Madrid: Football star Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, who has quit Manchester United, is reported to have been offered a yearly salary of $210 million a year with a Saudi club, according to a Madrid-based newspaper.
The contract amount is more than twice that of any of the highest paid athletes’ salaries in 2022; including boxer Canelo Álvarez who earned $84 million a year or the $72 million earned by NFL quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The Saudi Pro League (SPL) is not considered to be one of the world’s top football leagues, but Al Nassr — the team reportedly looking to take Ronaldo under their wings, is one of the more successful clubs in Saudi Arabia.
In fact, the team is currently sitting at second place in the league after winning nine Premier League titles, six King’s Cups, three Crown Prince’s Cups, three Federation Cups and two Saudi Super Cups. The club is based in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
While a number of clubs have expressed interest in signing Ronaldo, who is the top scoring international player with 819 goals and is a five-time Champions League winner, the football star has not addressed the rumoured offer yet.
As news broke that Ronaldo may be receiving an offer to play for Al-Nassr, the athlete was also reported to have had a clash with football manager Fernando Santos.
Ronaldo fumed after he was subbed off of the team’s final group stage game against South Korea for the FIFA World Cup 2022. South Korea beat Portugal 2-1 on Friday.
According to a New York outlet, Ronaldo said he told a South Korean player Cho Gue-sung to “shut up” after the player appeared to insult him. Santos didn’t appreciate Ronaldo’s demeanour during the game, but didn’t seem too troubled by the fallout, adding: “It was sorted out this way and now we think about the game.”
Ronaldo’s contract with Manchester United was terminated last month after the football star openly criticized the club in an interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo said he had “no respect” for manager Erik ten Hag, and that the Glazer family, who owned the team, did not care about the club.
The player still had about $16 million left in his contract which was supposed to expire in June, but announced that he had “mutually agreed” with United to end their contract early.