Cristiano Ronaldo knows he is a star and he showed it to his new Arab fans at the Al-Nassr club. The presentation ceremony at the team’s stadium was attended by a crowd that cheered his name with a light show and pyrotechnics.
Ronaldo spoke in English about the quality of the Saudi league and expressed his desire to “make people happy.” He also greeted the youngsters from the club’s academy, kicked balls into the stands and smiled for the photos with his family. He then shouted out a short phrase in Arabic to the delight of the fans: “Ana alamy”, meaning ‘I am global’, referencing the club’s nickname.
The contract with the Saudi Arabian club is for two years and he becomes the highest paid soccer player in the world, earning around 200 million dollars in a combination of salaries and commercial agreements. The former Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid striker arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday night and completed a medical before the presentation.
My work in Europe is done, I am proud of this new challenge. It’s a challenge, not only in football, to sign for Al Nassr.”
Ronaldo could debut this Thursday against Al-Ta’ee of the Saudi Pro-League or face Al-Shabab on Saturday. Proceeds from ticket sales for the club’s planned open training session at Mrsool Park in Riyadh will go to charity.
Al Nassr is less than halfway through the 2022-23 season, meaning Ronaldo will still have plenty of time to make an impact. Three club trophies remain at stake: Saudi Pro League, King Cup of Champions and Saudi Super Cup. The team has played all its home matches at Mrsool Park since 2020. It has a current capacity of 25,000 and notably hosted the match of the Maradona Cup between Boca Juniors and Barcelona in 2021.
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