Ronaldo hits back at critics over Saudi move and lists the offers he rejected

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Cristiano Ronaldo was presented as an Al-Nassr player on Tuesday
Cristiano Ronaldo was presented as an Al-Nassr player on Tuesday

Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested he turned down a host of clubs to secure a "unique opportunity" to play for Al-Nassr.

The 37-year-old icon was presented as a player for the Saudi Arabian club for the first time on Tuesday, having signed a whopping £173 million-per-year contract. Ronaldo has signed on the dotted line following his acrimonious and bitter Manchester United exit was confirmed before the World Cup started in November.

He flew out to the Middle East over the weekend before his official unveiling took place in front of fans at the club's 25,000-seater Mrsool Park Stadium. Speaking before he went out on the pitch, he told the assembled press that he made the move to Saudi with his ambitious plans to change the mentality in the country.

“So far I'm feeling very good. I’m so proud to make this decision in my life as you mentioned before in Europe my work is done," he explained. "I won everything, I played at the most important clubs and for me now it is a new challenge in Asia.

"I'm grateful that Al-Nassr have given me this opportunity to show and develop not only for the younger generation, but for the women's generation. Its a challenge but I'm very proud."

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Ronaldo then hit back at critics suggesting he was unable to find any other offers, revealing he had approaches from across the world, but opted for a unique one. He added: "I can say now I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, Australia, USA, even in Portugal many tried to sign me.

Ronaldo hits back at critics over Saudi move and lists the offers he rejectedCristiano Ronaldo speaks at his Al-Nassr unveiling

“But I gave my word to this club not only to develop the club, but the country. I know what I want, but I also know what I don’t want." Ronaldo continued: “I'm a unique player, I beat all the records there [Europe], so I want to beat a few here. This contract is unique, because I'm unique, so this is normal.”

On his family's verdict on moving from Europe to Saudi Arabia, he said: "They are happy as well. When I take decisions my family support me, especially my kids! They are very happy, the welcome was amazing, we feel good. Saudi Arabian people are lovely with me and my family."

Al-Nassr's next league match is in just two days and Ronaldo has hinted that he is ready for selection if manager Rudi Garcia opts to throw him in. However, it is more likely he will continue to adjust to his new surroundings, before making his bow for the Saudi Pro League leaders on January 14.

Ben Husband

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