Premier League

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘wanted Real Madrid return’ before Al-Nassr move

Jacque Talbot
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, 2008

Cristiano Ronaldo had hoped of making a return to Real Madrid before he signed a hugely-lucrative deal with Al-Nassr.

The 37-year-old Portugal attacker had his contract at Manchester United mutually terminated in November before he agreed to a £175million-a-year deal with the Saudi Arabian club.

During the period before he opted to move to the Middle East, Los Blancos’ all-time top goal-scorer trained at Real’s Valdebebas base to keep his fitness levels up, subsequent to Portugal’s shock exit to Morocco in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.

It was at this time the superstar was hoping that Real would come in and make him an offer, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

Despite saying that he would want to continue playing in the Champions League for as long as possible, the publication says that he knew this would be very unlikely after leaving United, owing to the wages he would ask for among other things.

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And eventually, Ronaldo joined up with Al-Nassr after reportedly holding a meeting with the club’s president, Musalli Al-Muammar. News of the move being confirmed came on Friday night.

Ronaldo’s Real reputation /b>

The veteran player is considered a legend at Real Madrid, scoring 450 goals in 438 matches over nine seasons – bagging four Champions League titles along the way.

But there was no interest in him from Real, so he has signed on the dotted line with Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo reportedly trained alone at the club’s facility, after he asked president Florentino Perez, who told the Portugal international: “Of course, this is your home.”

Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr, which was completed on 30 December, saw him secure the highest salary in football history.

He will earn $214m per year (£177m/€200m) with the Saudi Pro League club, with his contract to run two and a half years – finishing in 2025.

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