Cristiano Ronaldo in victory – what does the “deal of the century” mean for Saudi football?

After a period of speculation about the future of Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi club Al-Nasr has announced that it has signed the player for two and a half years, with an imaginary salary of – according to sources – $ 200 million per year, the highest salary in the history of football. .

The 37-year-old Ronaldo joined Saudi club Al-Nasr from January 1, 2023 on a free transfer, as Ronaldo is not linked to any club after terminating his contract with his former club Manchester United last November, due to administrative disputes with the club. and coach Eric Ten Hag.

Although the club and the player did not disclose the actual value of the deal, all reports coming from the Kingdom or from the player’s camp confirm that Ronaldo will receive $200 million per year, along with other commercial rights that make Ronaldo’s salary the highest in football history.

According to sources close to Ronaldo, the player will receive around $75 million a year as a fixed salary with Al-Nasr club through his contract, which runs until June 2025.

The player will also receive another amount in exchange for exploiting his commercial image and rights to his name and trademark, and for posting photos and tweets on his social media pages, bringing the total to $200 million a year.

Ronaldo’s last salary at Manchester United was estimated at $605,000 per week, one of the highest salaries in history, but according to reports, Ronaldo’s salary will reach more than $1 million per week with a win.

The deal is expected to include the appointment of Ronaldo as an ambassador for the Saudi bid to host the 2030 World Cup, which will also include Egypt and Greece, according to reports that have indicated this in recent times.

The three countries are expected to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup in 2023, while the country or countries that will host the global event will be announced in 2024, as confirmed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino on the sidelines of the final. World Cup in Qatar month.

The rumor came true

Several rumors have linked Ronaldo with the Saudi win since the announcement of his departure from Manchester United, before the player himself denied it during his recent participation in the World Cup in Qatar. But it became a reality on Friday when the club and player announced the deal.

“We are making history. This is a deal that will not only inspire our club to achieve more, but will inspire our league, our nation and future generations of boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. We welcome Cristiano Ronaldo to his new home, the club Al-Nasr”, reads the official statement of Al-Nasr on Twitter.

For his part, Ronaldo replied: “I am happy for this new experience in another league and another country. The vision that Al-Nasr Club has is very inspiring. I am eager to join my colleagues and help them achieve more success.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is currently considered the player with the most goals in official matches in history, having scored 819 goals in his football career, which included Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon, England’s Manchester United (in two spells), Spain’s Real Madrid and Italy’s Juventus. addition to the Portuguese national team.

Ronaldo won many titles with the clubs he played for, apart from the 2016 European Championship with Portugal, and five times the FIFA World Player of the Year award. Ronaldo is also the historical top scorer of the Champions League with 127 goals, and he also has the highest number of goals in international matches with 118 goals.

Away from football, Ronaldo is the most influential athlete on social media, with a total of 525 million followers on Instagram, for example, and is the only athlete to reach that figure.

The Saudi club Al-Nassr was founded in October 1955 and is located in the capital Riyadh.

The club, nicknamed “Al-Alamy” by its fans, has won the Saudi League title 19 times (most recently in 2019), the King’s Cup 6 times, the Crown Prince Cup 3 times, the Saudi Super Cup twice and the Asian Cup once for the Cup Winners’ Cup and Asian Super Cup.

Al-Nasr Club is currently chaired by Musli Al Muammar, former president of the Saudi Professional League and advisor to the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority.

The team is led by the French coach Rudi Garcia, who previously managed the Italian clubs Roma and the French clubs Marseille and Lyon.

Market value

At a time when Ronaldo’s current value is only 20 million euros (according to Transfer Market, a website specializing in numbers and economics for football players and clubs), the player’s market value has reached 125 million euros, the highest rate in 2018 when he was playing for Real Madrid.

Even with the drop in his current market value due to the recent crises he has gone through, Ronaldo will remain the owner of the highest value in the Saudi league when he joins, as the current Brazilian winner Talisco owns the highest market value in the Saudi league, estimated at €14 million .

According to Transfer Market, the total current market value of Al-Nasr players is €59 million, the highest figure in the Saudi Professional League, surpassing their rivals Al-Hilal, whose players have a total market value of €49.6 million. The number will surely increase with the arrival of Ronaldo on Nasrawi’s list.

It is interesting that the total market value of the Saudi professional league is 309 million euros.

Image of the Kingdom
Ronaldo’s arrival in the Saudi League will coincide with, and even greatly enhance, the Kingdom’s sports policy in recent years, which began with the creation and organization of tournaments such as Formula 1 car racing, the LIV Golf Series and the Spanish Super Cup of football – which will be held in Saudi Arabia in January 2023 – and others, in addition to investing in Clubs bought Newcastle United, and their name was recently linked with deals to buy Liverpool and Manchester United, but they have not happened yet.

And with the presence of players such as Ronaldo in the Saudi league, the attention will be on the Kingdom every week, increasing its chances of spreading the sporting and cultural image around the world, especially as Saudi Arabia moves closer to hosting the Asian Men’s Cup and to host the same women’s tournament in the following years, along with the expected organizational file of the 2030 World Cup.

According to many reports, it may not stop at Ronaldo, as other Saudi clubs will be eyeing former Real Madrid and Spain captain, current Paris Saint-Germain player Sergio Ramos and current Barcelona and Spain captain Sergio Busquets. Maybe next year there will be an attempt to include the current world champion and Argentine legend Lionel Messi.

(Prepared by: Adel Kreim, former Media Coordinator of the Confederation of African Football)


#extended analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *