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Cristiano Ronaldo joins Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on two-year deal

I am eager to experience a new football league in a different country, says Portuguese captain
A handout picture released by Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr football club on their Twitter account shows Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the club’s number seven jersey in Madrid on December 30, 2022 upon signing for the Saudi Arabian club. AFP
A handout picture released by Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr football club on their Twitter account shows Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the club’s number seven jersey in Madrid on December 30, 2022 upon signing for the Saudi Arabian club. AFP

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a two-year contract, the club announced on Friday.

Ronaldo, 37, left Premier League giants Manchester United last month following an explosive television interview in which the forward said he felt betrayed by the Old Trafford club and did not respect their Dutch manager Erik ten Hag.

“I am eager to experience a new football league in a different country. Al Nassr Club’s vision is very inspiring,” the Saudi club quoted Ronaldo as saying.

He will arrive in Saudi Arabia with a vast collection of club honours after a glittering spell at Spanish giants Real Madrid from 2009-18 where he won two LaLiga titles, two Spanish Cups, four Champions League titles and three Club World Cups.

He went on to score a club record 451 times for Real and has more than 800 senior goals overall for club and country.

Ronaldo claimed two Serie A titles and a Copa Italia trophy in three years at Juventus before rejoining United with whom he had bagged three Premier League crowns, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and Club World Cup.

He played for Portugal in Qatar, where he became the first player to score in five World Cups after netting a penalty in his side’s opening Group H game against Ghana. Portugal were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco.

Ronaldo said Qatar would probably be his last World Cup as he plans to retire at 40, with a move to Saudi Arabia likely to mark the swansong in the career of one of the game’s greatest current players alongside Lionel Messi.

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