“The price exactly calculated”… Saudi Arabia profits from Ronaldo’s deal
After making the deal official, Saudi club Al-Nasr have ended a phase of speculation over the future of Portuguese international star Cristiano Ronaldo in what could be the biggest deal in the world.
Al-Nasr’s accounts posted a picture of the Portuguese star, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, on social media holding the club’s shirt after Ronaldo signed a contract until June 2025, with the club praising the move and describing it as “writing a new historic chapter.”
“This signing will not only inspire our club to achieve more, but also our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls, to be the best version of themselves,” the club nicknamed “Al-Alamy” wrote. Twitter.
Analysts believe that the profits from the Madeira missile deal are greater than those made by the Al-Nasr club, but that it is a front for Saudi sports to be thrust into the global spotlight.
A Saudi sports critic concerned about the affairs of the Al-Nasr Club, Falah Al-Qahtani, described the contract with Ronaldo as a “big project” for the Gulf state, because “it is considered a new road map for Saudi sports, and the name of the Kingdom and Al-Nasr Club become will be present in all international media.”
Al-Qahtani told Al-Hurr that the deal is not only technical, but that “its benefits will be very great at all technical, public and investment levels, whether for Al-Nasr club or even for Saudi sports,” as he said.
In the same direction, the Saudi sports critic interested in the affairs of the Al-Nasr club, Ali Al-Marchoud, believes that the benefits of the agreement go beyond the Saudi club and sports, but spread to the entire Middle East, because he put
Speaking to Al-Hurr, Al-Murshoud said: “This historic deal creates a special mental image of Saudi Arabia and its sport, given that it is of valuable artistic, investment and public value.”
Al-Nasr signed Ronaldo on a free transfer after “The Don” left Manchester United last month, following a television interview in which the Portugal captain said he felt betrayed by the club and had no respect for his Dutch coach, Eric Ten Hague.
Who is Al Nasr Club?
Al-Nasr was founded in 1955 and is located in the capital, Riyadh. The club plays in the Saudi Professional League known as the “Roshan Professional League” – the highest level – which includes 16 teams.
Al-Alamy is one of the best clubs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as they recently won the league title in 2019 and are ranked second in the league this season.
According to Reuters, the number of league titles won by Al-Nasr is 9 titles, but the Nasrawis say they have won 17 league titles in their history. The difference is due to the fact that before 1977 the league competition was held at the regional level in Saudi Arabia.
The team also won the Copa del Rey competition six times, most recently in 1990, before being suspended for 18 years. Al-Nassr won a number of local and regional championships and was the first representative of the Asian continent at the World Club Championship in 2000, and since then it has been called “Al-Alamy”.
Saudi football legend, Majed Abdullah, the league’s all-time top scorer, played for Al-Nasr, as the former international striker scored 189 goals, averaging a goal per game.
Al-Nasr Club is sponsored by Qiddiya, a sports and entertainment company launched in 2018 by the king’s sovereign wealth fund with plans to build a huge complex outside Riyadh that will include a theme park, a Formula 1 track and a football stadium.
Since last June, French coach Rudi Garcia, who previously coached Lille, Roma, Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais, has been following Al-Nasr’s training sessions.
“correctly calculated” return
Al-Nasr did not announce the value of the deal that flooded all the world’s media, but a source close to the club revealed to AFP that the price of Ronaldo’s transfer was “more than 200 million euros” ($214.5 million).
According to CNBC, this figure, if confirmed, “will be the largest salary ever in sports history.”
And Saudi sports critic Muhammad Al-Sheikh considers the value of the deal “enormous” compared to the global transfer market, but believes it is worth it.
Al-Sheikh told Al-Hurr that the return on the investment deal was “accurately calculated” before signing, adding that Ronaldo will achieve “consequences for the value of the Saudi League and other issues related to the moral value of the deal on more than one side in the Kingdom, especially about Saudi sports.”
As for Al-Murshoud, he said the short period of time between the announcement of the signing in the Saudi media and the club’s official announcement, “selling 20,000 shirts to the club,” came before the official news aired, questioning the number of shirts the club would sell. weeks after the player’s arrival in the Kingdom.
The club quoted the 37-year-old as saying: “I am eager to experience a new football league in another country. The vision with which Al-Nasr Club operates is very inspiring and I am excited to join my team-mates, so together we can help the team to achieve more success.”
He added: “We can see from Saudi Arabia’s recent performance at the World Cup that it is a country with big football ambitions and a lot of potential. I am happy because I have won everything I set out to win in European football and I feel now is the right time to share my experience in to Asia.”
For his part, the president of Al-Nasr Club, Musali Al-Muammar, tweeted: “I am very happy that the greatest player in the history of football has joined Al-Nasr Club and the Saudi League. Our contract with Ronaldo is not aimed at winning a game or a championship, but more than that: transfer of great experiences, high professionalism, inspiration for a generation that is passionate about sports.
In this regard, Al-Sheikh said: “Sports is one of the most important soft powers for any country, and the Kingdom has witnessed a boom in recent years at all levels, and today it is in the center of attention globally, economically, politically and in tourism, as evidenced by sums that are allocated for development in general, and sport is one of the aspects of development.”
He explained: “We, by signing him (Ronaldo), are not making a circuit, because other countries have preceded us in this,” referring to the recruitment of stars by other leagues for commercial reasons.
In the last few years, the Kingdom has opened its doors to host major sporting events in various games, with huge state support for clubs and national teams.
In addition, the Public Investment Fund bought the English club Newcastle United last year as part of the Kingdom’s plan to diversify sources of income from oil.
Al-Murshoud said that starting in 2018, Saudi sport is witnessing a “planned transformation” coming as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and that the deal with Ronaldo, who led his country to the European Championship, is only “the beginning”.
The “unusual” appeal of Ronaldo also contributes to strengthening the Kingdom’s image and exporting the culture of Saudi Arabia as a country, as is the case with Qatar, which recently hosted the World Cup, according to Al-Mashroud.
He pointed out that Riyadh will be targeted in the coming period, not only because of the presence of the Portuguese star; Rather, because the capital of Saudi Arabia will host the upcoming clash between Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, when Paris Saint-Germain plays against Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal Stars on the 19th. January.
In addition, Al-Qahtani said the deal will “increase” Saudi Arabia’s prospects of hosting major sporting tournaments, “where Ronaldo will be an ambassador for the Kingdom.”
The media previously reported Saudi Arabia’s intention to submit a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
Al-Sheikh believes that Ronaldo’s arrival in Riyadh marks “the beginning of a qualitative shift and a new transformation in many areas”. He added: “The Cristiano Ronaldo deal in itself will open the door wide for other international players to enter the Saudi league, besides it will be a window for a global view of the international scene,” a view also echoed by Al-Mashroud.
Saudi Sports Minister, Olympic Committee President Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal praised the deal, saying: “We will support our other clubs (to sign) quality contracts with international stars soon.”
In this context, Al-Qahtani emphasized that such an agreement requires concerted efforts to invest it in the best possible way. And he continued: “This business requires careful plans and programs by the sports authorities – the Ministry of Sports, the Football Association and the Professional League, or even by the Al-Nasr club and investment and sponsorship companies in order for Al-Nassr to take advantage of the presence of such a world star on Saudi stadiums.”
On the other hand, the sheikh said: “The expected spherical leap must… be compatible with another professional leap in all aspects of sports engagement, be it at the level of administrative professionalism, infrastructure, telecasting and investment of all kinds, internal and external.”