Cristiano Ronaldo: Nobody knows how many clubs tried to sign me before Al-Nassr!

Ronaldo AL-Nassr 2023
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Cristiano Ronaldo claimed clubs around the world fought for his signature, including ones in Europe, before Al-Nassr landed him for a record contract.

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo made the case that Saudi Arabia is the destination he really wanted on a personal level and that he could have easily gone elsewhere - though reports suggest his desire to join Real Madrid was never mutual. In any case, his lucrative contract will see him make more annually than any other professional football player (reportedly £173 million ($209m) a year).

WHAT THEY SAID: "Nobody knows but I can say now that I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, in U.S. even in Portugal, many clubs tried to sign me," Ronaldo said at his introductory news conference for Al-Nassr. "But I give credit to this club for the opportunity to develop not only the football but this amazing country. I know what I want and of course what I don't want as well."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo's arrival is a stunning turn of events after he spent the first half of the season in the Premier League. Star players do not often go from arguably the best league in the world to one relatively unknown among the global football-watching population.

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WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? Al-Nassr are in the middle of their season and could look to involve their marquee signing soon. They are next in action against Al-Ta'ee on Thursday January 5.