Portugal’s footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has arrived in Riyadh ahead of his grand unveiling before thousands of fans at Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr club.
According to international media, after sealing a deal estimated at more than 200 million euros ($213m), the 37-year-old touched down in the Saudi Arabian capital late on Monday.
Ronaldo, who left Manchester United under a cloud after slamming the club in a TV interview, will appear at Al Nassr’s 25,000-capacity Mrsool Park stadium in Riyadh at 7pm local time (16:00 GMT) on Tuesday, officials said.
The latest and possibly final chapter in Ronaldo’s illustrious career comes weeks after Portugal’s quarterfinal exit from the World Cup in neighbouring Qatar, where his great rival Lionel Messi lifted the trophy with Argentina.
Al Nassr is expecting a packed stadium for the unveiling, according to one official who did not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak to media.
Ronaldo has won five Champions League titles as well as league titles in Italy with Juventus, in Spain with Real Madrid and in England with United. He is also the top scorer in the Champions League and with the Portuguese national team, with whom he won Euro 2016. At the recent World Cup 2022 in Qatar, he became the first man to score at five World Cups with his penalty in the group-stage win over Ghana.
He is also one of the highest-paid. The Portuguese forward earned a reported salary of 31 million euros ($33m) at Juventus before taking a pay cut to rejoin Manchester United.
Ronaldo’s signing with Al Nassr until June 2025 is just the latest foray into top-level sports by oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which has moved into Formula One, boxing and golf, and snapped up English club Newcastle United.