Ronaldo closes door on European return
Cristiano Ronaldo has officially closed the door on a potential return to European football.
Following his current club Al-Nassr’s 5-0 defeat to Celta Vigo in a friendly match on Monday, the legendary Portuguese player claimed that he would not return to European competition in the future.
“I won’t return to European football, the door is completely closed,” Ronaldo said.
While Ronaldo is still an elite player, this is not too shocking. Ronaldo is 38 years old, meaning he is no longer at the peak of his power. The fact that he is still playing, both professionally and for the Portuguese national team, is incredibly impressive. However, as he continues to approach 40, his time as a high-level professional is quickly coming to an end.
He also left European soccer last winter in a blaze of fire. Ronaldo departed his former club Manchester United in January after a frustrating start to the 2022-23 season. His interview with Piers Morgan was the final nail in the coffin, ending his time with United.
After the interview, no elite European club was willing to take Ronaldo. With seemingly nowhere else to turn, he moved to Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League where he currently plays.
However, this is not why Ronaldo has ruled out a return to European football. While he did acknowledge his age, he also claimed that the European leagues’ decrease in quality is a key reason he will not be returning.
“I’m 38 years old, also European football has lost lot of quality … only valid one is Premier League, they’re way ahead of all the other leagues,” he said.
This comment was rather ironic considering the timing. He made these comments after Al-Nassr lost by five goals to Celta Vigo. Celta Vigo finished 13th in La Liga last season. If his club can’t compete with a mid-table Spanish team, how is he going to claim that leagues like La Liga are now lacking in quality?
While the Saudi Pro League has definitely increased in quality during the last year, it is nowhere near European football. The best players and teams in the world can still be found in Europe, not Saudi Arabia.
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