In recent comments made by Cristiano Ronaldo, he claimed that he left Europe because there was nothing else for him to win.
For the first time in his career, Cristiano Ronaldo has signed with a team outside of Europe. His contract with Al-Nassr will pay him £173 million annually.
The 37-year-old striker signed a hefty two-and-a-half-year contract on Friday to join Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
Ronaldo is expected to make a staggering £173 million per year in the Middle East, a record-breaking football salary that also signifies the end of his elite career.
Ronaldo has explained why he left European football after losing his eligibility to compete in tournaments like the Champions League, which he won four times with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner said following his announcement, “I am lucky that I have accomplished all I set out to win in European football. I believe that now is the appropriate time to share my experiences in Asia.”
Ronaldo leaves behind what is undoubtedly the best European career in history, one that spanned 21 illustrious years.
In addition to leading Portugal to a historic victory at Euro 2016, the first of two victories at the international level, the captain led his country to seven league titles, including those of England, Italy, and Spain, and 20 additional trophies.
And for just this reason, according to a club release, Al-Nassr views his transfer as so revolutionary.
This is more than history in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome, Cristiano, to your new home.
Ronaldo added: “Since my contentious exit from Manchester United in November, I haven’t been with a club. The concept of Al-Nassr is really amazing and motivating.
I’m eager to explore a different league in a different nation. I can’t wait to get started with my teammates.”
The former Sporting Lisbon and Juventus forward might make his Saudi Pro League debut next Thursday when Al Nassr hosts Al Tai at Wool Park.
Al-Nassr, coached by Frenchman Rudi Garcia, are seeking to win the Saudi Arabian championship for the fourth time in their 67-year history, as they currently sit second in the table after 10 games.
Numerous well-known athletes are anticipated to relocate to the Gulf state in the near future as a result of Ronaldo’s arrival.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the sports minister for Saudi Arabia, tweeted his congratulations on the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo and hinted that more high-profile foreign players may be lured to the league with government support.
He added that he was happy to have one of the top players in the world start his new career in Saudi Arabia.