Despite the swirling rumors spreading around the world about one of the most well-known football stars Cristiano Ronaldo, there are still a lot of his ardent fans who will follow his magical movement on the field.
As revealed in his controversial interview with Piers Morgan recently, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar might be his last one after contributing to the last four World Cup series with the Portugal national team.
Whether intentional or not, this revelation inadvertently became a promotional campaign prompting his fans to scour for cheap flights to Doha to watch him for one last time in Qatar.
Discharged from United Squad
Ronaldo criticized his own club in the exclusive interview with Morgan. He claimed that he had been disrespected by Eric ten Hag, United’s manager. Struggling to make a major impact for the team, he felt that he was being treated as second-class player and was often benched by the manager though he commands the highest salary in the team.
The height of his disappointment was when he refused to be a substitute player against Tottenham Hotspur on 20 October. The manager let him play in the last 4 minutes of the match. He decided to leave the stadium instead.
The interview came as a shock to the Red Devils management as they hadn’t had any prior knowledge about it. Following the interview, Manchester United responded by terminating the contract with the player earlier, leaving Ronaldo with an undetermined future after this World Cup ends. Ironically, the 5-time Ballon d’or holder has been United’s top goalscorer, with 24 goals in 38 games across all competitions. The contract itself was supposed to end next summer.
Offered a new contract
Even before his interview, there had been rumors stating that no one would be interested in recruiting the player if he left Manchester United. Ronaldo revealed that it all was getting to him and affected him psychologically. In the interview, he clarified that he actually received plenty of offers from other clubs, most interestingly one hundred-million worth of deal from an undisclosed Saudi-based club. However, he stated that he rejected the offer.
“It’s difficult to tell right now, because my mood is, right now, [focused on] the World Cup. It’s probably my last World Cup, of course, my fifth World Cup,” Ronaldo commented on his rejection toward the offer.
In the midst of uncertainty, another official offer also came from Saudi Arabia, specifically from one of the biggest in the country: Al Nassr. The representative of the club disclosed that the contract would be quite lucrative for the player, reaching $75 million per year.
With nine league championships and a 1995 appearance in the AFC Champions League final, Al Nassr is one of Saudi Arabia’s and Asia’s most successful clubs. Ronaldo has also been connected to their fierce rival Al Hilal. It is believed that Al Nassr’s offer is the sole official contract that has been made to the Portugal player, whose future is expected to be decided after the World Cup.