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The world has seen Cristiano Ronaldo peak while he played in the UEFA Champions League. Let alone surpassing, nobody has even come closer to Ronaldo’s record as the elite European League’s all-time scoring leader. Since Europe has been missing its main man after he joined Al Nassr, Saudi Clubs have reportedly been requesting the UEFA for a feature in its competitions such as the CL. Meanwhile, English club Newcastle United’s co-owner Amanda Staveley believes it won’t take long for a Saudi club to be in the UCL. At this juncture, Al Nassr has reportedly received around four invitations to compete with European teams.

Saudi Arabian sports journalist Al Harbi’s post on X refuels Cristiano Ronaldo and his fans’ hopes of a European homecoming. As per the post, Al Nassr has received five invitations to participate in international competitions at the end of this season. Notably, four of these invitations came from Europe and one from Asia. Al Harbi’s report also included that top European clubs will feature in these competitions. Besides, the journalist has added that Al Nassr is the only club in Asia to receive these invitations. It is unclear as to whether these are normal friendlies or a competition like the Riyadh Season Cup.

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Al Nassr receiving these invites is a classic case of the Riyadh side immensely benefitting from their blockbuster Cristiano Ronaldo deal. Ronaldo’s presence is at the heart of Al Nassr’s growing overseas popularity and it is no surprise considering CR7 has taken his talents to multiple European powerhouses such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. Besides these recent rumored invitations, there is yet another chance for Al Nassr or some other Saudi club to compete in the UCL. The Champions League is aiming to debut a revamped bigger format the next season.

UCL’s adoption of the Swiss format is also good news for Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr

After the ongoing season concludes, the UEFA will bid adieu to its existing 32-team format in the Champions League. Instead, it will adopt a revamped 36-team model from the 2024-2025 season. This revamped model, dubbed the Swiss format, will likely feature a team from the Saudi Pro League. Per a prior report, the European Union had invited Al Nassr behind the scenes to partake in the revamped UCL. If the reports end up being true, it would be a classic case of the UEFA giving back to Cristiano Ronaldo.

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via Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the UCL in appearances(183), goals(140), and assists(42). So it won’t be beyond the Europeans to bring back the legend’s spell-bounding action. Anyhow, Al Hilal now dominates Al Nassr in the Saudi League and other competitions, such as the Saudi Super Cup. Hence, Ronaldo’s return to European competitions is easier said than done, as the likes of Al Hilal will also push for a cross-continental feature.

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Written by

Krishna Prasad M

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Krishna Prasad is Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. Unlike others, his journey as a sports enthusiast was not colored by soccer initially. The 2006 FIFA World Cup, however, changed his perspective, as the beautiful game took up a small space in his heart.
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Edited by

Abhishek Manikandan