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‘I wanted to bring Lionel Messi’

First Published Jan 2, 2023, 6:16 PM IST

Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr after his contract terminated with Manchester United. Meanwhile, the Knights of Najd boss Rudi Garcia joked that he wanted Lionel Messi over the Portuguese.

Image credit: Al Nassr/Facebook

Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a different course in his professional football career, signing with Saudi Arabian giants Al Nassr after mutually parting ways with English giants Manchester United last November. His contract with the Red Devils was terminated after his explosive interview with football journalist Piers Morgan, where he slammed the club and its head coach Erik ten Hag. Following his departure, there was reportedly no bid or interest from any European club. At the same time, the Knights of Najd put forward a lucrative offer, which Ronnie accepted last week, making him the highest-earning player. However, the club boss Rudi Garcia recently cracked a joke about his signing involving his long-time Argentine rival Lionel Messi.

Image credit: Al Nassr/Facebook

On Monday, when asked about Ronaldo’s signing, Garcia jokingly said that he wanted to sign Messi since the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, which he won, completing his resume. Unlike Messi, Ronaldo and Portugal were ousted in the tournament’s quarterfinals. “First, I wanted to bring Messi from Doha. I tried to bring Messi directly from Doha,” he said, reports 90min.

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Image credit: Al Nassr/Facebook

Even before Ronaldo’s Al Nassr career gets underway, Garcia’s comments could put their working relationship at risk here. He is expected to make his Asian debut on Thursday during the Knights of Najd’s home meeting with Al-Ta’ee during the Roshn Saudi League, followed by the encounter against Al-Shabab on Saturday, away from home.

Image credit: Getty

Meanwhile, when ten Hag was asked about Ronaldo signing with Al Nassr, he firmly stated, “I don’t talk about the past. Let’s talk about the future. We made a good step today. The first time we are in the top four. It means nothing because it is a long way to go. We have to live from game to game, get in the position to win something.”

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