Ronaldo Joins Saudi Arabian Soccer Club
On Friday, Saudi Arabian soccer club Al Nassr announced signing Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo for a two-and-a-half-year contract, which will run until June 2025.
- On Friday, Saudi Arabian soccer club Al Nassr announced signing Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo for a two-and-a-half-year contract, which will run until June 2025.
- "The world's greatest athlete, officially signed for Al Nassr," the club posted on Twitter, along with a picture of Ronaldo holding up the team's jersey with his name and the number seven on the back.
- In a statement issued by the club, Ronaldo said he was "excited to experience a new football league in a different country." Terming Al Nassr's vision as "inspiring," he added it was the "right moment to share his experience in Asia."
- While the club has yet to disclose any financial terms of the agreement, media reports estimate Ronaldo's contract to be worth more than €200M ($214.04M).
- The contract comes after the 37-year-old left Manchester United late last month following a controversial TV interview with Piers Morgan.
- The first player to score in five World Cups, Ronaldo has netted more than 800 times in his professional career. His joining Al Nassr — nine-time Saudi Pro League champions — is expected to boost the club's chances of winning their first AFC Asian Champions League.
Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian, Al Arabiya, Reuters, SCMP, and Rediff.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Mirror. By joining Al Nassr, Ronaldo becomes the highest-paid athlete in the world. But the lucrative contract may also see him become a "sportswashing" tool to improve Saudi Arabia's international reputation and an ambassador for its bid to host the 2030 World Cup. Ronaldo must rethink his decision to affiliate with a country fraught with allegations of human rights abuses.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by France24. In today's tumultuous global environment, sports should be used to bridge the gap between divided societies rather than as a tool to polarize each other, but it seems that Western media is intent on doing just that. Rather than making accusations of "sportswashing," attention should be focused on the role that sports play in Saudi Arabia's progressing society.
- Narrative C, as provided by Manchester Evening News. Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the European stage for the first time comes as a big surprise. But it's a chance for one of soccer's greatest current players to spread his legacy outside the continent. As he plans to retire at 40, a move to Saudi Arabia is likely to mark the swansong of an incredible career.