Cristiano Ronaldo aims to conquer Asia after signing for Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr

Portuguese has won virtually every prize in European club football

Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his new number seven Al Nassr jersey in Madrid on December 30, 2022 upon signing for the Saudi Arabian club. AFP
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Cristiano Ronaldo said he aims to transfer his success in European football to Asia after completing a record-breaking deal to Saudi Arabia's Al Nassr on Friday.

Free agent Ronaldo signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Riyadh club following the termination of his contract at Manchester United on November 22. The 37-year-old striker departed Old Trafford after a stinging television interview in which he criticised the club's owners and manager Erik ten Hag.

Following his involvement with Portugal at the World Cup, a move to the Kingdom was widely expected with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner reported to have signed a contract worth around $214.04 million a year.

Ronaldo has won virtually every top prize in European club football playing for United, Real Madrid and Juventus and now hopes to add to his trophy haul as he embarks on a new adventure.

"I am fortunate that I have won everything I set out to win in European football and feel now that this is the right moment to share my experience in Asia," Ronaldo said in the statement.

"I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and together with them help the club to achieve success."

Ronaldo's trophy haul is among the most impressive of any player to play the game. During his first spell at United from 2003 to 2009 he picked up three Premier League winners' medals, one in the FA Cup and two League Cup titles. He also won the first of his five Champions League titles, in 2008.

A then world-record transfer to Real Madrid saw him collect two La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, four Champions League titles and three Club World Cups from 2009-18.

He went on to score a club record 451 times for Real and has more than 800 senior goals overall for club and country.

Ronaldo claimed two Serie A titles and a Copa Italia trophy in three years at Juventus before rejoining United in August 2021.

Despite finishing his first season back at the club with 24 goals across competitions, he was unable to add to his trophy collection before his acrimonious split with United last month.

He played for Portugal in Qatar, where he became the first player to score in five World Cups after netting a penalty in his side's opening Group H game against Ghana. Portugal were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Morocco.

"This is more than history in the making," Al Nassr Football Club president Musalli Almuammar said. "This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations."

The Saudi Arabian club, who have won nine Saudi Pro Premier League titles, are hoping Ronaldo can help them win another domestic league title and a first AFC Asian Champions League.

However, the Portuguese forward will miss his first two domestic games after being banned for knocking a phone out of a fan's hand after United's defeat at Everton in April.

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Updated: December 31, 2022, 6:12 AM
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