Ronaldo set for Saudi: What superstar striker can expect at Al Nassr

The 37-year-old, who is still in Fifa World Cup action with Portugal, appears destined to head outside of Europe for the first time in his storied career



Photo: AP file
Photo: AP file

By Stats Perform

Published: Mon 5 Dec 2022, 7:10 PM

Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have found his next club.

Marca reported on Monday the former Manchester United forward was set to join Al Nassr on January 1 after agreeing his exit from Old Trafford last month.

News of a lucrative contract offer from the Saudi Pro League club emerged last week, with Ronaldo said to be in line to earn more than £100million a year.

The 37-year-old, who is still in World Cup action with Portugal, appears destined to head outside of Europe for the first time in his storied career.

Al Nassr are not a renowned name in Europe but have enjoyed huge success in Saudi Arabia, so what can Ronaldo expect should he head to Riyadh?

Who are Al Nassr?

Formed in 1955 and winning the Saudi top flight in their very first season, Al Nassr have nine championships to their name – second only to Al Hilal's 15.

Indeed, Al Nassr and Al Hilal have between them won eight of the past nine Pro League titles, although Al Hilal have taken the most recent three in a row.

The two sides contest the Riyadh derby, with Al Hilal winning the most recent edition 4-0 in March.

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Ronaldo's new team-mates

Saudi Arabia's entirely Saudi-based World Cup squad included six Al Nassr players, with Sultan Al Ghannam and Abdulelah Al Amri appearing as substitutes in the shock defeat of Lionel Messi's Argentina.

But the better known players in the Al Nassr squad are likely those from foreign shores.

Cameroon's World Cup star Vincent Aboubakar is joined by former Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo, along with three-cap Argentina international Pity Martinez.

Goalkeeper David Ospina has represented Colombia at several World Cups, as well as turning out for Arsenal and Napoli, while Talisca was once a highly rated young forward at Benfica and has scored regularly at Al Nassr.

South Korea's left-back Kim Jin-su is out on loan.

Potential debut date

The Saudi season paused in October ahead of the World Cup but will begin again next week.

Al Nassr are set to play Al Hilal on December 26, meaning Ronaldo will have missed the derby if he joins in January.

The legendary striker could be in the line-up against Al Tai in Al Nassr's first match of 2023 on January 5, however.

Al Shabab lead the Pro League by three points ahead of second-placed Al Nassr, with a top-of-the-table clash lined up for January 13.


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