‘Everyone thought I was the crazy one’ — Ronaldo thrilled with Saudi League growth

Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Saudi Pro League || Credit: Ronaldo/Instagram

‘Everyone thought I was the crazy one’ — Ronaldo thrilled with Saudi League growth

Ayoola Kelechi 05:12 - 07.09.2023

Cristiano Ronaldo has acknowledged the growth of the Saudi Pro League and is proud of his role in the league attracting more star players

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United star, Cristiano Ronaldo, has once again spoken in adulation of the Saudi Pro League after acting as an unofficial ambassador and lighthouse for the league since joining. 

Ronaldo thrilled by Saudi Pro League growth

Ronaldo moved to Saudi Arabia following the termination of his contract at Manchester United just before the 2022 FIFA World Cup to become the highest-paid footballer in the world at the time but was also keen to point out the potential for growth of the league. 

The Portuguese football legend declared when he joined the league in January that he would be the first of many star players to leave Europe for the Gulf, and has recently spoken about being proven right by the moves made in the summer transfer market. 

Speaking ahead of Portugal’s Euros qualifier against Slovakia, the Al Nassr forward stated, "I knew this [transfer market] was going to happen. I said it six months ago and everyone thought I was the crazy one

Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo | Imago
Al Nassr's Cristiano Ronaldo | Imago

"But, after all, the crazy guy is not that crazy, and it turns out to be normal to play in the Arab league.”

Ronaldo proud of pioneering Saudi Arabia growth

After Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr, other Saudi Arabian teams, especially those backed by the Saudi PIF have managed to attract notable talent including the likes of former Liverpool players like Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson, as well as players like former Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and his international teammate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. 

10 remarkable records Cristiano Ronaldo has broken since he joined Al Nassr
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14:11 - 06.09.2023

10 remarkable records Cristiano Ronaldo has broken since he joined Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest football players the world has ever seen. To many, he is the greatest, and this has fueled football debates and continues to do so. However, regardless of which side of the divide you are on, one thing that is undeniable is that the Portuguese is a record-breaking machine. Since his record-breaking move to Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro-League, he has broken several records that will leave your jaws dropping. Find them below.

Ronaldo noted that he was proud to have started the movement which has seen such stars play for Saudi Arabian clubs, saying, "For me, it was a great privilege to change the culture of a country in terms of football and to have great stars go to Saudi Arabia.

"I was the pioneer, and I am proud of it. What I want most is to continue to always evolve, so that [the league] is top-notch."

Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo netted all five goals for Al Nassr. (Photo Credit: Al Nassr/X)
Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo netted all five goals for Al Nassr. (Photo Credit: Al Nassr/X)

Ronaldo will lead Portugal out against Slovakia with two of his teammates also plying their trade in Saudi Arabia, a never-before-seen condition. 

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