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Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo set ‘rediscover pleasure of playing’ challenge at Al-Nassr after struggles with Man Utd & Portugal

22:56 EAT 08/01/2023
Ronaldo AL-Nassr 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo has been challenged to “rediscover the pleasure of playing” at Al-Nassr following his Manchester United and Portugal struggles.
  • Released by Red Devils
  • Bench duty at World Cup
  • Fresh start in Saudi Arabia

WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is opening up a new challenge in Saudi Arabia after being released by Premier League heavyweights and seeing plenty of bench duty at the 2022 World Cup. Rudi Garcia is delighted to have the all-time great at his disposal with Al-Nassr and the French coach is hoping to help the 37-year-old rediscover a spark and smile after enduring the most testing spell of what has been a remarkable career.

WHAT THEY SAID: Garcia told reporters at the Dakar Rally of his plans for the iconic Portuguese forward: “The only thing I wish for Ronaldo is that he rediscovers the pleasure of playing and smiles again because in recent months between Manchester United, the national team and then at a personal level he hasn't had easy moments. If he finds the pleasure of playing again, that will already be a goal achieved.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has seen his debut at Al-Nassr delayed by a two-match ban that was handed out to him by the English Football Association following an incident at Everton in which the Portuguese knocked a phone from the hand of a young Toffees supporter.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo, who is the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football and a record-breaking marksman from his time at Real Madrid, will be hoping to hit the ground running with Al-Nassr after committing to a contract that will reportedly earn him £173 million ($209m) per annum across a two-year deal.