A contract that goes far beyond football. By engaging with the Al-Nassr club, Cristiano Ronaldo also became the ambassador of Saudi Arabia. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will receive 200 million euros as part of his two-and-a-half-year contract, and “Another 200 million” to promote the joint candidacy that the kingdom plans to submit with Greece and Egypt to organize the World Cup in 2030, said a source close to the negotiations, who requested anonymity.
The Portuguese striker, 37, arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh last week. He is by far the most famous player to join a Gulf team. The arrival of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus player is part of the country’s desire to attract attention to its Championship as its Qatari neighbor has just hosted the 2022 World Cup. potential friendly match against PSG on January 19CR7 is set to make its official debut on January 22.
Mohamed bin Salman would be behind the transfer
According to the same source, the deal was backed by members of the royal family, including the country’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, often referred to by his initials MBS. “MBS and (his brothers) Naif, Turki and Rakan, the children of King Salman, are all honorary members of Al-Nassr, from the time before their father became crown prince”.
“They wanted to give supremacy to their club and put it in the spotlight. The best way was to bring the best player in the world.”, she added. According to this source, the sovereign wealth fund of the conservative kingdom, Public Investment Fund (PIF), was put to use. “Al-Nassr and the other Saudi clubs do not have the necessary funds for such a contract. It was PIF who guaranteed the payment”. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which is investing more and more in the world of sport, bought English football club Newcastle last year.