By Arab News
Cristiano Ronaldo was officially presented by Al-Nassr as the Saudi Arabian club’s superstar new signing on Tuesday and said he turned down multiple other offers from Europe and North America.
The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to play in the Saudi Pro League.
“I’m so proud to make this big decision in my life. In Europe my work is done. I won everything and played for the most important clubs in Europe. This is a new challenge,” Ronaldo said at his first news conference as an Al-Nassr player.
During a press conference, the Portugal legend said he was looking forward to a new challenge in Asian football, having won everything there was to win in the European game.
He said he hoped his signing for Al-Nassr would change not only the image of Saudi football around the world, but also perceptions of the Kingdom itself.
Ronaldo described himself as a “unique player” and insisted his career was not over as he arrived at his new club Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
“I’m a unique player. It’s good to come here, I broke all the records there (in Europe) and I want to break a few records here,” Ronaldo told media at Al Nassr’s Mrsool Park stadium.
“I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country,” he added.
“In Europe my work is done,” he said, adding: “I had many offers in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, the US, even in Portugal.
“Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to have not only football but (to be) part of this amazing country. And for me it was a challenge.”
Football shirts sporting his name and trademark number “7” have been flying off the shelves of sports shops across the Kingdom since the announcement of the spectacular sporting deal was first announced.
Ronaldo was received on Monday evening by chairman of the board of directors of Al-Nasr Club, Musli Al Muammar, his deputy, Abdullah Al-Amrani, and the CEO of the club, Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, as well as a group of children from the club’s fans.
The club posted a video of a clearly enthusiastic Ronaldo shortly before his arrival in the Saudi captial on Monday night.
The signing – which was announced by Al-Nassr on Friday – has been billed as kicking off a new era in Asian soccer.
The club’s president, Musalli Al-Muammar, said the agreement was “more than writing a new historical chapter,”
And within 24 hours of the announcement the club’s saw a surge in new followers on its social media accounts.
Ronaldo has won five European Champions Leagues with Real Madrid and Manchester United, but his controversial second tenure at the English club ended after 15 months with him as a bench regular without trophies and out of contract after it was prematurely terminated.
Al-Nassr coach Rudy Garcia said: “The signing of a player the size of Cristiano Ronaldo is extraordinary, and contributes to the development of Saudi football.”
Tonight’s ceremony, which will be hosted by the capital, Riyadh, will start at 7 p.m., where the international star will meet fans, wearing the victory shirt for the first time.
He will attend a training session open to the fans, along with his fellow players.