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Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with new club Al-Nassr includes a clause that will see him follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo had essentially been enjoying a period of unemployment in the past couple of weeks, following Portugal’s elimination from the World Cup.
The loss to Morocco, couple with his departure from Manchester United early into the tournament, meant that the 37-year-old had time to find a new job.
With no one in Europe wanting to give him the Champions League football he wanted, with Eintracht Frankfurt revealing they were given the chance to sign him, Ronaldo had to look elsewhere.
On Friday, it was confirmed that he would be moving to the Middle East, to join Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr, signing a two year deal.
The club described it as a ‘history making’ deal, and he is reportedly to become the highest paid athlete in the world, including all his bonuses.
But it’s what comes after he’s finished playing for the club that could make it ‘history making’ for the latest country that he’ll be plying his trade.
According to Marca, the contract involves a clause that means the five time Ballon d’Or winner will join Messi as being an ambassador for the country’s bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
The next World Cup will be hosted in North America, across USA, Canada and Mexico, in three and a half years, but the one after is up for grabs.
Saudi Arabia are expected to launch a bid alongside Egypt and Greece, which would make it the first held across multiple continents, should they be successful.
Messi has already agreed to be an ambassador for the bid, despite the fact that Argentina could be amongst those bidding against it.
The South American candidate is expected to be a joint effort between the current holders, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile, and would mark 100 years since Uruguay hosted the first World Cup.
Ronaldo could also be going against his own country, with Spain and Portugal expected to be the bid from Europe, after the UK and Ireland were convinced to instead bid for Euro 2028.
Messi could be following Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia very soon as well, with PSG set to play a friendly in the Middle East early next year.
Ronaldo might be getting paid handsomely to play in Saudi Arabia, and promote the country, but that’s got nothing to do with why he’s gone there, according to him.
In his first statements since the move was confirmed, the former Juventus man claimed that he’d ‘won everything he set out to win in Europe.’
With five Champions League titles, and domestic titles in England, Spain and Italy in his bag, along with Euro 2016, he might be onto something.
Call me a cynic, I have a feeling that’s no the whole story though…
Featured Image Credit: Alamy