Marca: Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr Agree to 2.5-year Contract Potentially Worth $500m

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 5, 2022

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 06, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo will reportedly join Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr after his midseason departure from Manchester United, per José Félix Díaz of Marca.

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Free agent Cristiano Ronaldo will sign a 2.5-year contract with Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr in a deal potentially worth $200M per season, reports <a href="https://twitter.com/marca?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@marca</a> 💰 <a href="https://t.co/GHJeOKdtqf">pic.twitter.com/GHJeOKdtqf</a>

The two-and-a-half-year deal is reportedly worth over €500, including a signing-on fee and financial incentives from advertising. His annual salary of nearly 200 million euros will make him the highest-paid athlete in the world.

After a tumultuous few months to open the 2022-23 season, United announced on November 22 that the two sides had mutually agreed to part ways. Ronaldo has been competing with Portugal at the World Cup since then, helping the national team reach the knockout stage.

The 37-year-old had been seeking a move away from Old Trafford since the summer transfer window, although there was reportedly limited interest among the top leagues, per Mark Ogden of ESPN.

Ronaldo struggled to find playing time once the season began, making just four starts among 10 appearances in the Premier League. He tallied only one goal and no assists in league play.

The veteran also received a one-match ban after refusing to sub into a match in October, and his relationship with the Old Trafford club and United manager Erik ten Hag finally deteriorated with an explosive interview on Piers Morgan Uncensored.

The latest move allows Ronaldo to get a fresh start as he tries to add to his incredible career resume.

The superstar has been among the best players in the world over the past two decades, winning the Ballon d'Or five times. He helped teams win five Champions League titles, and he also won domestic trophies with United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Though his production has slowed in recent years, he finished third in the Premier League with 18 goals in 2021-22, adding six more in seven Champions League matches.

Ronaldo should once again put up big numbers for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. Though he might be unfamiliar with the competition, his skill set should allow him to be a difference-maker right away.

Al Nassr is second in the SPL table, three points behind Al Shabab FC through eight matches, although the club has won three titles since 2014.

The global superstar should also bring plenty of attention to Al Nassr while likely selling millions of jerseys, helping justify the investment.