Cristiano Ronaldo is NOT obliged to support any Saudi World Cup bid as part of his Al-Nassr contract, the club insist… as they deny claims the former Man United star’s deal includes an agreement to back their 2030 campaign
Cristiano Ronaldo’s new club Al-Nassr have denied reports that his contract includes an agreement to support Saudi Arabia’s joint bid for the 2030 World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner put pen to paper on an eye-watering deal worth £175million per year with Al-Nassr, who currently sit top of the Saudi Pro League.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s new club Al-Nassr have denied reports that his contract includes an agreement to support Saudi Arabia’s joint-bid for the 2030 World Cup
However, reports in Spain at the end of December claimed Ronaldo is also set to become an ambassador for Saudi’s bid for the 2030 World Cup because of a clause in his Al-Nassr deal.
According to Marca, he has agreed to promote the Middle Eastern country’s joint campaign with Egypt and Greece to stage the tournament, following in the footsteps of arch-rival Lionel Messi.
Yet Al-Nassr have denied this is the case, as Ronaldo’s new club took to Twitter to rubbish suggestions that his contract includes a clause to support World Cup bids.
Ronaldo signed for Al-Nassr last month on an eye-watering £175m-a-year contract
In a short statement on Tuesday night, they wrote: ‘Al Nassr FC would like to clarify that contrary to news reports, Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with Al Nassr does not entail commitments to any World Cup bids.
‘His main focus is on Al Nassr and to work with his teammates to help the club achieve success.’
While Al-Nassr are adamant that Ronaldo has no involvement, Messi has already been unveiled as an ambassador for Saudi, a country which has faced criticism for its human rights record and crackdowns on women’s rights activists, LGBTQ+ people and those who speak out against the rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Back in February, after it emerged that Messi had been approached by the Saudi tourism board, families of prisoners of conscience wrote a letter that urged him not to get involved.
His arch-rival Lionel Messi has already been unveiled as an ambassador for Saudi Arabia, who are set to launch a joint-bid to host the 2030 World Cup
But Al-Nassr are adamant that Ronaldo has not agreed to support the bid as part of his contract
The letter was organised by human rights body Grant Liberty and, via The Independent, said: ‘You are an inspiration to millions and what you say and do really matters. To put it bluntly – you have enormous power, but with that power comes great responsibility.’
Ronaldo is yet to line up for his Al-Nassr debut as he continues to serve his worldwide two-match ban from the FA for smashing an Everton fan’s phone last year.
His first outing for the club could in fact come against Messi, as on January 19 they are reportedly set to face PSG in a friendly out in Riyadh, according to The Guardian.
The French giants are expected to take on a team made up of Al-Nassr and Al Hilal players, although it remains to be seen whether Messi will be involved.