One of the world’s most well-known soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo Saudi Arabia where he was greeted with great fanfare, including children wearing the yellow and blue jerseys of his new club. Saudi Arabia, an oil-rich country, has successfully attracted the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to play for its Al Nassr FC team on a two-year contract, as part of its ongoing effort to achieve its sports-related goals, even at a high cost.
According to Saudi state-run media, Ronaldo will be the highest-paid soccer player in the world, earning an estimated $200 million per year with Al Nassr. The club’s Instagram page gained over 5.3 million new followers after the signing, and its official website crashed due to a surge in traffic. The hashtag #HalaRonaldo – Hello Ronaldo in Arabic – was trending for days on Twitter throughout the Middle East. Analysts suggest that Ronaldo’s signing is part of a broader strategy by Saudi Arabia to diversify its revenue streams and establish itself as a major player in international sports.
Cristiano Ronaldo Saudi Arabia achievements?
Cristiano Ronaldo has made his mark in the Saudi Pro League by scoring four goals for Al-Nassr in a match against Al-Wehda, achieving a remarkable personal milestone. The 38-year-old had only scored one goal in his first three competitive appearances for the club, which he joined in December, but he showed his class in the match, scoring in the 21st, 40th, 53rd, and 61st minutes. He reached and surpassed a significant milestone of scoring 500 career league goals during the match.
Ronaldo’s first goal was a powerful left-footed finish across the goalkeeper, and he showed his poacher’s instincts to score his second, racing in-behind to latch onto a through-ball and finish under Abdulquddus Atiah. He made no mistake from the penalty spot to score his third, and his fourth came just after the hour mark. He reached the milestone of 503 league goals when the goalkeeper could only paw his tame shot back into his path, and he slid the ball into the empty net. Ronaldo’s goals helped Al-Nassr secure a much-needed victory as they push for another league title.
Ronaldo’s 503 career league goals include three goals in the Primeira Liga for Sporting Lisbon, 84 goals in the Premier League during his first stint at Manchester United, and 311 goals in 292 La Liga games for Real Madrid. He was almost as prolific for Juventus, scoring 81 Serie A goals in 98 appearances for the Turin giants before returning to Manchester United in 2021. Ronaldo has scored five goals in his first three Saudi Pro League appearances, and his overall tally of 503 goals places him behind only Pele, Romario, Josef Bican, and Ferenc Puskas on the list of all-time league goal scorers.
While no official figures have been released, Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing with Al Nassr is expected to have a positive impact on Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry. As one of the most famous football stars in the world, Ronaldo’s presence in the kingdom is likely to draw the attention of soccer fans from around the globe. Additionally, the significant media coverage and social media buzz surrounding his signing and his subsequent performance with the team can help showcase Saudi Arabia’s rich culture, tourist attractions, and vibrant cities to the world. Overall, Ronaldo’s decision to play for Al Nassr could significantly boost the country’s profile as a destination for sports tourism and help promote its national agenda of economic diversification through tourism.
Image Credit: AP photo/Amr Nabil