The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is looking for a new challenge in the kingdom
Cristiano Ronaldo was officially presented by Al Nassr FC for the first time on Tuesday, in a lavish ceremony that saw the star player slam critics and announce his next football pursuits.
Gifted a monumental introduction at Mrsool Park stadium, the famed superstar was greeted by explosive fireworks and a 25,000-capacity stadium hailing.
“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 at his introductory press conference.
“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 added.
“I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country.”
The 37-year-old voiced several options were on the table with clubs, but Al Nassr was his pick.
” I can say now I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, Australia, USA, even in Portugal, many tried to sign me.”
“Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to have not only football but (to be) part of this amazing country. And for me it was a challenge,” the five-time Champions League winner said.
Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia praised the signing of the Portuguese captain, calling him the “simplest to manage.”
“In my life, I’ve seen that great players like Cristiano are the simplest to manage, because there’s nothing I can teach him,” the French coach told reporters.
“Like he said, we are here to win, nothing else. I want him to enjoy playing with Al Nassr and winning with Al Nassr, just that.”
Present with Ronaldo was family, including his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and Ronaldo Jr.
The forward expressed that his family was pleased to move to Saudi Arabia from his city of Madrid.
“They are happy as well. When I take decisions my family support me, especially my kids! They are very happy, the welcome was amazing, we feel good. Saudi Arabian people are lovely with me and my family.”
Ronaldo joins the nine-time Saudi champions and has yet to announce when he will debut in his first match.
Al Nassr will play its first game this year against Al-Tai Football Club on 5 January and is set to participate in the highly anticipated Saudi Super Cup on 25 January.