Cristiano Ronaldo denies rumours he wants Europe return and says Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi are 'welcome' in Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo Al-Nassr 2023Getty
  • Ronaldo finished second with Al-Nassr
  • Denies he wants to leave Saudi side
  • Says Messi & Benzema are welcome

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo joined Al-Nassri on a free transfer in January after his contract at Manchester United was terminated. The 38-year-old scored 14 goals in 16 appearances in the Saudi Pro League, but his side could not beat Al-Ittihad to the league title, finishing five points behind the eventual champions.

WHAT THEY SAID: There have been reports that that he wants to leave Al-Nassr and return to Europe, but Ronaldo insists he will stay where he is, having signed a deal that runs until 2025. He told reporters: "I am happy and I want to continue and I will continue here. Next season the team will be better. We have improved in the last 5 or 6 months, and I am confident that we will win titles soon."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo may not be the only elite European star to be plying his trade in Saudi Arabia next season. Karim Benzema is reported to be on his way to Al-Ittihad this summer, while Lionel Messi has been linked with Al-Hilal.

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Ronaldo says he would be happy to see his former Real Madrid star and the ex-Barcelona icon join him in the league, saying: "They are welcome...the league will improve, and it currently has wonderful foreign and Arab players."


Nassr's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after scoringGetty ImagesKarim benzema Real Madrid 2022-23GettyLionel Messi PSG 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Ronaldo is part of the Portugal squad that will take on Bosnia in the Euro 2024 qualifiers on June 17.

Who will win the Saudi Pro League top scorer award this season?

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Who will win the Saudi Pro League top scorer award this season?

  • 70%Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 9%Karim Benzema
  • 8%Neymar
  • 6%Roberto Firmino
  • 1%Malcom
  • 6%Other
75028 Votes