It will usher in a new era in Asian football when Cristiano Ronaldo is introduced by Saudi club Al Nasr in Riyadh on Tuesday.
Al-Nassr announced the signing of one of the world’s biggest sports stars on social media on Friday. The post he received more than 20 million views within 24 hours and the club has amassed around 2.5 million followers.
There’s been a similar surge on Instagram, where the Portuguese star has over 520 million followers, the most in the world.
“This agreement is more than writing a new chapter in history,” Al-Nasr President Musari Al-Muammar said. He will introduce Ronaldo at the club’s stadium on Tuesday.
Ronaldo has won the European Champions League five times with Real Madrid and Manchester United, but his controversial second tenure at the English club ended after 15 months, with no trophies and a period of After being terminated prematurely, the contract had expired.
New coach Rudy Garcia welcomed free agency with Al Nasr dreaming of his first Asian title.
“The signing of a player of the size of Cristiano Ronaldo is extraordinary and has contributed to the development of Saudi football,” said the Frenchman, who coached Lyon and Roma. I am happy with his arrival and my first goal is to work on him adapting to our team, enjoying playing for Al Nasr and entertaining the fans.”
Nine-time Saudi Arabian champions Al-Nassr are already nearing the middle stages of the Saudi Professional League. Cameroon striker Vincent Abbaker pushed them to the top of the table on Saturday after a 1-0 win over Al Khaleej.
Other names at the club include former Arsenal and Napoli Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina and 2018 South American Player of the Year Piti Martinez. Brazil’s Anderson leads his chart with goals scored by Talisca.
Despite such talent, the league doesn’t have a wide audience internationally.
“The whole world knows Ronaldo well and his achievements as a player speak for themselves,” said former Saudi Arabia international Hamad Al-Montashari. “He was an extraordinary player, able to score a hat-trick in every game.”
Had the soon-to-be 38-year-old superstar left Europe five years ago, China would have been a realistic destination. But the big spending wave of the last decade is over. A significant slowdown in China’s property market has left many clubs struggling to make ends meet, as real estate firms fund much of their transfer activity.
Guangzhou has won eight Chinese titles and two Asian titles over the past decade, but the club has been forced to ditch its youth team as owner Evergrande faces $300 billion in debt reported in June 2022. will be organized. Relegation was the result in December.
On Friday, the same day Ronaldo’s deal was announced in Riyadh, Wuhan Three Towns clung to the Chinese Super League title after their opponents Tianjin Tigers failed to form a squad of 11 players due to COVID-19. was given one round earlier. As for Asian football news, it was overshadowed.
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