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Soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo signs with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr

By Steven Ford
A tweet from the Saudi Arabian soccer club Al Nassr was accompanied by a photo showing Cristiano Ronaldo holding a team jersey with his name and No. 7 on it. The deal is reportedly worth $200 million. Photo by Al Nassr FC
A tweet from the Saudi Arabian soccer club Al Nassr was accompanied by a photo showing Cristiano Ronaldo holding a team jersey with his name and No. 7 on it. The deal is reportedly worth $200 million. Photo by Al Nassr FC

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Professional soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has signed with the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in a deal worth a reported $200 million.

In a tweet from the team's Twitter account, Al Nassr FC said "the world's greatest athlete" had agreed to the move. A photo with the tweet showed Ronaldo holding up a No. 7 team jersey with his name on it.

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Ronaldo's contract will run until the middle of 2025 and is thought to be the highest salary ever paid to a professional soccer player.

The 37-year-old Portuguese athlete in November left Manchester United in an acrimonious split, saying in media interviews that he "felt betrayed" by the club and wanted "to seek a new challenge."

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Al Nassr, currently second in the Saudi league, will be the fifth club for which Ronaldo has played after time at Sporting, Real Madrid and Juventus in addition to his two separate times playing for Manchester United.

Founded in 1955 in Riyadh, Al Nassr FC is one of the oldest soccer clubs in Saudi Arabia and has won nine Saudi Premier League titles.

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Ronaldo, 37, is considered by many to one of the greatest soccer players of all time, having won won five Ballon d'Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, the most by any European player.

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He has won 34 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, and he is one of the few players to have made more than 1,100 professional career appearances. Additionally, he is the only player to score in five FIFA World Cup tournaments.

As exciting as the move might be for Ronaldo, his U.S. and U.K. fans might not be able to see him play in televised matches. The Saudi Pro League does not have a streaming or syndication deal with any network in the United States, and Saudi Arabia's two cup competitions don't have TV broadcast deals either.

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