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Perhaps in the role of the sheikh: what will be Cristiano Ronaldo's next destination? | Israel today


One of the hot topics in world football in recent months is the future of Cristiano Ronaldo • After he was "fired" from Manchester United, all reports point to Saudi Arabia • Nadav Jacobi makes order

In the coming days we will know if this is really happening: if Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in history, will leave European football for the first time in his career - and move to Saudi Arabia.

No one has yet confirmed the sensational move, but the signs that it is about to happen are piling up.

It was announced in England and Portugal that the group he is supposed to join, Al-Nasser, has already arranged all the medical examination procedures, and now everyone is waiting for the star to finish his Christmas and New Year holidays - and get on the plane to Riyadh.

It should be remembered - the Portuguese is a free agent, after Manchester United "fired" him on November 22, about a week after the publication of the interview with Piers Morgan in which he visited and harshly attacked the club.

From the moment his professional status changed (he was the only player in the World Cup who did not have a team...), the rumor mill about his next destination began.

At first the direction was the MLS league in the USA - but then the offer came from Saudi Arabia. The Riyadh club offers the star, who in a little over a month will be 38 years old, a crazy salary of 200 million dollars a year - 75 million as a base salary, and the rest from advertising contracts and the sale of merchandise .

The contract is supposed to be for two and a half years, until the summer of 2025, and the Portuguese is supposed to deposit about half a billion dollars into his bank account!

If this happens, it will be the highest contract in the history of football.

Currently the one who holds the record is Kylian Mbappe, who earns 100 million euros at PSG.

Ronaldo is in pain after Portugal's elimination from the World Cup, photo: Reuters

It must be said honestly - it is not the money that will probably convince the player to move to Saudi Arabia, but the fact that he has no other offers.

Although he is still as ambitious as ever and wants to continue scoring in the Champions League, where he is the all-time goalscorer, no team in Europe is interested in him.

The truth is that Erik ten Haag, United's coach, didn't really want the Portuguese in his team either, but the matter was forced on him from above.

So what awaits Cristiano if and when he signs the contract with Al-Nasser?

First, it is not the top team in the country - or in Riyadh.

This honor belongs to Al-Hilal, which is both the national champion and the Asian champion.

The team sent 13 players to the World Cup, including the two scorers in the sensational victory over Argentina, Salah Al-Shahri and Salam Al-Dusari.

The big star of the team is Odion Ighalo, the 33-year-old Nigerian, who previously played for Manchester United and Watford.

He is also the highest paid in the Saudi league, and earns about 15 million dollars a year.

The comeback for United ended badly, photo: Reuters

alien stars

In short, the Saudi league has a lot of money, which comes from both the rich sponsors and the government, which owns the big clubs.

Today, no less than 128 foreign players from 48 different countries play in it!

And there are quite a few famous names: Argentine Ever Banga (Al-Shabaab), Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina (Al-Hilal), and the man who scored Cameroon's winning goal against Brazil in the World Cup - Vincent Aboubakar, who is supposed to be Ronaldo's partner in the Al-Nasser attack.

All the coaches are foreigners, including some big names: the Argentine Ramon Dias coaches Al-Hilal, the French Rudy Garcia coaches Al-Nasser, Nuno Espirito Santo coaches Al-Ittihad and Yorgos Donis, ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv, currently coaches Al-Fateh. The League It turned professional in 2007, and from next season it will grow from 16 teams to 18. It is quite competitive, and in the last ten seasons there have been five different champions.

Al-Hilal is not only the best team in the league, but also has the largest audience.

In almost all home games at the King Fahd Stadium, all 67 thousand seats are full.

Also, the club plays in the smaller Al-Marsol Stadium, with 25,000 seats.

The one who is obviously behind the scenes is the heir to the throne - Mohammed bin Salman, who at the age of 37 is the most powerful man in the government, and aims for Saudi Arabia to host the World Cup in 2030 (along with Egypt and Greece).

Little Qatar's success put MBS on a huge drive when it comes to football.

This is the reason for the purchase of Newcastle and the attempt to sign Ronaldo, who will also become, according to the plans, an honorary ambassador for the selection of the host.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-12-29

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