Cristiano Ronaldo shocked by Saudi Arabia


By: Manu Tournoux

Cristiano Ronaldo says he is “amazed” by the progress made in Saudi Arabia, where sport is taking on a new dimension.

The Portuguese superstar is part of this process, having moved to the Middle East herself at the start of 2023. After his spectacular departure from Manchester United, Ronaldo is now part of the squad of the Saudi club Al-Nassr, in the Pro League. He scored more than 50 goals in the calendar year, despite being 38 years old, and was joined in an emerging division by a steady stream of top talents, including Karim Benzema, Sadio Mané, Neymar, Kalidou Koulibaly, Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino.

It’s not just football that’s booming in the Middle East, with major boxing, Formula 1, golf and elite cricket events taking place in the region. Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder were in attendance at the final fight night, and Ronaldo joined UFC legend Conor McGregor at ringside to witness the spectacle. He has since posted a message on social media: “Bringing sport into a new dimension. Unprecedented vision and execution. I can’t help but be amazed.”.

Ronaldo has helped raise the profile of the sport in the Middle East as large sums of money are invested in it, and his contract at Al-Nassr – which is the most lucrative in world football – is due to run until 2025. He It has already been confirmed that the FIFA World Cup will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2034.

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