Cristiano Ronaldo's new manager at Al-Nassr says he wanted Lionel Messi first

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo's new manager at Al-Nassr says he wanted Lionel Messi first

Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia has already risked the wrath of Cristiano Ronaldo by joking he wanted to sign Lionel Messi first.

Ronaldo completed a stunning move to the Saudi Arabia club on Friday and is expected to earn in the region of £173million per year. The deal comes after he forced an exit from Manchester United through a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.

With few other offers on the table, Ronaldo has opted to join Al-Nassr and will link up with his new club in the coming days. But before he has even officially joined the squad, there could be a rift with his new manager Garcia.

Cristiano Ronaldo's new manager at Al-Nassr says he wanted Lionel Messi first rridqziqtqitinvAl-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia has joked he wanted to sign Lionel Messi before Cristiano Ronaldo

After seeing his side defeat Al-Khaleej on Saturday, Garcia joked that he had first tried to bring in Messi before Ronaldo joined. The Argentine has been Ronaldo's biggest rival for much of his career, with the duo battling for records and the Ballon d'Or.

The former United star saw Messi win the World Cup last month, cementing his legendary status. And he has been hit by a further blow after Garcia joked he had tried to sign the Paris Saint-Germain superstar during the World Cup.

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"First I wanted to bring Messi from Doha," Garcia laughed after Al-Nassr's win over Al-Khaleej. Garcia may have to tread carefully with any future jokes however, with Ronaldo thought to hold the power to sack and hire managers as part of his deal.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Did Cristiano Ronaldo make the right decision by joining Al-Nassr? Comment below.

Cristiano Ronaldo's new manager at Al-Nassr says he wanted Lionel Messi firstRonaldo confirmed his move to Al-Nassr on Friday and is expected to link up with his new team in the coming days (Getty Images)

The Al-Nassr boss has previously spoken highly of Ronaldo, which may save him some face. Before Ronaldo's arrival was confirmed, Garcia hailed the superstar and insisted he was still at the top of his game.

"I can't say anything about Cristiano because otherwise it would immediately appear in the headlines: 'García: about Ronaldo'. What I see is that it has been a soap opera and it has been a very important promotion for Al Nassr," he told AS.

"I think that any coach would be delighted to train a great star like Cristiano and already in November 2021 I was very close to going to United. They chose Ralf Rangnick, but I met twice with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher.

"Nothing special, but I have always thought that the great players are the easiest to manage because they are very intelligent, I verified this with Francesco Totti at Roma. At the moment, the goal with Al Nassr is simple: win titles.

"We're not playing in the Asian Champions League this year because of the World Cup, but we want to win the league and the cups. winning titles in a country other than France is a very important motivation for me too."

Ronaldo has been criticised in some quarters for choosing to end his career in Saudi Arabia. Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher compared him negatively with Messi, following the Argentine's World Cup win.

"In some ways it's a sad end for him. Two of the greatest players in Messi and Ronaldo - Ronaldo has finished his career during an interview with Piers Morgan and Messi has won the World Cup. It's not the best way to go out," Carragher told Sky Sports.

Jacob Leeks

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