Cristiano Ronaldo sets a record at the World Cup despite being recently sacked by Manchester United. According to a report, the search for a new employer also runs during the tournament - and successfully. A club from Saudi Arabia offers a lot of money - a lot of money.
In the summer it was said that Cristiano Ronaldo would only leave Manchester United for a club that competes in the Champions League. Almost half a year later, after a lot of unsuccessful speculation and a contract termination with the Red Devils, it now looks as if the 37-year-old will switch to footballing insignificance. Spanish newspaper "Marca" reports that Ronaldo is close to signing in Saudi Arabia. Al-Nasr FC is the name of the club from the Saudi Professional League, with which the superstar is largely in agreement. Third place last year, last champion in 2019, based in the capital Riyadh, full name: al-Nasr Athletic, Social and Cultural Club. Far away from Europe and the Champions League.
The signature should bring the five-time world footballer around 200 million euros, including advertising revenue - and per season. The working paper should run for two and a half years, it is said, with which Ronaldo is likely to earn around half a billion euros in this time alone. At least a lucrative way out of the decline he experienced during his time at Manchester United. Brought as a potential savior, the English record champions increasingly saw him as a disruptive factor. Shortly before the start of the World Cup, Ronaldo poured out his frustration in an interview, severely criticized United and coach Erik ten Hag, and even accused the traditional club of "betraying" him.
Two days after the opening game of the Qatar World Cup, United then officially announced the amicable separation. The attention for the world star around the tournament only increased, the question of the future is omnipresent. He scored at least one goal in Portugal's 3-2 opening win over Ghana in their fifth consecutive world tournament, a feat no man before Ronaldo had done. On Friday, the 2016 European champions meet South Korea at the end of Group H, but qualification for the round of 16 is already certain thanks to the 2-0 win over Uruguay on the second matchday.
So at least two assignments are still waiting for the 37-year-old at the World Cup, who was sentenced in Spain in 2018 to an additional payment of 18.8 million euros for tax evasion and a prison sentence that could just be suspended. The verdict was 23 months and 30 days. In addition, Ronaldo is still accused of rape since "Spiegel" reported in 2017 that the Portuguese paid a woman 375,000 euros in 2010 as part of an out-of-court settlement in order to "maintain confidentiality" and "avoid a public and costly legal dispute". . These events did not affect his career, and in Qatar too Ronaldo is primarily a much-acclaimed football superstar.
Will this global attention soon be directed at al-Nasr FC? In all likelihood only if the reports become certain. At the club, Ronaldo would take on Luiz Gustavo, best known in Germany for his stints at TSG Hoffenheim, FC Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg. The coach is Rudi Garcia, the Frenchman previously worked for OSC Lille, AS Roma and Olympique Marseille, among others. The best-known club in the Saudi Professional League is probably Al-Hilal, also based in Riyadh, with four titles record winners in the Asian Champions League and most recently five times champion within six years.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.)