Cristiano Ronaldo has put pen to paper on a $75 million-per-year contract with Al Nassr FC, who play in the top-flight of Saudi Arabia.
Previous reports claimed that Ronaldo would be paid $207 million per season. New reports claim that Ronaldo will be guaranteed $75 million per year for his on-field services, with the potential to reach a sum in the neighborhood of $200 million through commercial agreements with the club.
Since the move was confirmed, it has been widely reported (including by ESPN’s Taylor Twellman) that many Major League Soccer teams made a move for Cristiano Ronaldo but the team who came closest to signing him was Sporting KC.
That’s right. Sporting Kansas City. Per the report, club officials held several meetings with Ronaldo’s reps and their financial package was said to be ‘very close’ to what he is being paid by Al Nassr.
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Loan deal to Newcastle a possibility?
There are also reports from Marca in Spain stating that due to Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian links, there is a clause in Ronaldo’s Al Nassr contract which will allow him to join the Premier League club. But only if they qualify for the UEFA Champions League. That is looking like a real possibility given their start to this season, so perhaps Eddie Howe will have Ronaldo to count on for next season?
Ronaldo, 37, was a free agent after agreeing to terminate his contract at Manchester United and it was believed he could head elsewhere in Europe to try and wrack up more records in the UEFA Champions League, but he didn’t receive any “serious offers” to continue his career in Europe.
Ronaldo has instead joined Al Nassr to help promote the game in Saudi Arabia (and — not to belabor the point, but — for a few hundred million).
Is now the right time for Ronaldo to make this move?
Probably. Even if he doesn’t want to admit it (and he doesn’t) his powers are waning at the top level of European soccer. And that’s okay. Father time catches up with us all.
Ronaldo heading to Saudi Arabia, or Major League Soccer, at this point of his career makes perfect sense.
He has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia’s top-flight in the past but it seemed a little early as he still scored 24 goals for Manchester United last season and proved he could deliver spectacular moments at the top level. This season? Not so much.
With Lionel Messi linked with a huge move to Inter Miami in MLS and now Ronaldo potentially heading to Saudi Arabia, the show will go on as two of the greatest players of all time take their talents to new parts of the globe.
Al Nassr have the likes of David Ospina, Vincent Aboubakar, Pity Martinez and Luiz Gustavo in their squad and are one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful teams, having won the domestic title nine times.