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Friday, January 27, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo Signs with Saudi Club Al-Nassr After Messy Manchester United Exit

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RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 30: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT – “ALL NASSR FOOTBALL CLUB / HANDOUT” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo poses for a photo with the jersey after signing with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr Football Club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 30, 2022. (Photo by Al Nassr Football Club / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Al Nassr Football Club/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo has joined Saudi Arabian football club Al-Nassr FC, the club announced Friday. The striker made headlines in November after his messy and controversial exit from his previous team, Manchester United.Several outlets, including CBS Sports and ESPN, are reporting Ronaldo’s deal to be worth $75 million a year through 2025.”I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country,” the 37-year-old player said in Al-Nassr’s statement about the deal.”The vision of what Al Nassr are doing and developing in Saudi Arabia both in terms of men’s and women’s football is very inspiring,” Ronaldo continued. “We can see from Saudi Arabia’s recent performance at the World Cup that this is a country with big football ambitions and a lot of potential.”RELATED: Georgina Rodríguez Leaves Qatar with Daughter After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Tearful World Cup ExitThe Portuguese strike concluded: “I am fortunate that I have won everything I set out to win in European football and feel now that this is the right moment to share my experience in Asia. I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and together with them help the Club to achieve success.”The move is somewhat surprising and has some sports insiders suggesting the legendary player didn’t receive any compelling offers to stay in Europe.In a second statement, Al-Nassr FC expanded on Ronaldo joining the team.TOPSHOT – Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Cristiano Ronaldo”History in the making,” it said. “This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome Cristiano to your new home.”Ronaldo’s surprising departure from Manchester United right before the World Cup in November shocked fans and sports insiders alike. After an interview with Piers Morgan, where the striker opened up about the situation at his then-club and revealed his real thoughts about the coach and overall club.It wasn’t long before the two mutually decided to part ways.”Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect,” the organization said in a statement.Manchester United added that “the club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.”The club assured fans that “everyone” at the organization “remains focused on continuing the team’s progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch.”Earlier this year, Ronaldo and his family faced a different kind of difficulty. On April 18, the couple made the heartbreaking announcement that one of their newborn twins, a baby boy, had died.”It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. “Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness.”Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.He continued by thanking their doctors and nurses for “all their expert care and support.””We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time. Our baby boy, you are our angel. We will always love you,” he concluded the post, signed by himself and Rodríguez.

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