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Is Cristiano Ronaldo worth what’s being offered?

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If asked who the greatest football player of the modern era is, most people will say Lionel Messi of Argentina. A large minority will instead name the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo. A significant proportion of those in both camps – especially those under the age of fifty – will say that Messi and Ronaldo are the two greatest players of all time, eclipsing even Pele and Diego Maradona. Both men have lit up the world football stage for the past two decades, but both are entering the twilight of their careers. Messi will play another season for Paris Saint Germain before deciding what he wants to do next. Ronaldo’s future is less clear. He’s currently playing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup as a free agent, having been released early from his Manchester United contract after falling out with the club.

When Ronaldo first asked to leave Manchester United over the summer, the reason given was that he wanted to continue playing in the UEFA Champions League, which is an experience the Red Devils were unable to offer him this season after their poor performance in the 2021/2022 season. At the age of 37, Ronaldo is aware that he cannot defy the effects of ageing forever, and he doesn’t have long left at the peak of his game. That’s why he wanted to ensure that he had the chance to play at the highest level of them all for as long as he could – but it’s beginning to sound like an enormous cash offer might have turned his head.

As has been reported on numerous websites, including our own, Ronaldo has received an offer from the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr that would make him the highest-paid athlete in the history of world sport. The deal would last for three years, taking him to the age of forty and, presumably, retirement, and would pay him £173m per year. There are even rumours that another Saudi Arabian club will attempt to beat that offer. Ronaldo is already rich, but offers of that kind are difficult to turn down. Spending three years earning such a figure would mean that not only is Cristiano Ronaldo financially secure for life, but he could ensure the same for his children, his grandchildren, and perhaps generations of the Ronaldo family beyond that. Furthermore, becoming the highest-paid athlete in history would suit Ronaldo’s already-inflated ego.

The big question we’re asking in this article is whether there’s any metric that would make Cristiano Ronaldo worth that kind of money. He’s a global star, of course – he’s the most followed man on Instagram, and as we’ve already said, he’s one of the greatest football players of all time. It would be an incredible boost for football in Saudi Arabia to have him play in the country. It’s difficult to see how Al-Nassr could bring him in without violating FIFA’s financial fair play rules, but the effect of those rules appears to be minimal in Saudi Arabia. The club would have more people at its games than ever before and would also sell more replica shirts next season than in every previous season combined, but that might still not be enough to recoup such a monstrous spend.

To fully get its money’s worth out of Ronaldo, Al-Nassr would have to explore other commercial activities involving the superstar forward’s likeness and image. Eyecon, a casino game development company, has demonstrated how to do this without even holding an official licence. The company operates a casino game called “Striker Goes Wild,” starring a player who looks virtually identical to Cristiano Ronaldo. There are dozens of football-themed slots and games available to casino networks and their sister sites, but “Striker Goes Wild” is one of the most popular of them. Some of the credit for that can be laid at the feet of its Ronaldo clone, even if it isn’t Ronaldo himself. We can only imagine how much more money could be made by a casino game that stars the real Ronaldo. Maradona’s name and license have been used to sell casino games in the past year, so this might be something Al-Nassr could consider for Ronaldo, too.

There’s no way that the Saudi Arabian club could make its money back on the pitch. Even if television viewership increased by fifty per cent for Al-Nassr games because of Ronaldo’s presence – which is probably too much to hope for – it wouldn’t make a meaningful dent in the club’s costs. Shirt sales, as we touched on earlier, would improve, but there’s still the question of whether football fans outside Saudi Arabia would spend money on a replica shirt for a Saudi Arabian team. The answer to that might be a hard “no” regardless of the fame of the name and number on its back. Ultimately, what this might come down to is how much Al-Nassr might be willing to pay purely for the privilege and bragging rights of having Ronaldo line up for the team – and we already know the answer to this question.

In the end, it’s possible that none of this will matter. It was initially reported that Ronaldo was interested in the move, but more recently, that’s been refuted by Piers Morgan – the man to whom Ronaldo gave the interview that brought his Manchester United career to an end. Morgan believes that the Portuguese is steadfast in his desire to play for a club in the European Champions League, and that would rule all but the top teams in Europe out of contention. The question then becomes one of which big European club might take him at this stage of his career, with questions about his form and attitude. One of the leading contenders is Chelsea. How Ronaldo would fit into Graham Potter’s team is unknown, but the club’s (relatively) new owner Todd Boehly is known to be a huge Ronaldo fan and would view him as a marquee signing regardless of his age. Bayern Munich is another possible – but less likely – solution.

In the end, nothing’s ever boring where Ronaldo is concerned. His is a name that’s always in the headlines and always attracts attention – and perhaps that explains why Al-Nassr is willing to pay such big money better than anything else.

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Ari Lennox Releases Video For Waste My Time
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