Ronaldo in awkward blunder at Saudi unveiling (VIDEO) – RT Sport News
Cristiano Ronaldo slipped up as he was introduced to the media by the new Al Nassr team, claiming he was in South Africa rather than Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo was unveiled at a glitzy ceremony in Riyadh on Tuesday, where he dismissed claims that heading to the Saudi league was a significant downgrade for a man who insisted he was still capable of playing in the highest level.
But while defending his Saudi decision, Ronaldo appeared to confuse where he landed, mistakenly telling the media: “It’s not the end of my career to come to South Africa.”
Apart from the geographical accident, Ronaldo argued that he was more motivated than ever to join Al Nassr on a “unique” deal
“In Europe, my work is done. I won everything and played for the biggest clubs in Europe. It’s a new challenge.” said the five-time Ballon d’Or winner during his presentation at the Mrsool Park stadium.
Ronaldo moved to the Middle East after his Manchester United contract was terminated in November following a explosive interview with British TV personality Piers Morgan.
The Portuguese star’s two-and-a-half-year deal with Al Nassr is expected to be worth up to 200 million euros ($212 million) per season when trade deals are taken into account – a sum considered a record for a footballer.
“I broke all the records there [in Europe]. I want to break some records here. This contract is unique but I am a unique player, so for me it is normal. said Ronaldo.
“I really don’t care what people say. I’m really, really happy to be here. I know the [Saudi] the league is very competitive.
Ronaldo claimed he had “gave his word” sign for Al Nassr when he reportedly received offers from elsewhere.
“Nobody knows, but I had many opportunities in Europe, in Brazil, in Australia, in America, in Portugal, many clubs tried to sign me”, says the attacker.
“I gave my word to this club. I want to give a different view of this country and football. That’s why I took this opportunity.”
Ronaldo has completed his deal with Al Nassr amid a split with longtime super-agent Jorge Mendes, according to reports in Portugal.
The pair are said to be at odds over the soccer star’s decision to continue his inflammatory interview with Morgan, which prompted Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United on the eve of the World Cup.
Portugal’s campaign in Qatar ended in the quarter-final against Morocco, with Ronaldo leaving the pitch in tears and scoring just once in the tournament as he ended up being sidelined by the manager Fernando Santos.
To complicate matters, generational rival Lionel Messi led Argentina to their first World Cup success in 36 years.
Al Nassr: Who are the Saudis paying record sums for Ronaldo?
On Tuesday in Riyadh, Ronaldo was greeted with his image adorning a multitude of billboards in the yellow and blue colors of nine-time Saudi Pro League winner Al Nassr.
Ronaldo has already trained with his new teammates and could make his debut for Rudi Garcia’s men against Al Ta’ee on Thursday at the 25,000-seater Mrsool Park.