Ronaldo will be officially unveiled by Al Nassr on Tuesday after agreeing a contract that runs until 2025 and is reportedly worth more than 200 million euros
By AFPJanuary 03, 2023
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo gets a jersey from President Musalli Al-Muammar of the Al Nassr football membership. — AFP
Portugal ahead Cristiano Ronaldo receives a jersey from President Musalli Al-Muammar of the Al Nassr football club. — AFP
Unwanted via Europe’s elite golf equipment, Cristiano Ronaldo’s steep decline has been laid bare by a flow to Saudi Arabian facet Al Nassr that signals the stop of his reign as one of football’s most feared strikers.
Ronaldo may be officially unveiled with the aid of Al Nassr on Tuesday after agreeing a agreement that runs till 2025 and is reportedly well worth extra than two hundred million euros.
But the riches and fanfare that watch for the 37-12 months-old in Saudi Arabia are at odds with his reduced repute as a fallen megastar buying and selling on beyond heroics.
For Ronaldo to be forced to play out what’s going to clearly be the final chapter of his glittering career inside the soccer backwater of Saudi Arabia is a damning indictment of his lacklustre form over the past 18 months.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, heads to the Gulf after a painful year that noticed him relegated to the Portugal bench and cut adrift by Manchester United.
His 2nd spell with United imploded in November together with his departure with the aid of mutual consent, rapidly after he criticised boss Erik ten Hag and the membership’s hierarchy in an explosive television interview.
As his courting with United soured, Ronaldo turned into linked to a string of Champions League contenders inclusive of Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Napoli.
A go back to his first club Sporting Lisbon changed into additionally rumoured, at the same time as there was speak of a move to the MLS to sign up for Inter Miami, part-owned by using former United group mate David Beckham.
But none of these offers came to fruition and while United decided his diminishing contribution, coupled with his public shows of dissent, made him a pricey luxury they no longer needed, it was instructive to note the absence of a hurry to sign the getting older icon.
Coming on the identical time as his acrimonious United exit, Ronaldo’s failed quest to eventually win the World Cup underlined his descent to the ranks of soccer’s mere mortals.
Tears in Qatar
In a flow that might had been unthinkable only some years ago, Ronaldo turned into unnoticed of the starting line-up for Portugal’s ultimate 16 thrashing of Switzerland.
And whilst Portugal suffered a shock 1-0 defeat in opposition to Morocco in the region-finals, Ronaldo started on the bench, made little effect after his eventual creation and become ultimate seen trudging down the tunnel in tears after the very last whistle.
There changed into a sting within the World Cup story for Ronaldo as it was his old sparring partner Lionel Messi who got his fingers at the trophy for the first time rather.
The sight of Messi lifting the World Cup after Argentina’s very last victory over France in Qatar will have pained Ronaldo given their long-standing contention.
Few could query Ronaldo’s proper to be appeared as one of the all-time greats after winning 5 Champions League crowns and a combined seven domestic league titles with United, Juventus and Real Madrid.
He is likewise the record goal-scorer in the Champions League and with the Portuguese countrywide group, who won the 2016 European Championship — Ronaldo lasted much less than half an hour before going off injured inside the final in opposition to France.
But Messi’s triumph with Argentina vaulted him into the ranks of football’s immortals along Pele and Diego Maradona, a rarefied air that Ronaldo will never pattern with out a World Cup victory on his CV.
Ronaldo’s selection to just accept the moneymaking deal provided in the Middle East in preference to play on for a lesser European team made it clean he knows his dwindled vicinity within the football hierarchy.
Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah are the new global stars moving into Ronaldo’s boots.
Al Nassr hailed Ronaldo’s signing by means of claiming the “history making” deal could “inspire future generations” to be the exceptional model of themselves.
But for the tens of millions who’ve been captivated through Ronaldo during the last two decades, this model of the movie star is very some distance from his satisfactory.