Cristiano Ronaldo is set to lead his new club Al Nassr in his debut in the Saudi Pro League against Al-Ettifaq at the Mrsool Park in Riyadh on Sunday.
The 37-year-old signed a deal with Al Nassr till 2025 in a deal worth 200 million euros after his contract with Manchester United was prematurely terminated just before the FIFA World Cup 2022.
However, Ronaldo made a promising start in Riyadh when he scored twice for Saudi All Star XI against Paris Saint-Germain, featuring Lionel Messi and will look to continue on his goalscoring pursuit in the Middle East.
Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia hopes that Cristiano Ronaldo will “rediscover the pleasure of playing” when he brings a little stardust to the Saudi Arabian league.
“The only thing I wish for Ronaldo is that he rediscovers the pleasure of playing and smiles again because in recent months between Manchester United, the national team and then at a personal level he hasn’t had easy moments,” Garcia said Sunday on the sidelines of the Dakar Rally being staged in the kingdom.
“If he finds the pleasure of playing again, that will already be a goal achieved,” added the coach who described the 37-year-old Portuguese international as a “tremendous athlete”.
Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, will hope to revive his career at Al Nassr, which recently saw with a bitter divorce with Manchester United.
(with inputs from AFP)