Everything you need to know about Ronaldo's new club Al-Nassr
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr in a record-breaking deal on Friday (December 30). The Portugal ace left Manchester United to join forces with the Arabian giants for a contract until 2025. Al-Nassr are one of the most successful clubs in Saudi, with 27 trophies in all competitions to date. Here's everything you need to know about Al-Nassr.
Al-Nassr are nine-time SPL champions
Formed in 1995, Al-Nassr are based in Riyadh and compete in the country's top division - Saudi Pro League (SPL), which has 16 clubs. The Mrsool Park in Riyadh is their home ground. Al-Nassr have won SPL on nine occasions, second-most after Al-Hilal (18). Meanwhile, Al-Nassr last won the top flight in 2018-19. SPL's all-time scorer, Majed Abdullah, also played for Al-Nassr (189 goals).
Al-Nassr's performance in the ongoing season
Al-Nassr are currently seated atop the Saudi Pro League (SPL) 2022-23 season. They have managed 26 points in 11 matches (W8 D2 L1). They have conceded only six goals besides scoring 25, most in the ongoing season. Al-Nassr clinched a 1-0 win over relegation-facing Al-Khaleej in the New Year Eve's fixture. Meanwhile, Al-Shabab (25 points) trail them at the second spot.
Presenting Al-Nassr's achievements
Besides nine SPL titles, Al-Nassr have won the country's knockout cup, the King's Cup, on six occasions. They have also won three Crown Prince's Cups, three Federation Cups, and two Saudi Super Cups. At the international level, Al-Nassr are two-time GCC Champions League winner. They earned a historic Asian double in 1998, claiming both the Asian Cup Winners' Cup and the Asian Super Cup.
A look at the squad and management
Former AS Roma manager Rudi Garcia is the head coach at Al-Nassr. Garcia has had previous stints with Lille, Olympique Marseille, and Olympique Lyonnais. He has been at the helm of the affairs since June 2022. Brazilian Talisca is their top scorer this season (6 goals). Other stars include former Arsenal and Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina, Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo, and Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar.
Al-Nassr seek qualification for AFC Champions League
Al-Nassr need to win SPL 2022-23 to qualify for the AFC Champions League. Notably, their best finish in the continent's top flight competition was in 1995, where they wound up as the runners-up.
Ronaldo becomes highest paid footballer ever!
Ronaldo signed a two and a half years contract with Al-Nassr worth over 200 million euros ($214.04 million), including commercial deals. His contract runs until 2025, which ensures that he takes more than $1 million per week. Interestingly, Ronaldo was earning $605,000 per week at United. It's the biggest salary ever in the history of football.
How has Ronaldo fared in 2022-23 season?
Ronaldo has looked like a shadow of himself in the 2022-23 season. He missed pre-season training due to personal issues and was then slowly introduced by Erik ten Hag. Ronaldo managed three goals and two assists in 16 appearances for United. The tally includes a solitary goal in the Premier League in 10 appearances. In the Europa League, Ronaldo scored twice, including a penalty.