Ronaldo’s Arrival in Saudi Arabia : What is the Plan of MBS

This deal has made Ronaldo the highest-paid footballer in history, but Saudi Arabia can also benefit from his world fame

Ronaldo's Arrival in Saudi Arabia
Ronaldo's Arrival in Saudi Arabia

The deal between Al-Nasr and Ronaldo is being called the most expensive deal ever. Al-Nasr will pay Ronaldo about 200 million euros or 1800 million Indian rupees every year until 2025.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has left European football club Manchester United to join Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr, weeks after his dream of winning the World Cup was shattered.

The recent World Cup was nothing special for Ronaldo. In the last two games, he was made to sit off the field at the beginning.  Ronaldo scored only three goals in 16 matches for Manchester United this season, one of which was on a penalty.

Despite this, Ronaldo’s joining al-Nasr is causing great enthusiasm in Middle East countries.

However, some experts are also linking 37-year-old Ronaldo’s expensive deal with Al-Nasr to the economic policy of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.  Its goal is to overtake western countries and raise Saudi Arabia as a global power.

 An important aspect of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was seen with FIFA chief GV Infantino several times during the Qatar World Cup. In 2016, sports were made a priority under Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030.  Since then, Saudi Arabia has seen major changes in terms of sports.

Vision 2030 sets three goals for sports and aims to increase public participation in sports by 40% by 2030, improve the performance of Saudi athletes abroad, and boost the sporting economy.

According to football journalist Ori Levy, Ronaldo’s arrival in Saudi Arabia is a sign of big change. He tweeted a video of Mohammed bin Salman in which the Saudi Crown Prince is saying that the Middle East will now become the new Europe.

In the video, the Crown Prince says, “In the next five years, Saudi Arabia will be completely different, Bahrain will be completely different, Kuwait … even Qatar…  Despite our differences, their economy is strong and will look completely different in the next five years.  The UAE, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and the opportunities here … if we succeed in the next five years, many countries will follow in our footsteps. ‘  “In the next 30 years, there will be a new global renaissance in the Middle East. It’s a Saudi war.  This is my war and I don’t want to die in this fight until I see the Middle East leading the world. The target will be achieved 100 percent. ‘

Oxford University’s Geopolitical analyst Gokul Sahni also shared the same video of MBS and wrote that perhaps Saudi Arabia has now become a standard and more practical ‘force’ by putting religious preferences behind.

 How will Saudi Arabia benefit from Ronaldo?

After signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nasr tweeted, “History is being made. This deal will not only lead our club to great success but our league will also encourage our country and future generations, boys and girls, to do their best. ‘

Announcing the deal, Ronaldo said, “I am excited to experience football leagues in a different country. ‘

Of course, this deal has made Ronaldo the highest-paid footballer in history, but Saudi Arabia can also benefit from his world fame.

The Middle East Economy website wrote that Ronaldo could strengthen Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.  Especially since Ronaldo’s arrival, the entire attention of the media has now turned to Saudi football.

Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Khatib was quoted as saying by the website that Saudi Arabia could propose to co-host the 2030 FIFA World Cup with Egypt and Greece.

Al-Khatib said in an interview that “We are thinking of working with Egypt and Greece to propose this and hopefully we will succeed.  The three countries will invest heavily in infrastructure and will be ready. And I know that special stadiums will have been built in Saudi Arabia by then.

Saudi Arabia has already hosted other international sporting events, including the annual Formula One race and the Asian Winter Games 2029.

 History of al-Nasr Club

The al-Nasr club with which Ronaldo joined was founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1955. The club plays in the country’s Saudi Professional League (SPL), which has a total of 18 teams.

Majid Abdullah, the league’s leading goalscorer, has also scored a total of 189 goals at an average of one in each match while playing for Al Nasr.  Al Nasr is the second most successful team in the SPL, having won the title nine times so far. Al-Nasr last won the title in 2018-2019. Only Al-Hilal is ahead of Al-Nasr in terms of winning the most titles.

Al-Nasr’s current coach is Rudy Garcia. The club also includes Former Cameroon World Cup hero Vincent Abubakar and former Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo.

Saudi Crown Prince Abdulrahman bin Saud al-Saud took command of the club in 1960. He played a key role in making Al Nasr one of the best clubs in the country.

It is believed that even after he died in 2004, the club has been receiving financial assistance from the Saudi royal family and the club has been able to attract big players.

Before this, another Saudi team, Al-Hilal, also offered Ronaldo. But at that time Ronaldo turned down the offer and said that he was happy at Manchester United.

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