Ronaldo: I won’t return to Europe as its leagues lost a lot of their quality


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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese international star of Al-Nassr Club, said that the Saudi Pro League is much better than the American Major League Soccer (MLS) and that he has no plans to play in the United States or return to a team in Europe. “Returning to Europe, for me, is a closed possibility, I’m already 38-and-a-half years old and… it’s not worth it,” he said.

He made the remarks while speaking to the media after playing the first half of Al-Nassr’s preseason friendly in his native Portugal. Al-Nassr lost 5-0 to Celta Vigo of Spain in the match. When specifically asked about whether he would ever follow in the footsteps of his great rival Lionel Messi, who was unveiled as Inter Miami player on Sunday, and play in the MLS, he said: “The USA? No, the Saudi championship is much better than the USA.”

The world’s top scorer said that European football has lost a lot of quality. “The Spanish league is not of such great quality. The Portuguese league is a good league, but it is not a great league. I think the Bundesliga also lost a lot,” he said while stating, the only valid one and still doing good is the (English) Premier League. “They’re way ahead of all the other leagues,” the Portuguese captain said while claiming that in a year Saudi league will overtake the Turkish league and Dutch league.

Ronaldo, who was substituted at half-time with the score tied 0-0 in the friendly, said that he had paved the way for other top players to sign with Saudi teams and that more would make the move to the Kingdom. “In one year, more top players will come to Saudi Arabia. I opened the way to the Saudi league and now all the players are coming here.”

Several high-profile players have followed Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia, including Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema from Real Madrid and N’Golo Kante from Chelsea, who both joined the defending Saudi league champions Al-Ittihad.

Al-Nassr will play their second friendly in Portugal on Thursday, taking on domestic champions Benfica. Following his departure from Manchester United after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Ronaldo made the decision to join the Riyadh-based club Al-Nassr.

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