Months After Landing Cristiano Ronaldo, Al Nassr Crosses $500,000,000 in Returns Thanks to His Global Popularity

Published 09/10/2023, 8:00 AM EDT

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The Saudi Pro League kick-started its transformation by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United last season. The 5x Ballon d’Or winner’s transfer has reaped rich dividends for the league. And, as per a recent report, Al Nassr’s returns from signing the iconic forward have crossed well over the $500 million value of his contract.

Following Ronaldo’s move to the Gulf, the SPL signed a flurry of superstars from Europe and have also invested heavily in infrastructure, with the likes of Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, and Neymar joining the mass exodus from Europe.

Returns from Ronaldo deal have crossed investment as per journalist


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It’s commonplace for business owners to look at significant ROI after making an investment. But the Ronaldo transfer raised many eyebrows for the $500 million package Al Nassr was offering the Portuguese superstar.

Saudi clubs spent close to $957 million on transfers, with Al-Hilal’s spend making up almost one-third of the total.  Comparatively, Premier League clubs spent a record $2.9 billion during the 2023 summer transfer window, exceeding the $2.46 billion spent last summer. Notably, two clubs, Fulham and Liverpool, saw 100% of their transfer income come from the Saudi Pro League.


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According to a recent tweet by a journalist, the returns from Ronaldo’s deal are higher than his contract value. The tweet on X translated from Arabic states: “The financial and marketing returns from the ‘Ronaldo’ deal for #AlNassr are higher than the value of his contract.”

While the SPL are netting positive returns from their Ronaldo deal, they are, nevertheless, finding it difficult to fill stadiums. According to the figures from August, stadiums where SPL matches took place were 75% empty. This is despite the star power the league boasts. Furthermore, it reveals how the Saudi league needs to improve on drawing in crowds and the popularity of the sport in the country.

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Meanwhile, for Cristiano Ronaldo, his Euro 2024 qualifier against Slovakia didn’t go as planned.

Cristiano Ronaldo underwhelms for Portugal in Euro 2024 qualifier


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The Portuguese star put in a below-average performance against Slovakia, which saw him slated by critics worldwide. According to Ale Moreno, a pundit on the ESPN FC podcast, Ronaldo is seeing a ‘decline’ much ahead of Messi.

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But Portugal ended up winning their game against Slovakia despite their captain’s shocker of a performance. CR7’s former Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes scored the only goal of the match, resulting in Portugal maintaining their 100% record in the Euro 2024 Qualifiers.


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Now, it’s certain that the Portuguese icon, Ronaldo, will look to put this tumultuous international break aside and start firing again for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, and perhaps guide the club to winning the SPL this season.

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Written by:

Gaurav Krishnan


One take at a time

With extensive knowledge & over 8+ years of experience as a soccer journalist, Gaurav knows the intricacies of the beautiful game inside out and is now working with EssentiallySports. He played as a No.10 on the pitch during his younger years, modeling his game around his idol Zinedine Zidane.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra