Friday, January 06, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation, but I think that lately he has made some strange choices that in my view does not make him one of the all time greatest. We all knew he appeared arrogant, but also know that this arrogance-bordering self-confidence remains one of the reasons for his immense footballing qualities. At the same time, his antics in the World Cup when his goal against Uruguay was (correctly) awarded for Bruno Fernandes did not point at a man who may think he is above the team, something that is never good for a group. It was understandable when the manager Fernando Santos took him off for the following match against Switzerland, and his replacement, Goncalo Ramos, scored three goals. 

In the end Portugal fell against Morocco, and the entire team, not least Ronaldo, complained about everyone but themselves (this was sadly a common tendency in the world Cup where many teasm still see themselves as the correct World Champions, were it not for referees and other conspiracies). 

So it was not a good World Cup for Ronaldo. 

But it also happened in the midst of a crisis in Manchester United, where he had publicly criticised the club for disloyalty. This is always a strange thing to do, and does not help the team-spirit that is necessary for any club to succeed. So it is also understandable that Manchester United decided to let him go. 

Now, Cristiano Ronaldo is such a fantastic players that I have no doubt that he had many offers. That said, many major clubs must also have had reservations at an ageing superstar that appears to be acting more and more in his own interest. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ronaldo has taken an offer outside Europe, Saudi Arabia´s Al-Nassr, where he is allegedly to receive a salary of around 200 Mio per year… 

In the Saudi league there is not likely to be much attention around the Portuguese as there would have been had he joined for instance the MLS. This is perhaps good for him at a time when his star has fallen a bit. That said, it will be interesting to see how much more football there is in this player that has given us fans so much over the past decade.  

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