Cristiano Ronaldo made a mistake at his Al-Nassr revelation when he mistook Saudi Arabia for South Africa.
The 37-year-old captain of Portugal, who recently signed a record-breaking £173 million contract with the club, was introduced in Riyadh.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will play for Al-Nassr and represent Saudi Arabia as part of the massive two-year and 6-month contract, but things didn’t go smoothly at first.
Ronaldo remarked at the unusual introduction, which was cheered by the press conference attendees and interrupted by requests for pictures.
He mistakenly said “For me it is not the end of my career coming to South Africa.”
“This is why I want to change and to be honest I really don’t worry about what people say.”
“I took my decision and I have a responsibility to change that.”
Many of those present at Ronaldo’s press conference appeared to be fans rather than journalists as they shouted “SIU,” his hallmark celebration, throughout the proceedings.
All of the softball-related questions were posed by a club representative, who also requested a photo at the conclusion. Journalists present were not permitted to ask questions.
Ronaldo said that his work in Europe was “done” and that he had turned down numerous offers from all over the world when he made the decision to play in Asia for the first time.
A condition in the agreement that may allow him to join Saudi-owned Newcastle on loan should they advance to the Champions League was reported earlier, but it was quickly refuted.
Ronaldo confirmed that: “In Europe my work is done.”
“I won everything, I played for the most important clubs in Europe and now it is a new challenge in Asia.”
“As nobody knows, I can say now I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, Australia, the US, even in Portugal, many clubs tried to sign me.”
The former Manchester United striker was then escorted into the locker room to meet his new teammates before being introduced to the crowd.
His Old Trafford contract was terminated last year as a result of an inflammatory interview with Piers Morgan.
The brief ceremony on the field, where Ronaldo thanked everyone for their welcome and said it was a “pleasure” to be at the club, was attended by fans who had purchased tickets.
After that, he kicked several autographed footballs into the stands and posed for pictures with members of the Al-Nassr women’s squad and academy.
Ronaldo had previously stated that the development of the “feminine side” of the game in Saudi Arabia played a key role in the decision.
On the field, he addressed the crowd and said: “What I expect to achieve is to make people happy, to enjoy myself and to help the country be better and better and better.”
“Not only men’s football but also feminine football, which people don’t know.”
Cristiano Ronaldo is in a race against time to make his Al-Nassr debut on Thursday.
Depending on his fitness, Ronaldo might make his debut on Thursday against Al-Ta’ee.
If not, the best team in the Saudi Pro League may start him against Al-Shabab on Saturday.