Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Ronaldo unveiled at Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo has been officially presented to fans at his new Saudi Arabian club, Al Nassr where he received a thunderous welcome.

Cristiano Ronaldo described himself as a “unique player” and insisted his career was not over as he received a thunderous welcome at his new club, Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

The Portuguese superstar, 37, said on Tuesday that he had done all he could in Europe and was hungry for a new challenge as he was greeted by fireworks and deafening roars at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium in the capital Riyadh.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with five Champions League titles to his name, signed for an estimated 200 million euros ($211m) until June 2025 not long after his acrimonious split with Manchester United.

“It’s not the end of my career to come to Saudi Arabia. This is why I change and, to be honest, I’m really not worried about what people say,” Ronaldo said.

“In Europe my work is done… I had many offers in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, the US, even in Portugal,” he added. “Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club.”

The packed, 25,000-capacity stadium erupted when Ronaldo, dressed in Al Nassr’s yellow and blue kit, walked on the pitch, saluting the crowd as fireworks and floodlights flashed around him.

His girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, wearing the traditional black abaya or all-covering robe worn by most Saudi women, followed at a distance along with Ronaldo’s children.

 “I’m a unique player. It’s good to come here, I broke all the records there [in Europe] and I want to break a few records here,” Ronaldo said earlier.

“I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country,” he added.

Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia said the signing of Ronaldo was a huge step for the Saudi Arabian league.

“In my life, I’ve seen that great players like Cristiano are the simplest to manage, because there’s nothing I can teach him,” Garcia told reporters.”Like he said, we are here to win, nothing else. I want him to enjoy playing with Al Nassr and winning with Al Nassr, just that.”

Ronaldo joins the nine-time Saudi champions just weeks after his departure from United following a TV interview in which he criticised the club and coach Erik ten Hag.

(Aljazeera)

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