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Report: Al Nassr 'Convinced' Cristiano Ronaldo Will Retire with Club

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 23, 2023

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - JANUARY 22: Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr is seen during the Saudi Pro League match between Al Nassr and Al Ettifaq at Mrsool Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 22, 2023. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Al Nassr is under the impression that veteran attacker Cristiano Ronaldo will be finishing his career in Saudi Arabia.

According to ESPN's Rob Dawson, club officials "believe it is unlikely that he will play somewhere else before hanging up his boots. Sources have told ESPN that Al Nassr have not ruled out extending Ronaldo's contract if he wants to continue his playing career."

Ronaldo is already under contract for two-and-a-half years with the Saudi Pro League side in a deal worth $200 million, which will take him through the 2025 season. At that point, he'll be 40.

While Ronaldo didn't score in his league debut against Ettifaq, a 1-0 win for Al Nassr, he reportedly arrived in Saudi Arabia with a collection of "best practices" that the club have been working to install.

His manager, Rudi Garcia, was pleased with his debut despite his failure to open with a goal.

"I told the players they need to make the right choices on the pitch," he said. "Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo is asking for the ball and we have to give him the ball because he's the player who can make the difference. We need to work a lot on the positions of everyone. Sometimes we had crosses but not enough people in the box. We need to work on that."

Ronaldo, 37, has played for some of the biggest clubs in world football, including Manchester United (twice), Real Madrid and Juventus. His time at United ended in controversy, however, as he blasted ownership and various other members of the club publicly in an effort to force a move away from Old Trafford.

The belief at the time was that Ronaldo was seeking Champions League football, but no such suitors materialized, and he ended up at Al Nassr instead. And for the time being, it appears that will be where he concludes his club career.