Al Nassr’s forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has expressed his belief that the Saudi Pro League surpasses Major League Soccer in quality, and he has no intention of playing in the United States or returning to any European team.
Ronaldo’s comments came after he participated in the first half of Al Nassr’s 5-0 preseason friendly loss to La Liga’s Celta Vigo in his home country, Portugal.
When questioned about the possibility of moving to the United States like his renowned adversary Lionel Messi, who was recently introduced as an Inter Miami player, Ronaldo stated, “The Saudi league is superior to the MLS. Now, players are flocking here. I anticipate an influx of top players to Saudi Arabia within a year.”
Ronaldo, who was taken off the field at half-time when the score was 0-0, affirmed, “I’ve blazed a trail to the Saudi league, and now other players are following suit.”
Several eminent players, including Ballon d’Or recipient Karim Benzema from Real Madrid and N’Golo Kante from Chelsea, have migrated to Saudi Arabia, both signing with the champions, Al-Ittihad, following Ronaldo’s lead.
Ronaldo, the 38-year-old captain of Portugal, who joined Al Nassr in December on a two-and-a-half-year contract after departing from Manchester United, expressed his confidence that his move to Saudi Arabia has encouraged other high-profile players to join Saudi teams and predicted more will make the move.
“I’m completely certain I won’t return to any European club. I’m 38 years old,” Ronaldo was quoted by ESPN.
“European football has deteriorated in quality. The only remaining high-quality league is the English Premier League, which far surpasses all others,” he added.
Messi, who has been Ronaldo’s competitor throughout their time in La Liga, was also rumoured to be considering a move to Saudi Arabia before the Argentine World Cup champion finalized his transfer to Inter Miami, signing a contract until 2025.