Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, has shed light on his experience in the lucrative Saudi Pro League, asserting that he has been vindicated in his choice to join the league. His return to Old Trafford ended on a disappointing note, prompting him to sign with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in December. This high-profile move set the stage for other renowned football stars to follow suit, including Karim Benzema and Neymar.
The summer also witnessed notable additions such as Sadio Mane, N’Golo Kante, and Marcelo Brozovic, signaling a busy transfer season for the Saudi Pro League. Moreover, there are speculations that more players may join the league before the transfer deadline, with Liverpool’s Mo Salah being linked to a potential £200 million+ move to Al Ittihad. Ronaldo, currently on international duty, is keeping a close eye on any potential deals.
As the 38-year-old Portugal captain prepares for upcoming matches against Slovakia and Luxembourg, he reflects on how his move to Saudi Arabia has transformed perceptions. Ronaldo, who has already netted six goals and provided five assists in five appearances for Al Nassr this season, expressed his satisfaction, saying, “I knew this [transfer market] was going to happen. I said it six months ago, and everyone thought I was the crazy one. After all, the crazy guy is not that crazy, and it turns out to be normal to play in this league.”
He added, “For me, it was a great privilege to change the culture of a country, in terms of football, and to have great stars go to Saudi Arabia [after him]. I was the pioneer and I’m proud of it. What I want most is to continue to evolve, always, so that [the Saudi Pro League] is top-notch.”
Ronaldo’s remarkable record extends to both club and country, having played 24 matches for Al Nassr, scoring 20 goals and providing seven assists. His presence was instrumental in securing Al Nassr’s first silverware in the Arab Club Champions Cup, where he scored twice in their 2-1 victory over Al Hilal in the final last month.
In summary, Cristiano Ronaldo’s venture into the Saudi Pro League has not only proven successful on a personal level but has also attracted other top football talents to the league. As he continues to make his mark, he remains committed to elevating the standards of football in Saudi Arabia.