Cristiano Ronaldo has officially completed his transfer to Al-Nassr – and pundit Jamie Carragher could not resist poking fun at the former Manchester United star’s switch to the Saudi Arabian side.
The 37-year-old has been without a club since seeing his Manchester United deal terminated last month. That came after an explosive interview with Piers Morfan in which the star heavily criticised the club. Indeed, it left Erik ten Hag coming to a savage two-word verdict over the interview and Ronaldo’s Man Utd future.
With Ronaldo free to negotiate terms with any club of his choosing, a string of high-profile sides all turned their back on prospective deals. And while talks were also held over a move to Sporting Kansas City in the MLS, Ronaldo has instead moved to Saudi Arabia.
He will team up with Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar in a new-look strikeforce. But the arrival of Ronaldo is seen as the biggest coup in his country’s history.
Indeed, the veteran Portuguese star has signed an incredible two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Nassr that makes him the best-paid sportsman on the planet.
Ronaldo will also play a leading ambassadorial role in helping Saudi to win the hosting rights to the 2030 World Cup.
A statement from Al-Nassr read: “This is more than history in the making.
“This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome, Cristiano, to your new home.”
Ronaldo himself commented: “Al Nassr’s vision is very inspiring and impressive. I look forward to a different league experience in a different country. I am excited to join my teammates as soon as possible.”
Ronaldo wages at Al-Nassr revealed
With his salary reportedly part-funded by the Saudi government, his eye-watering wages at Al-Nassr can now be revealed.
And Ronaldo will pocket a staggering £173m a year after tax to play in Saudi Arabia. That amounts to £14.4m per month, £3.33m a week, £476,000 a day, £19,998 per hour, £330 per minute and an astonishing £5.50 per second. By the time you have read this far down, Ronaldo will have earned approximately another £660!
And with an ambassadorial role to follow, Ronaldo could earn a staggering £1.2billion from his time in the Middle East.
Al-Nassr currently sit top of the Saudi Pro League, having won seven of their 10 matches so far. They have conceded just six goals in that time, with former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina between the sticks. They are also managed by French coach Rudi Garcia, with Aboubakar and Anderson Talisca their other famous names.
Al-Nassr will hope to also make a big impact on the Club World Cup stage. Their rivals Al-Hilal came fourth at the 2021 edition, with Chelsea beating Palmeiras in the final. However, Al-Nassr will hope to be the next side on that stage and will be looking to put Saudi football on the map.
Jamie Carragher mocks Ronaldo for Al-Nassr transfer
One man who could not resist poking fun at Ronaldo for making the move, though, was Carragher.
The former Liverpool defender has been an outspoken critic of Ronaldo during his second spell at Old Trafford.
And despite acknowledging him as one of the all-time greats, he could not resist a dig at his latest career move.
“In some ways it’s a sad end for him,” Carragher said on Sky Sports. “Two of the greatest players of all time in Messi and Ronaldo. That debate has always been there.
“Ronaldo has finished his career with an interview with Piers Morgan and Messi has won the World Cup. It’s not the best way to go out is it?”
His colleague, Gary Neville, offered an alternative point of view over the transfer.
He commented: “Look, we’re going to see a lot less of him, obviously.
“It tells us a couple of things, it shows how serious Saudi Arabia are about football. They’ve invested £350m on one player and are going for the World Cup in 2030.
“I thought he would want to stay in one of the big leagues in Europe, for the rest of the season at least.
“It tells you that the offer is absolutely staggering and maybe another European club that he wanted to join didn’t really come in for him.
“There’s an element of sadness for me because we’re probably seeing the end of Cristiano Ronaldo playing at the top level.
“I think we could have still had that at Old Trafford had it been handled differently by both parties. But it clearly had to come to an end and he’s going to see his career out in Saudi.”
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