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- Dubai 05:21 06:34 12:33 15:53 18:26 19:40
Al Nassr Football Club, one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia and Asia, and the current leaders of the Saudi Pro League (Roshn Saudi League) has agreed terms to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. The five-time Ballon D’or winner of Portugal will join on a 2.5 year contract.
Ronaldo, one of the most successful footballers of all time, is set to undergo a medical at Mrsool Park, the modern home to Al Nassr, before completing formalities and being revealed to fans in the club’s yellow and blue colours in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh in coming days.
Al Nassr, coached by Rudi Garcia, will enter a new year with their iconic new signing at the top of the league as they seek to claim their 18th Professional league title, having last won the league in 2019. Known for the passion of the club’s adoring fans, Al Nassr, which means victory in Arabic, has won 45 trophies in their celebrated history, with the progressive club now looking to add further to their success in the men’s and women’s game.
During a record-breaking career so far, Cristiano Ronaldo has won five UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, seven league titles in England, Spain and Italy, and the UEFA European Championship and the UEFA Nations Cup for his native Portugal. He is the first player in history to have won league titles in England, Spain and Italy.
Having won leagues titles and broken goalscoring records across Europe, Cristiano is ready for Asia and a new challenge by adding a league title in Saudi Arabia to his list of on-pitch achievements as well as aiming to help Al Nassr win their first ever AFC Asian Champions League.
Loved and respected by hundreds of millions across the globe, this transformational partnership will combine one of the world’s most celebrated footballers with one of the most exciting sports nations in the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo said: “I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country. The vision of what Al Nassr are doing and developing in Saudi Arabia both in terms of men’s and women’s football is very inspiring. We can see from Saudi Arabia’s recent performance at the World Cup that this is a country with big football ambitions and a lot of potential. I am fortunate that I have won everything I set out to win in European football and feel now that this is the right moment to share my experience in Asia. I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and together with them help the Club to achieve success.”
Al Nassr Football Club President Musalli Almuammar said: “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. He is a special footballer and a special person whose impact is felt far beyond football. Cristiano is joining a club with big ambitions, a competitive club amongst the very best in Asia and will be welcomed to a country that is making massive progress on and off the pitch with opportunities for all. But first and foremost, we can’t wait to see him in the number 7 shirt of Al Nassr doing what he does best, scoring goals, winning titles and bringing joy to those who love the beautiful game.”
Al Nassr have always been known for breaking boundaries with the Ronaldo signing the latest pioneering move. The club was the first to ever represent Saudi Arabia in a global competition when they featured in the inaugural FIFA Club World Cup in 2000 in Brazil and first Asian club to play in four different continents, Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. Al Nassr also sits proudly at the top of the inaugural Women’s Premier League and is seeking a unique national domestic double.
As the number one sport in the country, football has continued to gain prominence and momentum in recent years especially following the recent victory for the national team over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, with the entire squad based in Saudi Arabia.
The country has a population of 35 million with two thirds under 35 years old. Literally over 80% of the entire population play, attend or follow. Over 10% of the country play football. Over 2.6m under 30 play football. 65% of individuals aged between 15-19 that play sport, play football. And over 1 million fans attend the professional men’s league, the Roshn Saudi League every season.
Cristiano’s move to a young country and region like Saudi Arabia and the Middle East represents a perfect fit to progress his impact as an all-round role model and inspire the nation's youth to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
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