Has Saudi strengthened its 2030 World Cup bid with Ronaldo signing?
Cristiano Ronaldo could end his illustrious career in Saudi following the signing of a $75 million contract with Al Nassr football club.
What’s more important, this puts the country in the spotlight and bolsters its bid to host the biggest prize in soccer: The World Cup.
Signaling a conclusion of his playing days in European football, and following his leaving Manchester United last month, Ronaldo signed a 3-year contract for the Riyadh club Friday afternoon, after reportedly completing portions of physical and medical testing.
Al Nassr tweeted “the world’s greatest athlete officially signed. 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, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome, Cristiano to your new home.”
The deal makes him the highest-paid player in history, but his earnings will be boosted through the sale of his image rights.
“I am excited to experience a new football league in a different country,” Ronaldo said announcing the deal.
“The vision of what Al Nassr are doing and developing in Saudi Arabia both in terms of men’s and women’s football is very inspiring. We can see from Saudi Arabia’s recent performance at the World Cup that this is a country with big football ambitions and a lot of potential.”
“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. I am looking forward to joining my new teammates and together with them, help the Club to achieve success.”
Saudi World Cup Bid
Ronaldo can have a role in the Saudi bid for the 2030 World Cup, especially as media turns its attention to Saudi football, at least each time the Portuguese scores a goal for his club.
Saudi has considered making a joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup along with Egypt and Greece, according to Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb.
“We are considering a bid with Greece and Egypt and we wish that it will be a winning bid,” Al Khateeb said in an interview in Riyadh. “Definitely the three countries would invest heavily in infrastructure and would definitely be ready. And I know by then Saudi Arabia would have state-of-the-art stadiums and fan zones built.”
Saudi has already secured the Asian Winter Games in 2029, an annual Formula 1 race, and several international sporting events.