Cristiano Ronaldo Officially Inks $535 Million Deal With Saudi Soccer Club Al Nassr, The Biggest Contract In Sports History

By on January 3, 2023 in ArticlesCelebrity News

Legendary soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is on the rebound from his sad World Cup 2022 performance with the biggest contract in the history of professional sports. After weeks of speculation, it has now been confirmed that Cristiano has signed a mind-blowing deal with Saudi club Al Nassr. The deal will pay Ronaldo a staggering $210 million per year for 2.5 years, for a grand total of more than half a billion dollars.

That figure hasn't been confirmed by Al Nassr, but it was earlier reported that he'd signed the contract worth $535 million in American dollars, including a no-doubt hefty signing bonus and all the financial details about his likeness being used by the team in promotional materials. The Riyadh-based organization announced Ronaldo's joining up in a post on its official Twitter account. It reads:

"History in the making. This is a signing that will not only inspire our club to achieve even greater success but inspire our league, our nation and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. Welcome @Cristiano to your new home @AlNassrFC."

Tibor Illyes – Pool/Getty Images

The news comes as a surprise to fans who expected Ronaldo to seek a new home somewhere within European football. Instead, Ronaldo will now be on a team that competes within the Saudi Pro League, which as WSJ points out "is effectively invisible beyond the Middle East" – something that may not be the case much longer once Ronaldo starts playing, if even just a fraction of his fans keep following him. That explains why the team is making such a historically massive investment in getting Ronaldo on the roster. As Marco Koorman, a Dutch soccer coach who also works in Saudi Arabia, tells WSJ:

"They want to get up to the European level, so there are many foreign coaches, many foreign players."

It's a move that's sure to be politically controversial given Saudi Arabia's record, but Ronaldo is far from the only soccer star securing their post-heyday future in Saudi football, even if he is the most famous. In 2018, the Pro League increased the maximum number of foreign players allowed on each team from four to seven, and Ronaldo is joining players like Ever Banega and Vincent Aboubakar in the Saudi league. Regardless of the political implications, Ronaldo is now not only the highest paid athlete on Earth, but probably the highest paid athlete of all time.

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