Cristiano Ronaldo has reiterated his claim that he turned down numerous offers in order to join Saudi club Al Nassr, claiming that this marked the end of his professional career in Europe.
Ronaldo claimed in a famous interview with Piers Morgan in November that many elite teams were interested in signing him when he first tried to leave Old Trafford last summer. The interview ultimately resulted in a mutual termination of his Manchester United contract. But no offers arrived from European clubs.
However, Ronaldo joined Al Nassr at the end of December after no European clubs expressed interest in signing him on a free transfer in the previous month. The deal was for an extremely lucrative two-and-a-half years.
At his unveiling in Riyadh, Ronaldo spoke about his decision to sign with the Saudi club. He said:
“In Europe, my work is done. I won everything. I played for the most important clubs in Europe. For me now it’s a new challenge.”
“For me, this is a great opportunity not only in football but also to change the mentality of the new generation.
“I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, in USA and even in Portugal. They tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club to develop not only the football but other parts of this amazing country.
“I know what I want, this is a good chance to help to grow many important points. I really don’t worry about what people say. I am really, really happy to be here.
“I know the league is very competitive, I saw many games. I hope to play after tomorrow if the coach thinks there’s a chance. I’m ready to keep playing football.
“I’m a unique player, it’s good to come here. I beat all the records there, I want to beat a few records here. This contract is unique but I’m a unique player, so for me it’s normal.”
Ronaldo said that he hoped to participate in Thursday’s Saudi Pro League match between Al Tai and Al Nassr at home.