Cristiano Ronaldo has claimed that he rejected “many clubs” before joining Al-Nassr as he has attempted to defend his move to Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr was confirmed shortly before the New Year. He was a free agent after leaving Manchester United in November.
His ill-fated second spell at Old Trafford came to a premature end after he hit out at Erik ten Hag and the Glazer family during his controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
The forward stated to the presenter that he wants to compete at the highest level and it was claimed in the summer that he was looking to leave United so he could compete in the Champions League.
Not many offers came in though as Chelsea and Bayern Munich were among the clubs who decided against signing him.
This left a potential transfer to Al-Nassr as the ‘only option’ for Ronaldo heading into the winter transfer window.
The 37-year-old has now penned a two-and-a-half-year deal that runs until 2025. It has been reported that he will earn as much as £173m a year in Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo spoke to reporters on Tuesday and he claimed that he rejected “many opportunities in Europe” to sign for Al-Nassr.
“I feel so proud to make this big decision in my life,” Ronaldo said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“In Europe, my work is done. I won everything and now this is a new challenge.
“I’m grateful Al Nassr have given me this opportunity, not only for the football but for the young generation and the female generation.
“For me, this is a challenge but I feel very happy and very proud.
“I had many opportunities in Europe, in Brazil, in Australia, in the US and even in Portugal many clubs tried to sign me, but I gave my word to this club.
“This is a good chance to grow many important points here with my knowledge and my experience.”
Ronaldo later suggested that the playing standard in Saudi Arabia is “very competitive” and he is ready to get going as soon as possible.
“I’m a unique player. I beat all the records there. I want to beat a few records here,” Ronaldo added.
“I know the league is very competitive, I saw many games. I hope to play after (Wednesday) if the coach thinks there’s a chance. I’m ready to keep playing football.”
Ronaldo also insisted that his family are happy with his transfer to Al-Nassr.
They are happy as well. When I take decisions my family support me, especially my kids!
“They are very happy, the welcome was amazing, we feel good. Saudi Arabian people are lovely with me and my family.”