Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese forward, expressed his surprise at finishing the season empty-handed with Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League (SPL). However, he emphasized his contentment in Saudi Arabia and expressed hopes that other renowned players would join the league in the upcoming campaign.
After signing a lucrative two-and-a-half-year contract with Al-Nassr in January, estimated to be worth over 200 million euros, Ronaldo made his debut for the team. Despite scoring an impressive 14 goals in 16 games, his contributions were insufficient to secure the SPL title for his side, as Al-Nassr finished second behind Al-Ittihad. Unfortunately, Ronaldo missed the final matchday due to an injury.
Reflecting on the season, the 38-year-old acknowledged the competitiveness of the league but also identified areas that could benefit from improvement. He highlighted the need for better infrastructure and quicker decision-making from referees and the VAR system. Nevertheless, Ronaldo expressed his happiness with his current situation in Saudi Arabia and stated his desire to continue playing in the league.
Ronaldo admitted that there were significant differences between his experience in Europe, where he played for elite clubs such as Manchester United, Juventus, and Real Madrid, and his time in Saudi Arabia. He mentioned the variations in training schedules, with sessions taking place in the afternoon or evening, including late-night training during Ramadan. These adjustments were unfamiliar to Ronaldo but he adapted to the new routines.
Since Ronaldo’s arrival in the SPL, rumors have circulated about other high-profile players potentially joining the league. Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s long-time rival and fellow superstar, reportedly received a formal offer to join Al-Hilal for the upcoming season. Additionally, Karim Benzema, Ronaldo’s former teammate at Real Madrid and a Ballon d’Or winner, has allegedly received a tempting offer of over 100 million euros from Al-Ittihad.
When asked about these potential transfers, Ronaldo expressed enthusiasm and welcomed the idea of other big names and talented players joining the Saudi league. He believed that their presence would contribute to the league’s growth and improvement. Ronaldo emphasized that age should not be a determining factor and that both young and experienced players would be valuable additions.
In conclusion, Cristiano Ronaldo admitted his disappointment at not winning any trophies with Al-Nassr in the SPL but expressed his happiness with life in Saudi Arabia. He acknowledged the competitive nature of the league while highlighting areas that could be enhanced, such as infrastructure and officiating. Despite the differences he encountered compared to European football, Ronaldo successfully adapted to the new environment. He also expressed hopes for other top players, like Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema, to join the league, believing their presence would benefit the SPL and further elevate its status.