Rio Ferdinand slams criticism of Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Al Nassr
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Rio Ferdinand has defended Cristiano Ronaldo's decision to move to play in Saudi Arabia for Al-Nassr.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner revealed that he will be joining the side in the middle east, after no top European side stepped up to sign the former Manchester United forward.
Ronaldo had been a free agent from before the World Cup in Qatar, leaving United for a second time after an interview with Piers Morgan meant a future in Manchester was no longer possible.
At 37-years-old he now takes on a new challenge,
Players have headed to Qatar, China and Saudi Arabia in the past, but the former United defender Ferdinand was quick to compare it to the MLS.
He made the comparison to how players didn't get criticism for going to play in the USA, and he believes if anyone deserves a move like this, it's his former teammate Ronaldo.
"It was great to see David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, it was great to see them go to America,' Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE podcast. 'What a way to finish their careers, getting great money, going to a league that's not as competitive, they've deserved that, they've earned the right.
"That's all I saw in the media. But because it's Saudi Arabia, it's a disgrace, its sad. Let a man go and live, let a man go and enjoy it. It's a new adventure he's taking his family to experience a new culture.
"Every single country in the world has its issues, so America have got less issues than Saudi, have they? But its fine for all these players to go to America. Let's let them go to the States and have a swansong year and just toss it off."
However, fans have pointed back to the interview he did with Morgan, where he dismissed the possibility of a move to Saudi Arabia, claiming he would never make the move for money.
But Ferdinand doesn't agree with the criticism.
"I don't like it. It stinks we're not hearing this type of talk. It's out of order.
"Everyone should be treated the same. Every other player that's gone to a less competitive league to end their career has been told you've earned the right. No man on the planet would have earned the right more than this guy."
And the Portuguese star justified his decision to move, claiming he had already achieved everything he had set out to do in Europe.
Ronaldo could make his debut fairly soon, as Al-Nassr face two big games in the league and cup in January.
However, fans in the US and the UK will not be able to watch Ronaldo's games due to the TV rights that are held in the country and league.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Football, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rio Ferdinand, Saudi Arabia