Reactions of Cristiano Ronaldo and His Family to The Great Reception

Reactions of Cristiano Ronaldo and His Family to The Great Reception

As he was greeted with thunderous applause at his new club, Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo referred to himself as a “unique player” and insisted that his career was not over.

The Portuguese superstar, 37, told the crowd at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday that he had accomplished everything he could in Europe and was eager for a fresh challenge.

Soon after his contentious split from Manchester United, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and five-time Champions League champion signed for an estimated 200 million euros ($211 million) until June 2025.

“Coming to Saudi Arabia is not the end of my professional life. This is why I alter, and to be completely honest, I don’t really care what people think,” Ronaldo said.

“My work is finished in Europe… I received numerous offers from Europe, Brazil, Australia, the US, and even Portugal, he continued. “Many clubs tried to sign me, but I swore to this club,” the athlete said.

Ronaldo entered the field wearing the yellow and blue uniform of Al Nassr and saluted the crowd as fireworks and floodlights flashed all around him. The 25,000-seat stadium erupted in applause.

Ronaldo’s kids and his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, who was dressed in the customary black abaya or full-coverage robe worn by the majority of Saudi women, trailed behind them.

Family members of Cristiano Ronaldo attend the soccer player’s formal introduction to the Al Nassr club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Photo by Amr Nabil/AP]
I’m a special player. Ronaldo earlier said, “It’s good to come here; I broke all the records there [in Europe] and I want to break a few records here.

He continued, “I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be a part of the culture and success of the country. The signing of Ronaldo, according to Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia, was a big milestone for the Saudi Arabian league. Because there is nothing I can teach him, exceptional players like Cristiano are the easiest to handle, Garcia told reporters.

“Like he said, our only goal is to win. Simply put, I want him to enjoy himself while playing and winning with Al Nassr.

Just weeks after leaving United due to a TV appearance in which he criticised the team and coach Erik ten Hag, Ronaldo signs with the nine-time Saudi winners.

“World’s greatest player”
The Portuguese forward, who led title-laden campaigns with United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, represents a major drop in standards for Al Nassr, the nine-time Saudi league champions.

The addition of Ronaldo, according to football pundit Othman Al Twaijri, will spur the Saudi league on to greater success.

Al Twaijri said Al Jazeera, “The amount of investment in Saudi football… in the kingdom has been significant and I think it’s just going to go up from here.”

He stated, referring to Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, “They’re going to try and acquire big names – who knows, maybe we might get Messi… [or] any of those guys who you’d ordinarily see go towards previously China, previously Qatar, or… the United States of America.”

By 2030, the year Saudi Arabia anticipates implementing a plan to diversify the economy of the country and lessen its reliance on oil, Al Twaijri said that the Saudi league would rank among the “top 10 in the world.”

Ronaldo arrives just after the World Cup in neighbouring Qatar and as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Greece are considering a joint Asia-Africa-Europe campaign to host football’s premier event.

Before he arrived, supporters entered the stadium with blue-and-yellow Al Nassr scarves and yellow “Ronaldo 7” banners, some of whom were hunting for tickets.

The arrival of Ronaldo, the most well-known player to visit Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, or any country in the Asian federation, has sparked a flurry of excitement. [Photo by Amr Nabil/AP]
Adam Seddik, an Al Ittihad supporter from Jeddah, claimed to have travelled 900 kilometres (560 miles) to Riyadh to take in the show.

Seddik predicted that his arrival will increase the Saudi League’s worth and viewership. “He is the best player in the world,” someone said.

The coming of Ronaldo, the most well-known footballer to visit Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, or any country in the Asian federation, has sparked a flurry of excitement.

After Ronaldo’s deal was made public, fans lined up down the street to purchase shirts from Al Nassr featuring his distinctive number seven, and Al Nassr’s Instagram page garnered millions of new followers.

Following the Saudi ownership of English Premier League team Newcastle United last year, sports like golf, boxing, tennis, and Formula One have become increasingly popular in Saudi Arabia, and Ronaldo’s signing is no exception.

Future iterations of the Asian Games, Asian Winter Games, men’s and women’s Asian Cups of football will all be held in Saudi Arabia, which is now ruled by de facto monarch Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


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