The biggest contract in soccer history? Ronaldo signs with Al Nassr


Oleg Dubyna from Wikipedia Commons

Christiano Ronaldo in 2015 when he was on Real Madrid. On Dec. 30, 2022 Ronaldo signed with Al Nassr, making history for the largest contract in soccer history.

Oskar Barudin, News Editor

Did Ronaldo just ruin his career? Why is he still chasing money despite being one of the highest paid athletes of all time? How will this decision affect future soccer players? These questions have circulated following Christiano Ronaldo signing the largest contract in soccer history.

On Dec. 30 2022, Ronaldo signed with Saudi soccer club Al Nassr for $75 million a year, with the contract lasting until the summer of 2025

Ronaldo was born in Portugal in 1985, and in his long and tenured career has made a name for himself as one of the best soccer players to ever do it. From 2003-2009, Ronaldo was with Manchester United, a widely known premier league team. Following his presence at Manchester United, he joined Real Madrid, a La Liga team, where he would go on to claim many accolades in Spain.

Ronaldo won four of his five Ballon D’Ors with Real Madrid, and claimed four Champions League titles, until he left the club in 2018. After nearly five years of bouncing around clubs and going to Juventus and returning to Manchester United, Ronaldo signed with Al Nassr. 

Following a disappointing loss in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo was left with a decision to make due to tensions between him and his current club at that time, Manchester United. After nearly a month of thought, Ronaldo signed with Al Nassr on Dec. 30. 

To no surprise, fans were divided by his decision, questioning his decision to go play in Saudi Arabia. A Twitter user, “alpha_ace64”, voiced his opinion on the move by saying, “he should have retired but chasing clout and money is what he wants”.

Senior Michael Chang, who idolizes Ronaldo and in his eyes is the greatest soccer player of all time, is disappointed by Ronaldo signing with Al Nassr. “My GOAT (greatest of all time)  just ruined his career,” Chang said. “I think he still has a little more in the tank so him going to Al Nassr was disappointing because his career isn’t over yet”. 

Ronaldo’s choice of signing with Al Nassr is not the first of similar career choices, and will not be the last. In the summer of 2022, Gareth Bale, a premier Welsh player left Real Madrid and signed with Major League Soccer team, Los Angeles Football Club. Similar to Ronaldo, after a long and decorated career, the two chose to finish their careers in significantly worse leagues. 

Regardless of the reason, Ronaldo’s decision highlights the complex factors at play in the world of professional soccer and serves as a cautionary tale for players considering similar moves in the future.