Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr manager has said his new star player will return to Europe to finish his career.
After mutually agreeing to have his Manchester United contract terminated during the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.
The move made the 38-year-old the highest paid player in world football with a reported salary of £173million per-year, but the Middle East marked a steep climb down from his Champions League-winning heights.
Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of Europe’s elite competition, and in the history of football, but a move off the continent was seen as a major step down.
Multiple reports claimed that super agent Jorge Mendes had talks with Bayern Munich and Chelsea over a move for his client, but neither deal came to fruition.
But now, his manager at Al Nassr, former Ligue 1 winner Rudi Garcia, has suggested a return to the continent is still very much on the cards.
Speaking in his most recent press conference, the former Lille, Marseille and Roma boss was quoted by Marca as saying: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a positive addition, as he helps to disperse defenders.
“He is one of the best players in the world. He will not finish his career at Al Nassr, he will return to Europe.”
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Ronaldo is yet to find the net for Al Nassr in two games, one in the league, a division which his new side top, and another fixture in the cup, which Al-Nassr were knocked out of.
A 3-1 defeat to Al Ittihad saw them exit at the semi-final stage, and Garcia had some words of advice for Ronaldo after.
“Cristiano Ronaldo missed a chance on goal that would have turned the game around in the first half,” he said. “But I congratulate Al Ittihad.
“They were much better than us until the break. So we reacted but we could no longer turn around. We lost the Super Cup but we are still first in the championship.”
He continued: “It is very important that the players play normally and don’t always try to give Cristiano the ball.
“I told them they had to make the right decisions on the field. Obviously, when Cristiano or Talisca are alone and ask for the ball, we have to give them the ball.
“These two players are capable of making a difference. I think sometimes we had good crossing positions, but there were not enough people in the box, sometimes not Ronaldo or Talisca.
“We have to work on it, have one of them in the area and maybe the other will play outside the area.”
Ronaldo only joined Al Nassr earlier this month after a hasty exit from Manchester United, that was made official during the World Cup.
It means he did not get a chance to say a proper goodbye to some of his teammate.
The Sun report that four of his now former teammates – Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Raphael Varane – have been invited to Saudi Arabia by Ronaldo.