Saudi Arabian football club Al Nassr has announced the signing of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, in a landmark move for football in the Middle East.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner became a free agent last month when his contract with English side Manchester United was terminated.
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Who are Al Nassr?
Formed in 1955, it is a club based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. It plays in the country’s top division, the Saudi Professional League (SPL), which has 18 teams.
Al Nassr players wear yellow and blue while their home ground, Mrsool Park, has a capacity of 25,000.
Al Nassr have won a total of nine league titles, with the last being in the 2018-19 season. They are the second-most successful team in the league, behind Riyadh-based Al Hilal, who have won 18.
Al Nassr are currently sitting second in the league after 10 games, two points behind leaders Al Shabab.
Last season, the team finished third, six points behind champions Al Hilal.
Al Nassr have also won the country’s knockout championship, the King’s Cup, six times. Their most recent win was in 1990.
Al Nassr’s best performance in the AFC Champions League, Asia’s premier club competition, came in 1995 when they finished runners-up behind Japan’s Ilhwa Chunma.
Saudi teams have won the AFC Champions League six times, with Al Hilal claiming a record four titles and Al Ittihad winning the continental competition twice.
Al Nassr said Ronaldo, 37, will join on a deal until June 2025 but did not disclose any financial details.
The Portuguese superstar will now link up with Cameroon’s World Cup hero Vincent Aboubakar, who came from the bench to change the game against Serbia and scored the winner to stun Brazil in their last group game in Qatar.
Other notable foreign players in the Al Nassr squad include Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, who previously played for Arsenal and Napoli, as well as former Brazil international and midfielder Luiz Gustavo.
SPL clubs can register eight foreign players but only seven can be named in a matchday squad.
The league’s all-time top scorer, Majed Abdullah, spent his entire club career between 1977 and 1998 at Al Nassr. The former Saudi Arabia striker scored 189 goals and averaged nearly a goal a game.