Status: 03.01.2023 7:15 p.m

    With a big laser show, superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was presented at the Al-Nassr club in Saudi Arabia. His commitment is as record-breaking as it is controversial.

    “My job is done in Europe. I’ve won everything, I’ve played for the biggest clubs. Now I have a new mission,” said Ronaldo, who appeared in a fine gray suit with a light blue tie at the press conference on Tuesday (03.01.2023 ) had appeared.

    He had “many opportunities”, received “offers from many clubs in Europe, Brazil, Australia and the USA”, “but I chose this club,” said the 37-year-old.

    Ronaldo leaves criticism of his commitment uncommented

    At Real Madrid, Juventus Turin or Manchester United he “broke a lot of records, I want to do that here too.” When asked about his contract, which should bring him around 500 million euros by mid-2025 – not including sponsorship income – he explained: “I’m a unique player.” A unique contract is therefore “normal” for him.

    The Portuguese said he was not interested in the criticism of his decision. Saudi Arabia has been criticized for its lack of human rights and freedom of expression and its involvement in armed conflicts. Critics accuse the political leadership of using sport to polish its own image and to distract from abuses.

    Job as Saudi World Cup Ambassador for 2030

    According to media reports, Saudi Arabia is to apply to host the final round of the 2030 World Cup. And that’s where Ronaldo comes full circle: After his active career, the Portuguese should hold a position as ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s application.

    In terms of sport, Ronaldo had recently not been able to provide highlights – after the inglorious departure from Manchester United and the reserve role for Portugal at the World Cup in Qatar, the five-time world footballer, who had been without a club for the last time, had signed a contract for two and a half years in Saudi Arabia.

    On Thursday evening, everyday life in the league begins: Al-Tai FC join the leaders in Riyadh. It is still unclear whether Ronaldo will then be available to French coach Rudi Garcia.

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