BARCELONA boss Xavi has warned Cristiano Ronaldo about the quality of the Saudi Pro League following his move to Al-Nassr.

The former Manchester United forward, 37, signed for the Middle Eastern outfit earlier this month in a deal worth £175million-a-year.

Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier this month

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Cristiano Ronaldo arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier this monthCredit: AFP
Xavi played and managed in the Middle East for six years

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Xavi played and managed in the Middle East for six yearsCredit: AFP

The transfer came after Ronaldo had previously told Piers Morgan he did not want to go to Saudi Arabia.

Real Madrid‘s all-time top scorer has been criticised by many for putting money ahead of his sporting aspirations by joining Al-Nassr.

But Xavi, who played and managed in Qatar for six years after leaving Barcelona, insists the football in the Middle East is no stroll in the park.

He said: “Ronaldo has signed for one of the best clubs in Saudi Arabia, but it’s a challenge.”

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Xavi then went on to add: “Saudi Arabia has things to improve, but that’s the same as in Spain, where we have 200 hundred things to improve.

“Everyone deserves that football should go around the world.”

Ronaldo is yet to make his debut for Al-Nassr due to the FA issuing him with a two-match suspension for smashing an Everton fan’s phone while at Man Utd.

He is expected to play his first game for the club against Paris Saint-Germain in a friendly on January 19 – as part of an Al-Nassr/Al-Hilal combined XI.

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It is set to see Ronaldo and Lionel Messi face off one final time.

The Portuguese international is then set to make his competitive debut at home to Ettifaq on January 22.

Al-Nassr currently hold a three-point lead over Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal at the top of the Saudi Pro League.

Ronaldo’s new club have won the division nine times.

Al-Hilal are the only side to have lifted the trophy on more occasions with 18 titles to their name.

And Al-Hilal are being linked with a move for Ronaldo’s long-time rival Messi as they are rumoured to be lining up a staggering £245m-a-year deal for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.



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