Cristiano Ronaldo completes move to Saudi side Al Nassr
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Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly has a Champions League clause in his new Al-Nassr contract that would allow him to move on loan to Newcastle should the Magpies qualify for Europe’s top tier club competition next season. The 37-year-old moved to Saudi Arabia last month after having his Manchester United contract terminated in November.
Ronaldo enjoyed a fecund maiden spell at Old Trafford after signing for the club for the first time in 2003. And during his time playing underneath legendary Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the blockbuster star won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Club World Cup. And he also lifted the first of his five Ballon d’Ors.
After successful spells with Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo headed back to England in the summer of 2021 and bagged 24 goals last season. But he pushed for a move away in the summer after the Red Devils failed to qualify for the Champions League.
The veteran was forced to stay put as the new season got underway but finally got his wish to leave the north west after saying he felt “betrayed” by the club and had “no respect” for boss Erik ten Hag during an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in November.
And he then put pen-to-paper on a two-and-a-half year deal with Al-Nassr, where he will reportedly pick up a cool £173million a season. But, according to Marca, his time in England might not be over as he could play for the Magpies if they are in the Champions League next season.
The clause has come about as Newcastle are owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and Ronaldo is determined not to be left out of Europe’s primary competition.
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Ronaldo is the highest scorer in Champions League history, having racked up an incredible 140 goals in the competition. The ace first tasted success in the competition when United defeated Chelsea in the 2008 final following a penalty shootout. And between 2014 and 2018, the talented player won another four trophies with Real Madrid as the Spanish giants dominated European football.
Newcastle last played in the Champions League during the 2002/03 campaign, when they took on Inter Milan, Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen in the group stages. This time last year, the Magpies were battling to avoid relegation to the Championship. But after a precipitous upturn in fortunes over the last 12 months under Eddie Howe, Newcastle have climbed to third in the Premier League table and have only lost one match all season.
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