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Cristiano Ronaldo wants long-time friend Pepe to join Al-Nassr; will Portugal legend oblige?

First Published Jan 6, 2023, 7:33 PM IST

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly wants legendary Portugal defender Pepe, with whom the striker has played countless games together, to be part of Al-Nassr’s sporting project. Will the former Real Madrid star consider moving to Saudi Arabia.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, who is yet to make his debut for his new club Al-Nassr, has reportedly integrated himself into the daily work of the Saudi Arabian side. The Portuguese talisman’s arrival in the Gulf Nation and the Saudi Pro League indicates that other iconic players are on the horizon as they strive to become ‘The Real Madrid of Asia’. According to reports, the former Real Madrid superstar would like to have one of his faithful and long-time friend Pepe by his side at Al-Nassr.

Also read: Ronaldo effect in Saudi Arabia: Pitch invaders imitate ‘Siuuu’ celebration during Al-Ittihad vs Al-Hilal game

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According to MARCA, Pepe’s name cropped up in conversations between Ronaldo and Al-Nassr after landing in Riyadh earlier this week for his official unveiling. The centre-back, who plays for FC Porto, has reportedly become one of the Saudi Arabian club’s desired targets. Pepe and Ronaldo have played in numerous games for Portugal and Real Madrid. Their bromance at Bernabeu was legendary, and although the two went their separate ways after their stint at Los Blancos, they continue to be close pals. The two form the core of the Portugal national football team, and the recent World Cup 2022 in Qatar proved their deep respect for each other.

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During an interview in 2021, Pepe spoke about his equation with Ronaldo and also called him one of the greatest players to have graced the sport. “I deeply admire Cris and people know this from our time in Madrid. To me, he is the best player in football history. He managed to do what no other player did before him. Ronald won in England, Spain, Italy, and with the Portugal National Team. We are 10 million people here. He was our captain and a lot of people criticize him without knowing what happens within,” the Portuguese central defender told TNT Sport Brasil.

Also read: ‘Ronaldo not an activist’: Fans slam Amnesty for urging Al-Nassr star to highlight Saudi’s human rights issues

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Pepe will turn 40 in February, but his recent display at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar indicated that the icon could continue to play football at the top level. He is doing it at FC Porto and reportedly has a chance to showcase his talent and rekindle his magic with Ronaldo at Al-Nassr.

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