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12th Sep 2022

Saudi Arabia president desperate for Cristiano Ronaldo to move to Middle East

Callum Boyle

Ronaldo has already rejected two proposals from Saudi Arabia

The president of the Saudi Arabia Football Association (FA), Yasser Al-Misehal, has reiterated his desire to see Cristiano Ronaldo play in the country’s domestic league.

Ronaldo has been looking to leave Manchester United but has failed to gain any significant interest. Only Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr submitted formal offers but the 37-year-old rejected their advances, insisting that he wanted to play in the Champions League.

A move to the Middle East still seems unlikely for the forward, but Al-Misehal isn’t giving up hope just yet.

“We would love to see a player like Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the Saudi league,” he told The Athletic.

“It would bring a huge positive feedback and it would be big news for everyone. I’m sure everyone knows the achievements and records of Cristiano Ronaldo, but also as a player who is a great role model.

“I think, ‘Why not?’. I’m sure it would be a very expensive deal, of course, but we can see our clubs getting higher revenues in the past couple of years.

“We have already seen some big players who used to play in the Premier League come to the Saudi league.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Some of the bigger names to come to Saudi Arabia in recent years include the likes of David Ospina, Wilfried Bony and Odion Ighalo, therefore securing the signature of a figure like Ronaldo would represent a major coup for the league.

Ronaldo has also struggled for game time and has only started two games under Erik ten Hag this season. United have performed much better when the 37-year-old hasn’t been in the team, opening the possibility of him moving on in January.

But Al-Misehal has admitted it wouldn’t be an easy deal to pull off. He said: “To be honest, I don’t have the answer.

“If I was the president of a club, I could give you the answer. But my colleagues at the clubs don’t have to share their negotiations with me.

“It wouldn’t be an easy transaction for a Saudi club or even for him, but we would love to see him or even some other top players of the same level.”

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