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Cristiano Ronaldo will reportedly join Al Nassr in January

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Cristiano Ronaldo has finalized phrases on a outstanding transfer to Saudi Arabian membership Al Nassr, in accordance with Spanish media experiences.

On the eve of Portugal’s spherical of 16 conflict with Switzerland (Tuesday, 2 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App) and fewer than an hour earlier than a nationwide group press convention, a report from Madrid newspaper Marca acknowledged Ronaldo will formally join Al Nassr on Jan. 1 subsequent 12 months.

The 37-year-old celebrity, universally thought-about to be among the finest two gamers of his technology alongside Lionel Messi, left Manchester United earlier than the World Cup after an acrimonious fallout with the membership and an explosive departure interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.

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It was initially anticipated he would search to maneuver to a different main European membership, however Al Nassr moved shortly to make a proposal and seem to have landed its man. The financial figures had been predictably eye-popping, with a wage of $200 million per 12 months being talked about.

It is predicted the Ronaldo will additionally function a promotional ambassador for Saudi Arabia, which is in competition to host the 2030 World Cup.

Ronaldo, as all the time, has been focus throughout this match, and it was no completely different Monday. Not solely did the information of his Saudi transfer overshadow preparations for the Switzerland recreation, however particulars additionally emerged of a problem with head coach Fernando Santos.

During Portugal s defeat to South Korea in its last group recreation, tv cameras picked up Ronaldo yelling in criticism at being substituted. At the time, Santos believed Ronaldo was merely irked at a South Korean participant telling him to go away the sphere extra shortly, however later discovered the reality.

“Yes, I didn’t prefer it, in no way,” Santos mentioned Monday. “I actually didn’t prefer it. We handled this internally.  From that second onwards, every thing is completed — full cease on that problem. It is solved, we fastened it, and that’s it.”

However, Santos refused to substantiate if Ronaldo would stay as Portugal captain and if certainly he could be in the beginning lineup towards Switzerland. 

“I will solely determine who’s going to be the captain after I attain the stadium,” Santos added. “I don’t know the lineup. That’s what I all the time do. What I’ve all the time finished is give attention to the rapid match. I’m not nervous if one report is correct or incorrect.” 

Regarding the Al Nassr transfer, Santos mentioned Ronaldo had not knowledgeable him of the scenario by the point he left Portugal’s group to journey to the press convention. 

“I haven’t spoken to him about this,” Santos added. “We had a dialog with the gamers, however I didn’t learn about this. To be trustworthy, somebody simply instructed me about it a couple of minutes in the past. 

“That’s his choice, that’s what he has to take care of. We are completely targeted on the World Cup.”

Portugal gained every of its first two video games towards Ghana and Uruguay, earlier than dropping to South Korea in a contest that didn’t have an effect on its place on the prime of Group H.

Victory towards Switzerland would arrange a quarterfinal towards the winner of Spain vs. Morocco on Tuesday (10 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). 

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Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the writer of the FOX Sports Insider e-newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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