The 37-year-contract old’s with Manchester United was terminated earlier this month, after a tumultuous relationship with club executives that only worsened when he made a number of controversial statements in a TV interview with Piers Morgan.
And now, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, Ronaldo has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with Al Nassr worth an eye-watering £172.9 million per year that will keep him playing until the age of 40.
According to sources close to the former Real Madrid and Juventus superstar, no deal has been signed and Ronaldo is still focused on the World Cup with his country, but reports in Spain today claim the ‘dizzying figures’ have been agreed.
The Portugal international wanted to leave Old Trafford in the summer, but he was unable to do so because he was determined to play Champions League football.
The former Real Madrid star turned down a move to Saudi Arabia last summer, but with no firm interest from Europe’s elite clubs, he now appears set to make the move to the Middle East.
Al-Nassr is one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia, having won the country’s top flight nine times, the most recent victory coming in 2019.
Al-Nassr did not win the league in either 2020 or 2021, but they did win the Saudi Super Cup.
The club, on the other hand, has struggled to make a name for itself on the global stage, though they did compete in the Club World Cup in the 1999-2000 season.
They lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in their group that year, with Nicolas Anelka and Raul scoring for the Spanish giants.
They went on to defeat Raja Casablanca 4-3, but were defeated 2-0 by Brazilian side Corinthians, denying them a place in the competition’s knockout stages.
Rudi Garcia, a former Roma, Marseille, and Lyon coach, is currently in charge of Al-Nassr.
The Saudi giants also have a few former big-name stars in the form of former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo, and Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar, who scored a contender for goal of the tournament earlier this week at the Qatar World Cup.
Musalli Almuammar, their chairman, was previously the president of the entire division, the Saudi Pro League, from March 2018 to March 2020.
He is now an advisor to the General Entertainment Authority, a government agency in Saudi Arabia that regulates the entertainment industry.
Some of the club’s former coaches will also catch your attention, including World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro, who managed the club for four months between October 2015 and February 2016 before leaving.
Meanwhile, Rene Higuita, a Colombian legend, served as the club’s goalkeeping coach from 2011 to 2016.
Higuita made one of the most memorable saves in history in 1995, when he used a scorpion kick to stop Jamie Redknapp’s mishit effort for England at Wembley.
Another significant factor for Ronaldo could be that Al-backroom Nassr’s staff is said to be primarily composed of Portuguese, with eight of the twelve members being Portuguese.
According to the same report, no club in Europe or the MLS could afford to offer anything close to such a lavish offer.
Earlier this month, Sportsmail exclusively revealed that Ronaldo would say goodbye to £16 million after it was confirmed that he had left Manchester United by mutual consent with immediate effect following his explosive two-part interview with Morgan on TalkTV.
His departure sparked much speculation, but Premier League rivals Chelsea have also cooled their interest in Ronaldo following his explosive interview in which he slammed United’s owner and manager Erik ten Hag.
Earlier this week, Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn also ruled out a move for Ronaldo.
‘We’ve already addressed this,’ Kahn told Sky Sport Germany. ‘We have a clear idea, a clear philosophy, about how our squad should be assembled.’
‘There is no doubt that we all admire him.
‘We all love Cristiano Ronaldo, but that doesn’t fit into our concept.’
Former Manchester United teammate Gary Neville previously backed Ronaldo in a “cameo role” at a top European club.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking for a top club on a four/five-month contract where he can come in and play a brilliant cameo role at the very top of European football.’ That, I believe, will be his priority,’ Neville told Sky Sports in Qatar.
‘Stay in the Champions League, stay at the top, and show that what happened at Manchester United was wrong.’
‘I still believe he has four or five great months in him somewhere, and he will go in, score 15/20 goals in that period, and everyone in Manchester will say ‘why didn’t we keep him,’ as will the Premier League.’
Ronaldo, on the other hand, is still focused on the World Cup in Qatar, where he hopes to help Portugal top their group when they face South Korea on Friday afternoon.
The forward became the first man in history to score in five World Cups, scoring from the penalty spot in a thrilling 3-2 win over Ghana.
When Portugal defeated Uruguay 2-0 in their second group-stage match, he thought he had equaled Eusebio’s World Cup record of nine goals.
Instead, his former Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes was awarded the opening goal, denying him yet another record.
One that he is determined to break during the major tournament in Qatar, as it may be his final World Cup.
Ronaldo will look to add to his impressive trophy collection, which includes five Champions League titles, four Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, two LaLiga titles, a pair of Copa del Reys, two Spanish Super Cups, three Premier League titles, two Serie A crowns, an Italian Cup, one FA Cup, two Community Shields, and the Portuguese Super Cup.