Former Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a contract with Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr, the club confirmed Friday.
The agreement is worth $75 million annually over two-and-a-half years, according to Ben Jacobs and James Benge of CBS Sports. Fabrizio Romano added Ronaldo can earn at least $200 million per season through commercial deals with the club.
Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano
Here's Cristiano Ronaldo with Al Nassr shirt after contract signed until June 2025 🚨🇵🇹🇸🇦 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ronaldo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Ronaldo</a><br><br>▫️ Agreement valid for two years and half;<br><br>▫️ Total salary will be close to €200m per year, but this includes commercial deal.<br><br>It's the biggest salary ever in football. <a href="https://t.co/ZnOg8lY6Wb">pic.twitter.com/ZnOg8lY6Wb</a>
Ronaldo's contract with the Riyadh club effectively ends his career at the top level. The Portuguese superstar had reportedly been eyeing a move to a club that plays in the UEFA Champions League, but a deal never materialized.
Ronaldo and Manchester United mutually agreed to part ways in November just before the beginning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, making him a free agent.
The move came after he heavily criticized the club in a candid interview with Piers Morgan, saying he felt "betrayed" by the way the Red Devils had treated him in his return to Old Trafford. He added that he felt United was trying to force him out.
Piers Morgan Uncensored @PiersUncensored
"I feel betrayed."<br><br>EXCLUSIVE: Cristiano Ronaldo tells Piers Morgan he feels like he's being forced out of Manchester United in an explosive interview.<br><br>90 Minutes with Ronaldo. Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm on TalkTV.<a href="https://twitter.com/Cristiano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cristiano</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/piersmorgan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@piersmorgan</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/TalkTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TalkTV</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMU</a> <a href="https://t.co/nqp4mcXHB0">pic.twitter.com/nqp4mcXHB0</a>
Ronaldo returned to Manchester United during the 2021-22 campaign after spending 2018 through 2021 with Serie A side Juventus. He left United in 2009 in a move to La Liga's Real Madrid.
The 37-year-old's return to the Premier League was tumultuous, to say the least. While he scored 24 goals across all competitions during the 2021-22 season, the Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League and were eliminated from the Champions League in the round of 16.
Manchester United failed to qualify for this season's Champions League, and it's fifth in the Premier League table with a 9-2-4 record.
Ronaldo appeared in 10 Premier League games for the Red Devils this season, making four starts, and had been playing off the bench for Erik ten Hag. With little sign of progress, it became clear Ronaldo wanted out.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner confirmed he was unhappy with the lack of progress at the English side during his interview with Morgan.
"The progress was zero," Ronaldo said. "Since Sir Alex left, I saw no evolution in the club. Nothing had changed."
Ronaldo's downfall continued at the World Cup, where he scored just one goal in five matches (three starts) for a Portuguese team that was upset by Morocco in the quarterfinals.
Now at Al Nassr, Ronaldo will look to rejuvenate his career, possibly in hopes of returning to the top level.