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Cristiano Ronaldo won't even play in Asian Champions League this season after joining Al Nassr

Josh Lawless

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Cristiano Ronaldo won't even play in Asian Champions League this season after joining Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo won't play Champions League football in any form this season after signing for Saudi Arabia side Al Nassr.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner went into the World Cup as a free agent after his Manchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent in November.

It came after his controversial interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV. Ronaldo has signed a two-year deal with Al Nassr and with commercial and sponsorship agreements taken into account, he's set to earn a record $200 million overall.

Prior to moving to the Middle East, Ronaldo had talked about wanting to continue playing in the Champions League, where he is the competition's record goalscorer.

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However, no offers from Europe came in for the 37-year-old and for the first time in his career, he will no longer play his club football in the continent.

But as a result of his much-maligned free transfer, he will also not even be playing in the Asian Champions League.

Managed by former Lille, Roma and Lyon boss Rudi Garcia, Al Nassr finished third in the Saudi Pro League last season and therefore did not qualify for the tournament.

They finished runners up in the Asian Champions League 28 years ago and their last title came in 2019.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Al Nassr are leading the way in the league so far after 11 games though, currently ahead of second-placed Al-Shabab by one point.

After bagging goals aplenty for Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, the Sporting CP youth product feels his European exploits are complete.

"I am fortunate that I have won everything I set out to win in European football," Ronaldo said after his signing was confirmed.

"I feel now that this is the right moment to share my experience in Asia.

"Al-Nassr's vision is very inspiring and impressive. I look forward to a different league experience in a different country. I am excited to join my team-mates as soon as possible."

Ronaldo could make his debut on Thursday as Al Nassr take on Al Ta'ee.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Asian Champions League

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia, Manchester United, Champions League

Josh Lawless
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