‘Ronaldo will not finish career in Saudi Arabia, will move to …’: Al Nassr head coach gives massive transfer update
Al Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia gave a massive transfer update on Cristiano Ronaldo and his future in football.
Cristiano Ronaldo stunned football fans around the world with a sensational transfer to Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr on a 2-1/2 year contract, estimated to be worth more than 200 million euros. The Portugal captain saw his contract with Manchester United get terminated after a controversial interview with broadcaster Piers Morgan, where he criticised the club's hierarchy and manager Erik ten Hag.
Ronaldo made his Al Nassr debut on January 22, as his side beat Ettifaq 1-0 in the Saudi Pro League, at the King Saud University Stadium on Sunday. This came after he played for a combined XI from Al Nassr and Al Hilal in an exhibition match against Lionel Messi's PSG. But the 37-year-old couldn't prevent a defeat for his side in the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday, as they lost 1-3 vs rivals Al Ittihad in the semi-finals.
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When his Al Nassr deal ends, Ronaldo will be nearing his 40th birthday, which could mean that he will be ending his career in Saudi Arabia. But Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia doesn't think so, with the Frenchman stating that 'he will return to Europe.'
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a positive addition, as he helps to disperse defenders. He is one of the best players in the world. He will not finish his career at Al-Nassr, he will return to Europe", said Garcia.
The attacker arrived at Old Trafford for his second stint during the summer transfer window in 2021, having spent 12 years in Madrid and Turin. On returning, he ended the season with 24 goals in all competitions, with 18 of those in the Premier League, making him the third-highest goalscorer in the Golden Boot race. Ronaldo was also named in the Premier League Team of the year, and also grabbed the club's Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
Despite his inspirational performances, United finished in sixth position, failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. After Ten Hag's arrival, he got relegated to the bench with the former Ajax coach preferring Marcus Rashford. Ronaldo managed to score only one goal in 10 2022-23 Premier League appearances and two goals in the Europa League. Meanwhile, he bagged two assists in the Europa League.