FOX Sports activities Insider
AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Cristiano Ronaldo has finalized phrases on a exceptional transfer to Saudi Arabian membership Al Nassr, in line with Spanish media experiences.
On the eve of Portugal’s spherical of 16 conflict with Switzerland (Tuesday, 2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports activities App) and fewer than an hour earlier than a nationwide group press convention, a report from Madrid newspaper Marca acknowledged Ronaldo will formally be part of Al Nassr on Jan. 1 subsequent 12 months.
The 37-year-old celebrity, universally thought-about to be the most effective two gamers of his era alongside Lionel Messi, left Manchester United earlier than the World Cup after an acrimonious fallout with the membership and an explosive departure interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.
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It was initially anticipated he would search to maneuver to a different main European membership, however Al Nassr moved shortly to make a suggestion and seem to have landed its man. The financial figures had been predictably eye-popping, with a wage of $200 million per 12 months being talked about.
It’s anticipated the Ronaldo may even function a promotional ambassador for Saudi Arabia, which is in competition to host the 2030 World Cup.
Ronaldo, as at all times, has been focus throughout this event, and it was no completely different Monday. Not solely did the information of his Saudi transfer overshadow preparations for the Switzerland recreation, however particulars additionally emerged of a difficulty with head coach Fernando Santos.
Throughout Portugal s defeat to South Korea in its ultimate group recreation, tv cameras picked up Ronaldo yelling in grievance at being substituted. On the time, Santos believed Ronaldo was merely irked at a South Korean participant telling him to depart the sector extra shortly, however later discovered the reality.
“Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all,” Santos mentioned Monday. “I really didn’t like it. We dealt with this internally. From that moment onwards, everything is finished — full stop on that issue. It is solved, we fixed it, and that’s it.”
Nonetheless, Santos refused to verify if Ronaldo would stay as Portugal captain and if certainly he could be within the beginning lineup in opposition to Switzerland.
“I will only decide who is going to be the captain when I reach the stadium,” Santos added. “I don’t know the lineup. That’s what I always do. What I have always done is focus on the immediate match. I am not worried if one report is right or wrong.”
Relating to the Al Nassr transfer, Santos mentioned Ronaldo had not knowledgeable him of the state of affairs by the point he left Portugal’s group to journey to the press convention.
“I haven’t spoken to him about this,” Santos added. “We had a conversation with the players, but I didn’t know about this. To be honest, someone just told me about it a few minutes ago.
“That’s his choice, that’s what he has to cope with. We’re completely targeted on the World Cup.”
Portugal won each of its first two games against Ghana and Uruguay, before losing to South Korea in a contest that did not affect its position at the top of Group H.
Victory against Switzerland would set up a quarterfinal against the winner of Spain vs. Morocco on Tuesday (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).
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Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.
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