Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo is without doubt one of the game’s greatest ever players. No individual in professional football history has netted more goals than he did, leading the most career goals list with 819 strikes for club and country (701 for clubs, 118 for country).
Ronaldo has won nearly every trophy in club football and also has two trophies with Portugal, winning the Euro in 2016 and Nations League in 2018. However, with his debacle at Manchester United, he now is a free agent exploring his options in club football.
Speculations about Ronaldo’s future have been the talk of the town, but where will CR7 play next?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s next club
After Portugal’s quarter-final exit from the FIFA World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo was seen practicing at the Valdebebas training facility of Real Madrid, which sparked a few hopes of his homecoming at Real Madrid.
Much to the disappointment of all his admirers, Ronaldo, who is the highest goal-scorer for the Galacticos with 451 goals in 408 matches, is unlikely to return to Madrid.
A report from Spanish publication Marca claimed that the 37-year-old footballer has a €200 million per year deal on his table with Saudi club Al Nassr. Ronaldo is expected to sign a deal with the club until 2030, where he will be playing for two-and-a-half years and will be acting as an ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s FIFA World Cup 2030 hosting bid.
This will be a massive improvement from the package he had at Manchester United, where he was earning €26 million per annum.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo would still be keen on exploring options across Europe, it was reported by Spanish publication AS that his relationship with agent Jorge Mendes has taken a hit with the recent controversy involving Manchester United. The 56-year-old has been representing Ronaldo since 2003.
A lot of the interested clubs have gone directly to the free agent rather than contacting the agent, which also has sprained their long-standing relationship.
Although the offer from Saudi seems compelling, it will be interesting to see if Ronaldo explores an option in the Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLS has been a major destination for European footballers in the latter stages of their career and with his former teammate David Beckham owning one of the clubs, a move there might not be entirely off the radar.
Why did Ronaldo leave Machester United?
It had been a tough 2022-23 season for Ronaldo at Manchester United. He was being used sporadically by the newly appointed Dutch manager, Erik Ten Hag, who replaced Ralf Rangnick at the helm. Ronaldo scored just two goals and had multiple fallouts with the manager, which led to him giving a controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
Ronaldo’s comments about the club and manager Erik Ten Hag sparked a massive controversy, ultimately leading to Manchester United terminating his contract. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is currently exploring his options in club football with multiple options on the table.
Ronaldo was struggling to make his mark at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, where he scored just one goal via a penalty against Ghana. He was dropped from the starting XI in the round of 16 and quarterfinals, a decision that sparked plenty of negative attention towards manager Fernando Santos.
Photo Credit: Alamy