Cristiano Ronaldo claimed he had a big money offer from Brazil before signing for Al Nassr and now the club’s president has confirmed the Portuguese superstar’s story.
Ronaldo was unveiled as an Al Nassr player on Tuesday, facing the press for the first time alongside head coach Rudi Garcia and club president Musalli Al-Muammar, after signing a contract worth a reported €200 million per year.
Whilst very few clubs could offer the 37-year-old those kind of terms following his release from Manchester United, Brazilian giants Corinthians were at least willing to match the €30m basic salary he earned at Old Trafford.
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“The proposal was ours,” Corinthians president Duilio Monteiro Alves told Meu Timao, a Sao Paulo outlet that specialise on the club. “We made an offer for a salary equal to what he earned at Manchester United, for a two-year contract. I spoke six or seven times to Jorge Mendes, and in the end, we sent a proposal through somebody else.”
Ronaldo and Mendes ended their player-agent relationship in November when the former’s spat with United was growing uglier. Ronaldo subsequently slammed the Red Devils’ manager Erik ten Hag and the Glazer family ownership in an unsanctioned interview with Piers Morgan.
“I made the offer and hoped he’d reject (laughs),” Duilio continued. “Just kidding, we had many partners already notified. I think we had to try. People though going for Renato Augusto and Willian was funny and it worked out in the end. As Corinthians president you have to look for the best in the world.”
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What did Ronaldo say?
Many had doubted how in demand Ronaldo really was on joining Al Nassr – Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer, a Champions League winner with them and Man Utd, and European champion with Portugal, but a player on the wane.
“As nobody knows, but I can say now that I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, US, even in Portugal many clubs tried to sign me,” he said at his first press conference in Saudi Arabia. “But I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to develop not only the football but the other parts of this amazing country.”