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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo set to join Al-Nassr in January

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo will join Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr on January 1, according to Marca.

Ronaldo will reportedly sign a bumper €200 million per year deal for two-and-a-half seasons. He will take the throne as the highest-paid athlete in the world.

There were talks about a return to Sporting CP, where he started his career.

However, Al-Nassr showed the most interest in Ronaldo’s services, and it looks like they have their man.

Although Ronaldo would love to continue in Europe, the financial offer from the Saudi Arabian club is too good to ignore.

Ronaldo will become the Saudi image abroad for a country that seeks to have a more prominent role in the world of sports. His signing is considered a matter of state importance.

The 37-year-old will be the face of Neom, a city under construction in Tabuk Province in north-western Saudi Arabia. Neom incorporates smart city technologies and will function as a tourist destination.

Former Marseille, Lyon and AS Roma maanger Rudi Garcia is the head coach at Al-Nassr. Ronaldo will link-up with former European football stars such as goalkeeper David Ospina, defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, and Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner pushed to leave United this summer after finishing as the club’s top scorer last season.

Despite his efforts in front of goal, the club finished in a Europa League spot and Ronaldo wanted to leave.

Super-agent Jorge Mendes hawked him around Europe. However, Chelsea, Napoli, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid rejected the chance to sign him.

This led to palpable discontent from Ronaldo. He was a distraction with his constant sulking around the squad. Erik Ten Hag responded by benching the player, but the decision led to more problems.

When the Dutchman asked Ronaldo to come on for the final two minutes of United’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, Ronaldo refused and stormed down the tunnel.

He then gave an explosive interview with Piers Morgan. He accused the club of going backwards and Ten Hag of not respecting him.

United terminated Ronaldo’s contract on November 22. He now looks set to join Al-Nassr, leaving Europe for the first time in his career.

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