So, it appears that all along, Cristiano Ronaldo thought his new club, Al Nassr, was in South Africa, not Saudi Arabia. How this is possible is something that has shocked pundits who admit that the mistake is an error too grave.
Ronaldo made the shocking comments during a press conference for his official unveiling as the newest addition to the Saudi Arabian outfit, Al Nassr. While responding to reporters at the press conference in Riyadh, Ronaldo said he was happy to have “come to South Africa.”
“For me, it is not the end of my career to come to South Africa,” Ronaldo added as he continued in his speech at the news conference. “I really don’t worry about what people say. I took my decision and I have a responsibility to change that, but for me I’m really, really happy to be here.”
“I want to give a different vision of this country and football. This is why I took this opportunity,” he added. “I know the league is very competitive. People don’t know that, but I know because I saw many games.”
Fans of the Portuguese football maestro have rushed to his defense, saying that the superstar made a mistake that could have been a result of the stressful nature of his medical and unveiling.
In his defense, however, the signing and arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo to his new club seemed rushed. The footballer flew out to Saudi Arabia with his family on Monday night and had to undergo a medical in the morning before heading got the conference room and his presentation to the fans in the stadium.
Ronaldo has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to play in the Saudi Pro League and will reportedly earn up to $200 million a year.
However, Ronaldo’s dream of making his debut for his new club today when they face Al Ta’ee will not be actualized as the footballer is serving a two-match ban which he accrued in England.
The English Football Association handed the 37-year-old Ronaldo a two-match suspension in November for knocking a mobile phone out of the hand of a supporter after a game against Everton last April.
He had already left United by the time of the ruling, but the FA said the suspension would be transferred to any new club.
If Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr thinking it was a South African Club, it wouldn’t be the first time a footballer would be making such an error. Ivory Coast footballer Yaya Toure once revealed to reporters that when he signed for Manchester City from FC Barcelona, he thought he was signing for Manchester United.
“When I was at Barcelona and initially approached by Manchester City I thought it was Manchester United that wanted me,” Toure admitted.
Like Toure, who went on to achieve multiple cup successes in Manchester City, C. Ronaldo is in line to lift the Saudi Pro League trophy with his new club, Al Nassr, if everything goes according to plan. The club is currently sitting on top of the log in the league table, and there is nothing Ronaldo would love more than lifting another trophy in a new country – South Africa or not!