Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly closing in on a staggering £173 million (close to R9 billion)-a-year deal with Saudi Arabian giants Al-Nassr.
The former Manchester United forward’s contract was terminated earlier last month after he slated the club in a hold-no-barred interview with renowned English TV journalist Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo, 37, is currently leading his Portuguese charges at the now-underway 2022 World Cup in Qatar but will join up with Al-Nassr post the global showpiece having signed a two-and-a-half-year deal – that will see him play until the age of 40.
After being shunned by some of Europe’s elite clubs last time out, having attempted to force a move away from Old Trafford at the beginning of the season, the former Real Madrid and Juventus man is now set to become the highest-paid sportsperson of all time.
Who Are Al-Nassr?
As one of the most successful clubs in Saudi Arabia, Al Nassr have been crowned winners of the Arab Kingdom’s top flight nine times but are now looking to get back to being the best having last tasted league success back in 2019.
The following two years saw them miss out on the league title, though they did manage to win the Saudi Super Cup.
Al-Nassr have struggled to make an impact on the global scene, and the last time they rubbed shoulders with some of the best clubs was in the Club World Cup in 2000.
The club is managed by Frenchman Rudi Garcia, who has previously held coaching stints at Italian giants AS Roma, as well as Marseille and Lyon in France.
Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar, who scored a contender for goal of the tournament against Serbia at the Qatar World Cup earlier this week, former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina and Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo form part of a star-studded Al-Nassr outfit that Ronaldo could play with.
From playing in front of a packed-to-rafters 70 000 plus capacity at Old Trafford, Ronaldo will now see himself playing at Mrsool Park, which has a capacity of just 25,000.
Having recently scored his 700th career club goal in their 2-1 win against Everton, achieved in just 945 games, a huge factor for Ronaldo is that Al-Nassr is said to be made up of eight backroom staff that are Portuguese.
Al-Nassr currently occupy second place with 19 points after eight matches, two points adrift of league leaders Al-Shabab in the Saudi Professional League.
Nicknamed Al-Aalami or The International Club, Al-Nassr’s next league fixture will see them take the trip to Al-Raed on December 16.