Cristiano Ronaldo has found his new team, just a month after the bombshell interview that led to him parting ways with Manchester United. The Portuguese superstar signed with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr FC on Friday for a monstrous deal worth $75 million per year, which is the second highest annual contract in sports history, per CBS Sports.
Only Lionel Messi has signed a more lucrative annual pact than Ronaldo's reported new deal, when he signed for an outrageous $674 million ($168.5 million annually) to join FC Barcelona in 2017.
The move will effectively signal the end of his top-level playing career in Europe, but will ensure he is well compensated in the twilight years of his legendary career. The deal ends a brief free agency period for the 37-year-old after his Manchester United contract was terminated last month.
Ronaldo has already completed the parts of his medical necessary to sign the contract, while a second set of tests are expected to take place next week, sources told CBS.
The $75 million per year contract was reportedly first verbally offered in November, and Ronaldo was unable to find other serious suitors in Europe after assessing his options in the continent. Al-Nassr are expected to formally announce the deal following an away game on Saturday against Al-Khaleej.
Ronaldo has been making more headlines than usual over the past several weeks, starting with an incendiary interview that blasted Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, among others, and led to the star leaving the club effective immediately.
That was followed by a disappointing World Cup, in which Cristiano Ronaldo was removed from the starting line-up on multiple occasions en route to the European nation's demoralizing quarterfinal loss to Morocco. The decision to bench Ronaldo could have led to the sacking of longtime Portugal manager Fernando Santos afterwards.
Contact between Ronaldo and Al-Nassr began in the summer when the striker was reportedly still looking for a destination to play in Europe ahead of November's World Cup in Qatar.
Now that his time with Manchester United is formally finished and a forgettable World Cup is behind Ronaldo, he can focus on the next stage of his career in Saudi Arabia.