DUBAI: Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, which the club described as ‘history in the making’, is arguably one of the biggest football news coming from the Kingdom.
Ronaldo’s two-year deal with the Riyadh giants set off a flurry of reactions on social media, particularly among his legion of loyal fans – he has more than 500 million followers on Instagram and 106.5 million followers on Twitter – who applauded his decision to sign up for the Saudi Arabian league.
“History in the making. A very special welcome to Roshn Saudi League for Cristiano Ronaldo! One of football’s greats will be playing at Al-Nassr,” the Saudi Pro League, the Kingdom’s top-flight football league, posted on Twitter in welcoming Ronaldo.
History in the making
A very special welcome to Roshn Saudi League for Cristiano Ronaldo!
One of football’s greats will be playing at Al Nassr #RoshnSaudiLeague | @AlNassrFC_EN | @Cristiano pic.twitter.com/DEACrmzr2P
— Roshn Saudi League (@SPL_EN) December 30, 2022
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, president of the Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee, tweeted: “Happy with the presence of one of the best players in the world to start his new career in Saudi Arabia. Welcome @Cristiano to the kingdom. And we will hopefully support the rest of our clubs for deals with international stars soon.”
سعيد بتواجد أحد أفضل لاعبي العالم لبدء مسيرته الجديدة في السعودية
مرحباً بك @Cristiano في المملكة
وسندعم بقية أنديتنا لصفقات نوعية مع نجوم عالميين قريبا pic.twitter.com/MGZ58QcmXM
— عبدالعزيز بن تركي الفيصل (@AbdulazizTF) December 30, 2022
Other prominent personalities also chimed in their welcome to Ronaldo, including Chen Weiqing, China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who tweet in Arabic saying “As a fan of Al-Nassr team, I warmly welcome Cristiano Ronaldo to the team.”
كمشجع #نادي_النصر، أرحب ترحيبا حارا بانضمام #كريستيانو_رونالدو للفريق.#رونالدو_نصراوي pic.twitter.com/GT831nZGPi
— Chen Weiqing (@AmbChenWeiqing) December 31, 2022
Saudi media personality Abdullah Ben Zanan, posted on Twitter: “The greatest sport deal in the Arab world, the Middle East and Asia. What is happening now is an added value to Saudi sports as a whole. Those with a narrow horizon look at a comprehensive view in order to understand the great event. Congratulations to us as Saudis for having the best striker historically in our league.”
أعظم صفقة رياضية في العالم العربي والشرق الأوسط وآسيا ..
مايحدث الآن هو قيمة مضافة للرياضة السعودية ككل ..
أصحاب الأفق الضيق انظروا بنظرة شاملة حتى تستوعبوا الحدث الكبير
هنيئاً لنا كسعوديين وجود أفضل مهاجم تاريخياً في دورينا #عالمي_للعالمي #كريستيانو_رونالدو https://t.co/v9U2SxkheV
— عبدالله بن زنان (@bnznan) December 30, 2022
Salman Aldosary, another Saudi media personality with a huge following, said on Twitter that “You don’t have to be a fan of Al-Nassr team in order to be excited about Cristiano Ronaldo attending to the kingdom, as he is one of the best players in history. I understand very much the repercussions of sports competition, and the welcoming of some and the rejection of others, but between these and those we, as Saudis, have to look at the big picture and we will find that the gains are endless.”
ليس شرطاً أن تكون نصراوياً حتى تتحمس لحضور #كريستيانو_رونالدو للمملكة باعتباره واحداً من أفضل اللاعبين بالتاريخ.
أتفهم كثيراً تداعيات التنافس الرياضي، وترحيب البعض ورفض البعض الآخر، لكن ما بين هؤلاء وهؤلاء علينا النظر كسعوديين للصورة الكبيرة وسنجد أن المكاسب لا حصر لها pic.twitter.com/oEHV9IiqsT
— سلمان الدوسري (@SalmanAldosary) December 30, 2022
Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile, provided some interesting back story on the Portuguese star’s historic move: “Sporting Kansas City were really trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. SKC held a meeting before Morgan interview then one more with concrete talks about the prospects of CR7 playing in Kansas City commercially.”
Sporting Kansas City were really trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. SKC held a meeting before Morgan interview then one more with concrete talks about the prospects of CR7 playing in Kansas City commercially #MLS
Salary package was huge but Ronaldo decided for Al Nassr move. pic.twitter.com/W3SEuZVyI2
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 31, 2022
“Salary package was huge but Ronaldo decided for Al-Nassr move,” the renowned journalist posted on Twitter.
Romano also gave hints about superstar’s potential paycheck for the Saudi team: “Cristiano Ronaldo’s guaranteed football salary at Al-Nassr will be close to $90m per year. Commercial/sponsorship deals (already approved by Cristiano’s camp) will be included in the agreement to bring total salary close to $200m.”
But what may sum up the fans’ excitement on Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia was a tweet from Saudi sport journalist Muath Al-Jandal, who posted on Twitter “URGENT: Fans flock stores to print Cristiano Ronaldo shirts before Al Nasr Club’s official announcement.”
عاجل: جماهير #النصر تتوافد للمتجر لطباعة تيشيرت @Cristiano قبل الاعلان الرسمي من نادي @AlNassrFC pic.twitter.com/OmjS2Pm98T
— معاذ الجندل (@MUATH_ALJANDAL) December 30, 2022