Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing for Al Nassr was confirmed on Friday evening, as the Portuguese superstar signed a deal for the next two and a half years. Seeing out his contract will mean entering his forties in Saudi Arabia.
Many suspect it will be his last destination, or at least that he has played his final game in Europe. Of course, the entire chain of events, his release from Manchester United and free agency, was kicked off by his interview with Piers Morgan.
In that interview he laughed off any suggestion that he would leave European football in the near future. Although given he will earn a reported €500m over the duration of his contract, it is enough to sway the mind of most.
On the 16th of November, the interview was released, at which point Ronaldo said he had “five or six years” of top level football left in him.
More pertinently, he also said the following, as quoted by Sport.
“[I will] Retire with dignity; not in the United States, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.”
After his signing, he then claimed that “the vision that Al Nassr has is very inspiring.”
While he is obviously in Saudi Arabia and not one of the places mentioned, they are neighbours of the Kingdom. The Saudi Arabian league is not of the same level as the top leagues in Europe and according to his own evaluation, retiring or playing in Saudi Arabia is an undignified potential end.