Cristiano Ronaldo (38, Al-Nasr)’s trip to Saudi Arabia was compared to ‘Soccer Emperor’ Pele’s trip to the United States.
In an interview with AFP on the 8th (Korean time), coach Rudy García (59) Al Nasr said of Ronaldo’s transfer, “It’s like Pele going to the North American soccer league,” adding, “Especially, the development of Saudi football, sports and culture. I came for this,” drawing attention.
The late Pele, who passed away on the 29th of last month, played for Santos, Brazil, his hometown from 1956 to 1974, and achieved the feat of winning the only FIFA World Cup three times in history. Then, from 1975 when he was 35 years old to 1977, he transferred to the New York Cosmos and played there.
Ronaldo went through Manchester United (Man United), Real Madrid, Juventus and returned to Manchester United again. However, they broke up badly due to the club’s sniper remarks. Instead of the European stage, Ronaldo chose Al Nasr, who offered a total of 500 million euros (about 665.4 billion won) for two and a half years until 2025.
With Ronaldo’s contract, some criticize that Saudi Arabia is engaging in ‘Sportswashing’. It is said that a country is using a sporting event to change public perception. Saudi Arabia has been criticized for not respecting women’s rights. The Saudi government is still receiving negative attention due to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
But Garcia said, “It’s really good for us, Al Nasr and Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo is more than a player. He’s one of the best players in the world.” He continued, “His transfer is very important for the development of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. If Dakar is here today, the signing of Ronaldo brings a country’s sport and culture.”
Dakar is the capital of Senegal in Africa. In the past, France passed on its culture through Dakar, and it became the center of trade connecting Africa, Europe, and the Americas. It seems to be the expression of the French director Garcia.
García also admired Ronaldo’s influence on social media, saying, “It’s amazing how much spotlight his signing has put on our club. With Ronaldo’s arrival, we have grown from 800,000 to 10 million followers in a few days.”
In particular, García said of Ronaldo’s management: 메이저놀이터 “The top champion is very nice to manage. He mixed with the squad. We saw him joking and laughing happily with his new teammates. was with us. He was riding his bike in the locker room,” he explained.
Ronaldo has not been able to play due to a two-match suspension he suffered at Manchester United last year. It became a problem when he hit a boy fan’s cell phone during a match against Everton in April of last year. In addition, the registration of Al-Nasr was only recently delayed due to the Saudi league regulations that can have up to eight foreign players.
Ronaldo is expected to make his Saudi debut on the 19th local time in Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Gasil Al-Hilal-Al-Nasr combined team jersey. In this case, Ronaldo could go head-to-head with Lionel Messi.
“The only thing I want from Ronaldo is for him to regain the joy of playing and to smile again,” García said. It will be a target,”