Move to Saudi Arabia: Ronaldo's sporting time is up, so he lets the Saudis buy him

Cristiano Ronaldo is moving to Saudi club Al-Nassr FC, with whom he has signed a contract for two and a half years.

Move to Saudi Arabia: Ronaldo's sporting time is up, so he lets the Saudis buy him

Cristiano Ronaldo is moving to Saudi club Al-Nassr FC, with whom he has signed a contract for two and a half years. The rumored annual salary is said to be an incredible 200 million euros, including advertising revenue. This results in a total volume of half a billion euros. Ronaldo has the last stretch of his glorious career gilded with an insane sum.

You can find that indecent or accept it with a shrug. The fact is that Ronaldo is worth so much to wealthy Saudi Arabia. The reputation of the Portuguese in the Arab world could be seen at the World Cup in Qatar. Every time the bench presser Ronaldo came on at Portugal's games, a murmur went through the stadium. The fact that he has not found a job with any top club in Europe because he has passed his sporting peak does not mean that his global fame has faded.

With the move to the Arabian Peninsula, Ronaldo also ends the undignified events around him, for which he was largely to blame. He recently played no role at Manchester United, which he in turn acknowledged with embarrassing performances and childish behavior. There was something desperate about his search for a new club last summer. An aging star was looking for the big challenge again, without realizing that he had long since been written off in sport and no club was willing to pay a corresponding salary.

Of course, critics now accuse Ronaldo that ending his career in a sportingly insignificant league is undignified, especially since he ruled that out for himself a few years ago. But times change. Seen in this light, he cannot be blamed. In the end, he realized that big football was over for him. Nor is he the first to find it difficult to just quit playing football.

Another question concerns the issue of sports washing. Even in the case of Ronaldo, this cannot simply be dismissed as meaningless. Like little Qatar, Saudi Arabia is pursuing a strategy of polishing up the country's reputation through major sporting events. Formula 1 has been around for a long time, a major golf series with a few stars has been launched and now Ronaldo - Saudi Arabia is working hard on a better image. Seen in this light, the interview Ronaldo gave to journalist Piers Morgan that led to his sacking from Manchester United may have been a deliberate move to sign the lucrative contract in Saudi Arabia.

The footballer is set to become one of the flagships of Saudi Arabia's bid for the 2030 World Cup (if the country bids). Lionel Messi is also on the Saudis' payroll. The Argentine is the face of a tourism campaign. In this case, the eternal rivals pull together and are brothers in spirit when it comes to greed and unscrupulousness. You can and must blame them for that.

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