After completing his move to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo made a mistake during his official presentation in Riyadh on Tuesday when he falsely said he had “come to South Africa”.
“For me, coming to South Africa is not the end of my career,” Ronaldo said at the press conference.
“I really don’t worry about what people say. I’ve made my decision and I have a responsibility to change that, but for me I’m very happy to be here,” he added.
However, it was clearly a slip of the tongue and Ronaldo seemingly oblivious to it then outlined his reasons for joining Al Nassr, saying he turned down “a lot of clubs” around the world to become one of the most surprising moves in football history. .
“I want to give a different vision of this country and football. That’s why I took this opportunity,” he said. “I know the league is very competitive. People don’t know that, but I know because I’ve seen a lot of matches.”
🎥 || @Cristiano talks about how difficult the Saudi League 🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/aeAuG7Zeu9
— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) January 3, 2023
Ronaldo has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to play in the Saudi Pro League and is reported to earn up to $200 million a year.
The former Manchester United striker also said he is ready to play straight away on Thursday with Al Nassr facing Al Ta’ee.
However, 37-year-old Ronaldo received a two-match ban from the English Football Association in November for knocking a mobile phone out of a supporter’s hand after a match against Everton last April.
He had already left United at the time of the ruling, but the FA said the suspension would be transferred to any new club.
(with AP inputs)