Cristiano Ronaldo completes $75 million move to Saudi club: ‘Al Nassr’s vision is inspiring’

Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Al Nassr from Saudi Arabia.

In a move that will effectively mark the end of his top-flight career but will ensure he is paid handsomely as his retirement approaches, Ronaldo signed for the Riyadh club on Friday afternoon. The deal, which is understood to run until 2025, ends a short free agency period for the 37-year-old, whose contract with Manchester United was terminated last month.

Sources familiar with the negotiations say Ronaldo has already completed the medical required to sign the contract, with a second set of tests expected next week. Announcing the deal, the club simply tweeted that “the world’s greatest athlete has officially signed for [Al Nassr].”

A subsequent statement added: “History in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success, but will inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls, to be the best version of themselves. Welcome Cristiano to your new home.”

CBS Sports first revealed the $75 million-a-year offer in November, when Ronaldo was still assessing his options in Europe and beyond. No other serious suitors have emerged, and this week the Portuguese international finalized the terms of a contract that will see him exert significant influence at the Saudi club.

The logistics behind Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia have long been solidified by the club, including a home for the striker and his family in an affluent area close to the training ground. With a salary worth more than a million dollars a week, Ronaldo’s earnings could more than double by selling his image rights. It is also expected to play a role in Saudi Arabia’s bid for the 2030 World Cup.

At club level, Ronaldo’s authority will be immense, with one source joking that Al Nassr will become “Cristiano FC”. If the veteran striker wants a new coach, then he will have it. Recent events have proven that he is not exactly shy when it comes to expressing his opinion about the administration.

“I am delighted for the new experience in another league and another country, the vision that Al Nassr has is very inspiring,” Ronaldo said. “I am very excited to join my teammates and help the team achieve more success.”

Ronaldo is coming off the back of a disappointing World Cup where, despite Portugal reaching the quarter-finals, the superstar lost his starting job as the tournament entered the knockout stages. The tournament coincided with the end of his second spell at Manchester United following his suspension following an incendiary interview in which he lashed out at club manager Erik ten Hag and others. Contact between Ronaldo and Al Nassr began over the summer, but the striker was still looking for a destination to ply his trade in Europe and keep at the top of his game ahead of the World Cup in Qatar in November. With no offers available, he returned to United where an uneasy marriage quickly soured, and now that the World Cup is over, he has accepted Al Nassr on their offer to begin the next phase of his career.

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