Ronaldo sums up attitude to Al-Nassr transfer with promise to new team-mates

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Cristiano Ronaldo addressed his new Al-Nassr colleagues
Cristiano Ronaldo addressed his new Al-Nassr colleagues

Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at critics during his Al-Nassr unveiling - and backed up his words in his first meeting with his new colleagues.

On Tuesday, the former Manchester United superstar was presented in front of adoring supporters in Riyadh, after signing his eye-watering deal with the Saudi giants. Ronaldo has been accused of chasing the money following his decision to ditch European football, instead signing a contract worth a reported £173 million-per-year in the Middle East.

In a punchy opening press conference, Ronaldo preached that he arrived at his new club with lofty ambitions, eyeing success both on and off the pitch.

He arrives at a club already at the top of their domestic league and insists that he wants to add more honours to his resume, having swept the boards in Europe. “As you mentioned before, in Europe my work is done,” Ronaldo explained.

"I won everything, I played at the most important clubs and for me now it is a new challenge in Asia. 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.”

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Following his chat with the assembled press, Ronaldo, flanked by new manager Rudi Garcia, made his way to the dressing room, where he was greeted by his team-mates. He introduced himself to each player, including familiar faces like Victor Ospina and Vincent Aboubakar.

He then delivered an impromptu message, telling the team: "I just want to say for me I feel very happy to be here. For me its a big challenge to change Europe to Asia. But I'm here to win.

Ronaldo sums up attitude to Al-Nassr transfer with promise to new team-matesRonaldo was flanked by Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia

"I know the group is fantastic, I saw a few games, I see the connection which I like a lot. I'm here to help the team to win stuff, to enjoy and give my best like always."

Ronaldo was then ushered towards the pitch at the Mrsool Park Stadium, to meet thousands of fans. But before leaving his Al-Nassr team, he turned round and shouted: "I promise I'll be quick out there for the presentation, to get to training.”

It was a show of intention from the veteran striker, who insists he turned down offers from across the world in order to take the “unique” opportunity at the Saudi club. "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 sums up attitude to Al-Nassr transfer with promise to new team-matesRonaldo has promised to not only develop the club, but the country of Saudi Arabi as a whole (Getty Images)

“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."

His new manager Rudi Garcia also made it clear that the primary objective for the stunning transfer is to ultimately bring success to the club. Garcia said: “It’s an honour for me but also for Al-Nassr to welcome Cristiano. He is an example, everyone knows that.

“My objective for Cristiano is to make him happy and I want him to enjoy playing with Al-Nassr and winning with Al-Nassr. We will have time to speak, but the most important thing is that he is here. We need to train and we need to win.”

Ben Husband

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15.07.2024, 17:44 • Investigation