Is Cristiano Ronaldo planning to quit Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr team and return to Real Madrid?

The footballer has been offered a deal by the La Liga club, but accepting the terms would be a turning point for the Portuguese forward's career

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Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Saudi Pro League football match against Al-Hilal. Photo: AFP
Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Saudi Pro League football match against Al-Hilal. Photo: AFP

Published: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 6:45 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 6:46 PM

If reports are to be believed, football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is planning his exit from Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr and contemplating his return to his former club Real Madrid. According to El Nacional, Ronaldo has decided to leave Saudi Arabia due to his failure to adapt to the region, while the language barrier also played a part.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has offered him an ambassadorial role and assured him "that he will not lack work at the Santiago Bernabeu", according to the Catalan digital newspaper.

The Al Nassr footballer has been offered a return ticket to the Bernabeu but not in a playing role - he could join Los Merengues as a club ambassador or be part of their sports organisation chart. If Ronaldo accepts the offer, it would eventually mean one of football's greatest would hang up his boots.

Ronaldo turned 38 last February, and it seemed retirement was the last thing on his mind. With over 800 career goals and counting, he is undoubtedly one of the most prolific players of this beautiful game.

Since joining the Riyadh-based club, the forward has scored 11 goals in 14 matches for Al Nassr but has had a few bumps on his way. He had joined Al Nassr in January amidst much fanfare after falling out with Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag.

He missed the opening two matches for the league due to a suspension he was served at Manchester United, and finally made his competitive debut against Al Ettifaq FC and took over the role.

Taking captaincy charge, Ronaldo got off to a winning start but saw a slump when Al Nassr was knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup at the semi-final stage by league rivals Al Ittihad. Scoring on and off, Ronaldo showed glimpses of the genius that he is. But his journey started to experience turbulence.

Ronaldo faced taunts and was jeered at by rival fans; crowds at the stadium chanted Lionel Messi's name. The captain couldn't keep calm - he hit a water bottle, muttered angrily at the crowd and kicked the ball away. After failing to score against Abha, he received a yellow card for kicking the ball away, throwing a tantrum.

In the latest blow, videos circulating on social media showed the Portuguese football star seemingly grabbing his crotch as he walks off the field amid Al Hilal fans' taunts chanting Messi's name. A Saudi lawyer, denouncing the act, called for strict action against him. She called his behaviour a 'crime', and said that it comes under public decency laws.

According to the website, all these and more led to Ronaldo's decision to leave Al Nassr and join the La Liga giants. Football fans in the region will wait and watch with bated breath on Ronaldo's next move.

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