Cristiano Ronaldo knows what the Saudi Pro League needs to do to become top five league, lays out detailed plan
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Cristiano Ronaldo has explained how the Saudi Pro League can become a "top five league" and admitted he will be staying in the Middle East.
Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in a lucrative £175 million-a-year switch in December after his Manchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Al Nassr ultimately finished second, five points behind champions Al Ittihad. Ronaldo, despite many strops along the way, scored 14 goals in 16 games.
But while he has looked unhappy on a number of occasions as frustrations boiled over, the 38-year-old reiterated he is happy in Saudi, where he has a two-and-a-half year deal.
He has talked about wanting to inspire the next generation and stating his belief that the SPL will one of the best leagues in the world in 5-7 years.
In an new interview, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has doubled down on his claims and outlined how the league can get to the next step.
"The league is very good," Ronaldo told the SPL.
"But I think we have many, many opportunities to still grow. The league is competitive. We have very good teams, very good Arab players, but they need to improve a little bit more the infrastructure.
"Even the referees, the VAR system, should be a little quicker. I think other small things they need to improve.
"But I am happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world."
Ronaldo put the SPL on the map and brought new eyes on the football over in Saudi but a slew of high-profile players continue to be linked, with Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema both heavily linked.
And Portugal's record goalscorer believes their potential arrival can only help the growth of the league.
"If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, 'old players,' they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve a little bit," he added.
Ronaldo has flown to Singapore as part of a charity initiative where he will spend time inspiring kids and discussing environmental sustainability.
He will then link up with the Portugal national team for European Championship qualifiers against Bosnia and Iceland later this month.