Cristiano Ronaldo described himself as a “unique player” and insisted his career was not over as he received a thunderous welcome at his new club in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. The Portuguese superstar, 37, said he had done all he could in Europe and was hungry for a new challenge as he was greeted by fireworks and deafening roars at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, with five Champions League titles to his name, signed for an estimated 200 million euros to June 2025 not long after his acrimonious split with Manchester United.
“It’s not the end of my career to come to Saudi Arabia. This is why I change and, to be honest, I’m really not worried about what people say,” Ronaldo said.
“In Europe my work is done… I had many offers in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, the US, even in Portugal,” he added. “Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club.”
The packed, 25,000-capacity stadium erupted when Ronaldo, dressed in Al Nassr’s yellow and blue kit, walked on the pitch, saluting the crowd as fireworks and floodlights flashed around him.
Walks of the greatness 🐐💛 pic.twitter.com/7FzLZSchQ5— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) January 3, 2023
His girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, wearing the traditional black abaya or all-covering robe worn by most Saudi women, followed at a distance along with Ronaldo’s children.
“I’m a unique player. It’s good to come here, I broke all the records there (in Europe) and I want to break a few records here,” Ronaldo said earlier.
“I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country,” he added.
Ronaldo joins the nine-time Saudi champions just weeks after his departure from United following a TV interview where he slammed the club and coach Erik ten Hag.