Ronaldo Rules Out European Football Return, Hails Saudi League over MLS
Cristiano Ronaldo has stated that he will not be returning to play club football in Europe, emphasizing that the Saudi Arabian league surpasses Major League Soccer, where his long-standing rival Lionel Messi has opted to continue his career.
Having joined Al Nassr in December on a 2-1/2 year contract after leaving Manchester United, Ronaldo believes that his move has opened doors for other elite players to sign with Saudi teams, predicting that more will follow suit and join the desert kingdom.
During an interview following Al Nassr's 5-0 loss to Celta Vigo in a pre-season friendly, the 38-year-old Portuguese captain expressed his view that most European leagues are experiencing a decline in quality.
Considering his age, Ronaldo stated, "I am completely certain that I will not return to any European club. I am 38 years old." He acknowledged that the English Premier League stands as the only league still thriving and excelling among the European counterparts.
Ronaldo also commented on Messi's connection to a potential move to Saudi Arabia, which ultimately led to the Argentine World Cup winner's transfer to Inter Miami in MLS, where he signed a contract until 2025.
In Ronaldo's perspective, the Saudi league surpasses MLS, asserting, "The Saudi league is superior to MLS." He further claimed that the influx of players to Saudi Arabia is imminent, stating, "Now all the players are coming here... In one year, more top players will come to Saudi Arabia."
The Saudi league has witnessed the arrival of numerous high-profile players following in Ronaldo's footsteps, such as Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema from Real Madrid and N'Golo Kante from Chelsea, both of whom joined champions Al-Ittihad.