Cristiano Ronaldo has finally bucked down rumors he will return to European football after his spell at Al Nassr.
Aged 38, Cristiano will clock 40 when he runs out of his current Al Nassr contract. Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports he may likely return to Europe to continue in his career after his unceremonious exit from Manchester United.
Recall Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr as a last resort after offers from European clubs were not forthcoming.
He was linked to Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and other top clubs with his former agent, Jorge Mendes, reportedly claiming his client is ready to take a paycut to join any Champions League club in Europe.
While reiterating his admiration for the player, Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Someone debunked rumors linking the club to Ronaldo. Bayern Munich also refuted reports the club is plotting a move for the five times Ballon d’Or winner.
Short of offers from elite Champions League clubs in Europe, the Portuguese all-time highest goal-scorer finally joined Al Nassr on the most lucrative football contract ever but there were reports still linking him to European return.
Speaking after Al Nassr’s 5-0 defeat to La Liga side Celta Vigo in a preseason friendly, Ronaldo has confirmed his decision not to return to Europe at the tail end of his career.
“I’m 100 percent sure I won’t return to any European club,” Ronaldo said.
The footie icon also seemed to take a slight dig on European football saying it has lost its quality except the Premier League.
“I’m 38 years old. And European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues.”
What is next for Cristiano Ronaldo after his Al Nassr spell?
With a return to Europe ruled out, Cristiano Ronaldo may likely hang his football boots when his current Al Nassr contract expires.
According to reports, Ronaldo’s Al Nassr contract is expected to see him take up an advisory role at the club after his contract with the club expires.
He will stay at the club for additional four-and-a-half years as adviser, making it seven years.
Cristiano Ronaldo influence in Saudi Arabia
It is understood Al Nassr’s move to sign Cristiano Ronaldo was taken as a collective project by Saudi football authorities as they wanted the player for a larger purpose of improving the Saudi League and selling it to global audience.
Months after signing Cristiano Ronaldo, the Saudi League have become a choice destination for top players in European League. The likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Brozovic, Roberto Firmino, Ruben Neves, and other top stars, who plied their trade in Europe, have joined the league this summer with more players expected to join.