Football star Cristiano Ronaldo will receive more than 400 million euros in Saudi Arabia, half of which to promote the kingdom's future bid for the 2030 World Cup, a source close to his aide told AFP. new club.
The 37-year-old striker, who arrived in Riyadh last week, is by far the most famous player to join a Gulf side.
< p>The Portuguese star will receive 200 million euros as part of his two-and-a-half-year contract with Al-Nassr, and “another 200 million” to be the “ambassador” of the joint bid that Saudi Arabia plans to submit with Greece and Egypt to organize the World Cup in 2030, said a source close to the negotiations, who requested anonymity.
The arrival of the former Manchester United player , Real Madrid and Juventus is part of the kingdom's desire to attract attention to its championship while its Qatari neighbor has just hosted the 2022 World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner and “record holder” for the number of goals in the selection is expected to make his debut at Al-Nassr on January 22.
“In the spotlight”
According to the same source, the The deal was backed by members of the royal family, including the country's crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, often referred to by his initials MBS.
“MBS and (his brothers) Naif, Turki and Rakan, the children of King Salman, are all honorary members of Al-Nassr, from the time before their father became crown prince.”
“They wanted to give supremacy to their club and put it in the spotlight. The best way was to bring the best player in the world,” she added.
According to this source, the sovereign wealth fund of the conservative kingdom, Public put to use.
“Al-Nassr and the other Saudi clubs do not have the necessary funds for such a contract. It was PIF who guaranteed the payment.”
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which is increasingly investing in the world of sport, bought the English football club last year of Newcastle.
It also funds LIV Golf, a tour that has divided the golfing world by attracting the biggest stars of the US PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
Another source close to Al-Nassr confirmed to AFP that the princes were behind the surprise deal.
“It was the brothers of MBS who suggested the agreement and sought to finalize it at all costs,” she said.
“They are all admirers of Al-Nassr and wanted to prove that their team is truly the International” , she added in reference to the nickname given to the club from the capital.
Al-Nassr has won nine Saudi league titles, but he has never won the championship of Asia, unlike its rivals Al-Hilal, four times winner, and Al-Ittihad, which g won twice.