There have been reports that Cristiano Ronaldo had been paid an extra 200 million Euros ($214 million) to serve as an ambassador for Saudi Arabia's 2030 World Cup bid, but Al-Nassr refuted them.

He moved to the club after signing a 2.5-year contract, which is said to be worth more than 200 million euros ($210 million). The former Manchester United player is believed to be the world's highest-salaried athlete of all-time with his new Al-Nassr contract, reported GOAL. Ronaldo is yet to make his debut for the Saudi Arabian club, but he watched on as the team recently beat Al-Tai.

The club said that contrary to news reports, "Ronaldo's contract with Al-Nassr does not entail commitments to any World Cup bids." Ronaldo added that his main focus is on Al-Nassr and to work with "his teammates to help the club achieve success."

The window to submit bids to host the 2030 World Cup was opened in 2022 and the winner will be selected at the FIFA Congress next year. The 2026 edition of the tournament will take place in America, Canada and Mexico. It will be the first time that World Cup will be held in three different countries. According to Al Jazeera, Saudi Arabia considers a joint Asia-Africa-Europe bid to host the tournament with Egypt and Greece.

As for Ronaldo, he could participate in Al-Nassr's upcoming exhibition against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on Jan. 19. It could see him face off against his rival Lionel Messi. The Portuguese forward arrived in Saudi Arabia in early January, just a few weeks after the FIFA World Cup ended in neighboring Qatar. Al-Nassr is a the nine-time Saudi league champion. But it represents a significant drop in standards for Ronaldo, who led title-laden campaigns with Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United.

His signing came against the backdrop of a Saudi push into sports, including football, boxing, golf tennis and F1. It came after the Saudi takeover of English Premier League club Newcastle United in 2022. The upcoming editions of the Asian Games and Asian Winter Games, as well as football’s men’s and women’s Asian Cups will be hosted by Saudi Arabia, which is led by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

saudi-signing-cristiano-ronaldo-in-action-at-the Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo by: AFP/Karim Jaafar