International football star Cristiano Ronaldo just signed a new contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr but also revealed he was approached by Australian football clubs to play here. Um, excuse me, why would he turn us down?
Ronaldo’s long-standing contract with Manchester United was terminated in November after an extremely spicy TV interview with UK presenter Piers Morgan in which he criticised the club’s manager and owners.
After his departure, Ronaldo said he was (obviously) approached by “many clubs” that wanted one of the all-time greats on their side.
“Nobody knows this, but I had many opportunities in Europe, Brazil, Australia, the US, even Portugal, many clubs tried to sign me. I gave my word to this club,” the 37-year-old who’s originally from Portugal told a press conference on Wednesday.
“I want to give a different vision of this country and football. This is why I took this opportunity.”
Thank you Riyadh for the warm welcome! Look forward to seeing you at the stadium tonight💛💙 pic.twitter.com/0AsT4wLdYq
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 3, 2023
Ronaldo ultimately chose the team offering him the biggest salary a football player will have ever received. It’s reported he’ll get a $US200 million ($297,500,000) annual paycheck, though Al Nassr president Musalli Almuammar has not yet confirmed the numbers.
“He is the best player in football history so it is normal he will be the highest in terms of cost or salary,” Almuammar said as per the ABC.
“This is something that he really deserves, so the amount of money he will take, he really deserves.”
Australia probably only offered him a lifetime supply of Vegemite and dinner with Robert Irwin.
Ah well, bless us for trying. I guess I’ll see all eight of you at the next A-League game. (Yes, the pic at the top was taken at a Wellington Phoenix vs Western Sydney Wanderers game last month.)