Cristiano Ronaldo, who kicked off the ‘Great Saudi Era’, has praised the league he plays in.
“I’m not going back to European soccer,” Ronaldo told Portugal’s Hecord. That door is completely closed. I am 38 years old. European soccer, of course, has good quality, but only the English Premier League (EPL) is better.”
“I’m not going to play in Europe and I’m not going to play in America. It’s better here in Saudi Arabia than in the United States,” he said, calling the Saudi league he plays in the best in the world.
Ronaldo headed to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Ronaldo, who was on his way to becoming the most prolific player in UEFA’s Champions League history, most goals in an A-match, and five Ballon d’Ors, left Juventus before the start of last season to join his old club, Manchester United.
He showed no signs of slowing down that season. The Red Devils struggled in 2021-22, finishing sixth in the league, but Ronaldo was still in fine form, scoring 18 goals in the league to become the team’s top scorer.
But then things changed drastically. Prior to the start of the 2022-23 season, United hired Ajax manager Erik van Gaal, who wanted a team that pressed forward, defended, and didn’t rely on one player. As a result, Ronaldo’s playing time naturally decreased, and his form declined to the point where he didn’t register a single offensive point in the first six games of the league.
Ronaldo began to fall out with United. The final straw came last month when he gave an interview to Piers Morgan’s TV show in which he said, “United betrayed me.” United eventually terminated his contract, and he left the club.
His next stop was Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr. According to Spain’s Marca, Al Nasr approached Ronaldo shortly after his departure from United last month, promising him a huge paycheck and treatment to convince him to move. Ronaldo eventually headed to Saudi Arabia with the promise of a world-class salary.온라인바카라
Ronaldo was not the only major European player to head to Saudi Arabia. Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Edouard Medhi, Roberto Firmino, and Leo Neves have all moved to the Saudi league. Many players are heading to Saudi Arabia, and now even Riyad Mahrez is heading there. It’s safe to say that Ronaldo is the pioneer of this whole ‘Saudi Rush’.
Ronaldo has said that the league he plays in is better than the one in the United States. It’s a statement that could have quite the impact, especially when coupled with Lionel Messi’s move to Inter Miami, a rivalry he’s had throughout his career. Saudi Arabia and the United States, two of the biggest money powers in world soccer, have been torn apart by Ronaldo and Messi.