of the Champions League.

His arrival in Saudi Arabia indeed highlights an unknown championship and above all a country which emphasizes sport, like its neighbor Qatar which has just organized the World Cup, to change its image and make people forget its shortcomings. to human rights.

« History Being Written »

“History is being written. This transfer will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success, but it will inspire our league, our country and future generations of boys and girls to perform at their best. » club president, Musalli Al-Muammar, whose team has been coached since July by Frenchman Rudi Garcia.

“He is one of the best players of all time who has confirmed that he is starting a new adventure in Saudi Arabia,” said Sports Minister Prince Abdelaziz bin Turki al-Fayçal.

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born in the small island of Madeira, in the Atlantic Ocean, has five Champions League titles (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018), champion titles in Italy (2019 , 2020) with Juventus Turin, in Spain (2012, 2017) with Real Madrid and in England (2007, 2008, 2009) with Manchester United.

He is also the top scorer in the Champions League and in the history of the Portuguese selection, with whom he won Euro 2016.

Without self-criticism

But Ronaldo remains on a disappointing experience at Manchester United, the club where he revealed himself on the international scene between 2003 and 2009 and where he returned in August 2021, after his spells at Real Madrid (2009-2018) and at the Juventus (2018-2021).

Since last summer, he had been looking to leave Manchester United and the arrival of Erik ten Hag on the bench, which limited his playing time, did not help matters.

In a scathing 90-minute television interview with journalist Piers Morgan in November, just before the World Cup, « CR7 » settled accounts with Manchester United and attacked its coaches, past and present, its leaders and his former teammates, without an ounce of self-criticism on his own failings.

In the process, Manchester United announced the termination of his contract « by mutual agreement ».

During the last World Cup, he certainly made history by becoming the first player to score at least one goal in five different World Cups, but it was with the unusual status of a substitute that he followed the end of journey of his team, eliminated in the quarter-finals.

He then attended the world coronation of his great Argentine rival Lionel Messi, who won the only title that was still missing from his list and that Cristiano Ronaldo will probably never win.

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