With over 15 years of playing at the highest levels of football, we got used to Cristiano Ronaldo breaking records, making history, and headlines week in and week out. Last month alone, the Manchester United striker exposed the side that once made his fame, pointing at the lack of facilities, the poor ambitions mirrored and the number of disagreements happening behind the scenes at the English football club.
Following an explosive interview with English journalist and television personality Piers Morgan, the Portuguese native and quintuple Ballon D’or winner recently became one of the first players to take part in a World Cup as a free agent following a sour exit from his boyhood club. Now, able to join any team he desires, according to Spanish sports newspaper MARCA, Ronaldo could see his next challenge take him to Saudi Arabia as the striker is reportedly close to inking a deal with Riyadh-based football club Al Nasser.
According to the report, the 37-year-old was offered a very tempting $250 million deal to join the Saudi side for a length of two seasons. If it goes through, the transfer would make Ronaldo the highest-paid athlete of all time. A first official bid was initially made earlier on this year, during the summer transfer period, that was eventually rejected, as the athlete expressed the will to keep on competing at the Champions League level in Europe. However, given the rumors circulating on the Internet lately, it seems as if the proposal is back on the table with the star player appearing to be more inclined to take the leap over to the Gulf State.
As Portugal has just qualified into the round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, negotiations have been halted for Ronaldo to fully focus on what is realistically his last attempt at bringing the much-coveted golden trophy back to Lisbon. Although both parties involved are yet to openly confirm or deny any alleged talks, the process seems to be well on its way and could see CR7 take a first step forward toward his retirement in the Middle East.
With the football scene in Saudi growing and improving by the day— as we saw through the national team’s results against Argentina last week— we can only expect Ronaldo’s potential arrival to be a great catalyst for the Kingdom, the Gulf, and the region as a whole.