Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2022 World CupGetty

Are Al-Nassr saving No.7 shirt for Ronaldo? President comments on iconic jersey being available in Saudi Arabia

  • Portuguese forward now a free agent
  • Released by Manchester United
  • Mulling over his options

WHAT HAPPENED? The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has become a free agent after seeing his contract at Manchester United terminated. Various landing spots have been mooted for Ronaldo, with the iconic Portuguese forward being linked with teams from England, America, Spain and the Middle East. A lucrative offer is said to have been put to him by Al-Nassr, and his favourite jersey is available in Riyadh as Jaloliddin Masharipov passed it on when coming close to completing a move to Al Ahly.

WHAT THEY SAID: Masharipov is now wearing 77, but Al-Nassr president Musalli Al Muammar says that should not be considered an indicator that Ronaldo will soon be on his way. He has told SSC Sports: “People always like to talk about everything even when it comes to a player’s number on a training ground. I asked the management about the incident, and their response was that he [Masharipov] was on his way to Al Ahly in the summer and his shirt number [No.7] was reserved for another player. But the deal did not take place in the end so Masharipov occupied a new number instead.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has been spending time working at Real Madrid’s training facility as he looks to keep himself fit and sharp ahead of a new challenge being taken on.

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Cristiano Ronaldo 7 Portugal 2022 World CupGetty

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2022 World CupGetty

Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo has endured a testing 2022-23 campaign, with bench duty at United followed by more with Portugal at the World Cup finals in Qatar, but the 37-year-old is not ready to call time on an illustrious career just yet and has several options to consider before committing to another contract at club level.