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.