Cristiano Ronaldo's new manager jokes he wanted Lionel Messi first
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Al-Nassr manager Rudi Garcia has risked falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo, just days after the forward signed for the club, after making a joke about Lionel Messi.
Last week it was announced that Ronaldo had found himself a new club, following the termination of his Manchester United contract at the start of the World Cup.
The 37-year-old has landed himself in Saudi Arabia, where he is set to become the highest paid athlete in the world, earning a reported £173 million-a-year.
Ronaldo's own historic comments on the topic, some of them only a couple of months old, confirmed that the move to the Middle East was never in his plans.
Despite heading so far away from Europe, Ronaldo isn't going to be able to escape long time rival Messi, something he'd probably want to do after the Argentine won the World Cup.
The seven time Ballon d'Or winner and his Paris Saint-Germain teammates are set to take part in a friendly vs a team that could well include Ronaldo.
However the pair may have been even closer, at least that's what Al-Nassr boss Garcia wanted, as he revealed in a recent press conference.
The former Roma manager was asked about signing Ronaldo, joking, "First I tried to take Messi."
🗣️ Al Nassr coach, Rudi Garcia, asked about Ronaldo before the official announcement: "I wanted to bring Messi from Doha."— Didi (@LeoPrime10i) December 30, 2022
Ronaldo's new coach is a Messi fan 😭😭😭
Whilst the coach was in a jokey mood, and laughed following his answer, there's a good chance that it won't go down too well with the new Al-Nassr star.
His time at United came to an end with him believing that he'd been 'disrespected' by Erik ten Hag, who did not consider the former Real Madrid star to be undroppable.
Garcia's previous job was at Lyon, in the 2020/21 season, but he left the French side after failing to secure Champions League football.
He moved to Al-Nassr back in June and suddenly has to manage the huge presence of Ronaldo, who fans are clearly already excited to see in their team's shirt.
The joke about Messi is hardly a sackable offence for the manager but a falling out with his new star is not likely to end favourably for him, in a complete opposite scenario with what happened at United.
Ronaldo will have to team up with Messi as part of his new contract though, with both men now ambassadors for Saudi Arabia's bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
Whilst many have mocked Ronaldo's move away from the top tier of football, bringing up the fact that he never wanted to move there, not everyone feels the same way.
Former United teammate, Rio Ferdinand, who has defended his friend on several occasions recently, claimed there had been double standards.
The BT Sport pundit claimed that the likes of David Beckham and Steven Gerrard had not been criticised for moving to the MLS and that people should let Ronaldo live his life.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Alamy
Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Saudi Arabia, Football