Cristiano Ronaldo's Convincing Answer on Following Lionel Messi to the MLS, My Team is Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo
(source:AFP/Fayez Nureldine)
Lionel Messi has begun his new adventure with Inter Miami. The player known as La Pulga has been officially introduced as a new player for The Herons and is eagerly awaiting his debut match.

Messi joined Major League Soccer (MLS) after his contract with Paris Saint Germain (PSG) ended. The Argentine player signed a two-and-a-half-year contract and is expected to earn up to $60 million.

This marks Messi's first foray outside of Europe, following in the footsteps of his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese player had already departed from European football but chose a different destination, the Saudi Arabian Pro League.

Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in late 2022 after his contract with Manchester United was terminated. According to The Guardian, Ronaldo receives a salary of €200 million per year at his new club.

So far, Ronaldo has not won any titles with his new team. Last season, Al Nassr finished in second place in the final standings of the Saudi Arabian Pro League 2022/2023. However, Ronaldo has no plans to return to Europe or follow Lionel Messi to the MLS.

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He made this clear in an interview with a Portuguese television station following the match between Al Nassr and Celta Vigo at Estádio Algarve, Portugal, on Tuesday (July 18, 2023). In that match, Al Nassr suffered a 0-5 defeat.

"No, that door is completely closed," Ronaldo said when asked about the possibility of playing in Europe.

"I'm already 38.8 years old, and it's not worth it," he explained.

Ronaldo's Assessment: Declining Quality in Top European Leagues

At the same time, Ronaldo believes that the quality of the top European leagues has declined to some extent. He believes that only the Premier League remains at the highest level, while stating, "La Liga doesn't have great quality."

"Portuguese league is a good league, but it's not a top league. I think the Bundesliga has declined a lot. I'm sure I won't play in Europe again. I want to play in Saudi Arabia," Ronaldo revealed.

When asked about the possibility of following Messi's footsteps, Ronaldo firmly responded, "I think the Saudi Arabian League is better than the United States. My team is Al Nassr."

Cristiano Ronaldo's Move Followed by Other Players

Since Ronaldo moved to Saudi Arabia, several top European players have also followed suit and moved to the Middle East. Karim Benzema left Real Madrid for Al Ittihad, followed by N'Golo Kante joining the same team. Other notable names, including Neymar, Riyad Mahrez, Fabinho, and Jordan Henderson, are expected to follow suit.

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Ronaldo believes that his move to Al Nassr has served as a catalyst for other top players to consider Saudi Arabia.

"100 percent. That's a fact," Ronaldo told the Daily Mail. "It was supposed to take a year, but it happened in six months. I was wrong for six months. But I knew it would happen because in Italy, when I went there, it was also dead and then revived."

"Wherever Cristiano goes, it generates greater interest, and I knew it would be like that. In one year, more top players will come to Saudi Arabia. In a year, the Saudi league will surpass the Turkish and Dutch leagues," explained the former Real Madrid player.

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