In a deal that has been rumored for weeks, soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo, 37 years old, has agreed to a lucrative two-year contract to play for Saudi Club Al Nassar FC. Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned television network, first broke the story, and it was then verified by a post on the Al Nassar FC social media pages showing Ronaldo clutching his new shirt with the words:
At the time of the contract’s first announcement, CBS News stated that it would be worth $75 million per year for three years. Although nearly all of them agree that a two-year agreement would put Ronaldo close to his forties, several newspapers still quote that number today. According to some, the total cost of the agreement, including sponsorships, might be as high as $214 million. According to CBS, the arrangement includes a home in an upscale neighborhood for the well-known striker. Whatever the case, it’s a LOT of money for a guy whose total earnings, as estimated by Forbes earlier this year, were $1.24 billion, ranking him second only to Tiger Woods in terms of career earnings.
Despite winning the Ballon d’Or five times, the accolade given to the world’s finest player, Ronaldo is unquestionably one of the game’s all-time greats, but many believe that his best years are behind him. The fact that he, the team’s captain, came off the bench in Portugal’s World Cup Round of 16 matches against Switzerland earlier this month made that assessment clear. Additionally, Ronaldo started the quarterfinal match against Morocco on the bench. He participated in the game’s second half, although he was scoreless. Morocco triumphed by a score of one.
After a rocky second stint with the club in which he publicly insulted the ownership and the new manager in a TV interview and refused to play off the bench, Ronaldo left Manchester United in November. The 37-year-old only made four starts this season in EPL games as a result, and he only managed one goal. According to reports, he received a $60 million salary and an additional $55 million in endorsement payments. Ronaldo has been open about wanting to join a top-tier European team, but no such offer came in.