Sunday, January 29, 2023

Al Nassr willing to wait for Ronaldo

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 25 Dec 2022

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Patience is the key for Al Nassr in their pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo, so says the Saudi Arabian club’s sporting director Marcelo Salazar.

Ronaldo is a free agent after leaving Manchester United in November.

The 37-year-old endured a disappointing World Cup with Portugal, scoring just once and eventually having to settle for a substitute role in their knockout games.

Al Nassr were reported to be leading the chase for Ronaldo earlier in December, and though a deal has not yet been struck, Salazar says the club will bide their time.

“I’m not allowed to say yes or no,” he quipped to Flashscore when asked if Ronaldo featured in his plans for the immediate future.

“Let’s wait and see how things unfold until the end of the year. As you can see, this is a negotiation of enormous magnitude, not only for the club, but for the country and for world football, and which has to be conducted by higher authorities.

“What I can say is that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best in football history. He has always been an example for me as an athlete, for the will he shows to win.

“And then, as a Portuguese citizen, I was always rooting for him. But in time the future will be revealed.”

Salazar also believes Ronaldo would not necessarily be taking a step down by moving to Saudi Arabia.

“I’ve been here for five years now and all the players I’ve talked to are very positively surprised when they arrive here, especially for the championship level,” he said.

“It happened with Luiz Gustavo, who was a Brazil international and had already won the Champions League with Bayern [Munich]. It’s normal for those who don’t know.

“Already when David Ospina moved here, they said in Colombia that it was the wrong step, but Saudi Arabia has changed a lot.

“Even living in Riyadh with families has been a pleasant surprise for the players, with the schools and everything we have here. To this, we add a high sporting level.”

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