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Al Nassr give Ronaldo hero’s welcome

RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo described himself as a “distinctive participant” and insisted his occupation was once now not over as he gained a thunderous welcome at his new membership in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The Portuguese famous person, 37, stated he had performed all he may in Europe and was once hungry for a brand new problem as he was once greeted by means of fireworks and deafening roars at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with 5 Champions League titles to his identify, signed for an estimated 200 million euros to June 2025 now not lengthy after his acrimonious cut up with Manchester United. “It’s now not the tip of my occupation to return to Saudi Arabia. This is the reason I modify and, to be truthful, I’m actually now not nervous about what folks say,” Ronaldo stated.

“In Europe my paintings is completed… I had many provides in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, america, even in Portugal,” he added. “Many golf equipment attempted to signal me however I gave my phrase to this membership.” The packed, 25,000-capacity stadium erupted when Ronaldo, wearing Al Nassr’s yellow and blue equipment, walked at the pitch, saluting the group as fireworks and floodlights flashed round him.

His female friend Georgina Rodriguez, dressed in the standard black abaya or all-covering gown worn by means of maximum Saudi girls, adopted at a distance along side Ronaldo’s youngsters. “I’m a novel participant. It’s excellent to return right here, I broke all of the information there (in Europe) and I wish to spoil a couple of information right here,” Ronaldo stated previous. “I’m coming right here to win, to play, to revel in, to be a part of the good fortune of the rustic and tradition of the rustic,” he added.

Portuguese ahead Cristiano Ronaldo, accompanied by means of his spouse Georgina Rodriguez and son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, greets the group on the Mrsool Park Stadium upon his presentation as an Al Nassr participant.

Ronaldo joins the nine-time Saudi champions simply weeks after his departure from United following a TV interview the place he slammed the membership and trainer Erik ten Hag. Al Nassr, the nine-time Saudi league champions, constitute a vital drop in same old for the Portuguese ahead who spearheaded title-laden campaigns with United, Actual Madrid and Juventus.

Ronaldo arrives simply weeks after the International Cup in neighboring Qatar, and as Saudi Arabia considers a joint Asia-Africa-Europe bid to host soccer’s greatest event with Egypt and Greece. Smartly prior to his arrival, supporters sporting yellow “Ronaldo 7” flags and blue-and-yellow Al Nassr scarves became up on the stadium, a few of them in search of tickets.

Adam Seddik, an Al Ittihad fan from Jeddah, stated he drove 900 km to Riyadh to witness the spectacle. “His presence will carry the Saudi league price and its viewership,” stated Seddik. “He’s the best participant on this planet.”

Pleasure is at fever-pitch over the arriving of Ronaldo, the highest-profile participant to return to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf or any nation within the Asian confederation. Lovers queued down the road to shop for Ronaldo’s Al Nassr blouse together with his trademark quantity seven, and Al Nassr’s Instagram web page received hundreds of thousands of recent fans after his signing was once made public.

Ronaldo’s signing comes in opposition to the backdrop of a Saudi push into sports activities together with golfing, boxing, tennis and F1 in addition to soccer, following the takeover of English Premier League membership Newcastle United closing 12 months. Saudi Arabia will host upcoming editions of the Asian Video games and Asian Iciness Video games, in addition to soccer’s males’s and ladies’s Asian Cups. – AFP

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