Cristiano Ronaldo is getting ready to play for Al-Nassr, a Saudi Arabian football club based in Riyadh, from Jan. 1, 2023, onwards.

Cristiano Ronaldo, the 37-year-old Portuguese footballer, has decided to leave European football and has agreed to a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Saudi Arabian football club Al-Nassr. The total worth of the contract with Al-Nassr will be close to 200 million euros per season. Ronaldo reportedly ended his relationship with Manchester United just days before the World Cup in Qatar, Marca reported.

The contract, in addition to the hefty signing-on fee, is accompanied by financial incentives via advertising. The total contract will make the Portuguese striker the highest-paid sportsman in the world. By joining Al-Nassr, Ronaldo will be playing club football outside of Europe for the first time in his career.

At Al-Nassr, he will be coached by the Frenchman Rudi Garcia and alongside Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, Brazilian Luis Gustavo, and Cameroonian Vincent Aboubakar.

Ronaldo's salary at Al-Nassr will dwarf both Lionel Messi's and Neymar’s seasonal wages at French club Paris St Germain, at €75m and €70m respectively.

Ronaldo, currently playing at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, left his former club Manchester United just two days before the tournament after he attended a controversial interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticized both the way the club was run as well as Dutch manager Eric ten Hag, Eurosport reported.

In the controversial interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV, Ronaldo stated that he felt “betrayed” and that Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag “doesn’t show respect” towards him.

Throughout the interview, he lashed out at the club. He claimed that there had been “no evolution” in the club since his first departure from Old Trafford in 2009.

After the controversial interview, on Nov. 22, Manchester United announced that they had terminated Ronaldo’s contract with immediate effect.

Ronaldo recently became the first man to score at five different World Cups with his penalty against Ghana in Portugal’s dramatic 3-2 win. Despite a surprising defeat to South Korea, Portugal qualified as group winners in the FIFA World Cup 2022. They will play against Switzerland in the last 16 on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo by: AFP/Kirill Kudryavtsev

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