Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has supported Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to join Al Nassr and take his career to Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo forced his way out of Manchester United after an incendiary television interview, during which he heavily criticised the club and did irreparable damage to his already strained relationship with manager Erik ten Hag.
The 37-year-old, having been relegated to the status of an occasional substitute in Manchester, appeared determined that he could still be an important player at a top club competing in the Champions League. But a lack of offers from such teams suggested otherwise.
Doing the interview is rumoured to have ended Ronaldo’s 20-year business relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes, who was rightly concerned it would make finding a new club hard.
Ronaldo has since claimed he turned down offers from all over the world to join Al Nassr. But when Sporting Kansas City were reported to be one of the teams closest to securing a deal, it wasn’t exactly the calibre of club he seemed to have in mind when he decided to leave Manchester.
Notwithstanding the obvious riches on offer, many have suggested it was a mistake for him to pick the Saudi Pro League, which doesn’t even have major international broadcasting deals and therefore cannot be watched live in the UK or United States at present.
But Ancelotti, who worked with Ronaldo for two seasons at Real Madrid from 2013 until 2015, doesn’t see any problems with the choice.
“Ronaldo is complete, very motivated. He likes the place and the country. He is highly motivated and has made the right decision,” the Real boss said.