Christiano Ronaldo is expected to earn €200 million to promote Saudi Arabia’s joint 2030 World Cup bid in addition to his club salary, a source close to his club told AFP Monday.
The Portuguese superstar, 37, unveiled to thousands of Al Nassr fans in Riyadh last week, is by far the most famous player to sign for a club in Saudi or any other Gulf country.
The oil-rich kingdom, along with Egypt and Greece, is bidding to host world football’s 2030 showpiece tournament, and Ronaldo’s ambassadorial role will bring his reported earnings in the country to over €400 million ($428 million).
“Ronaldo will be paid more than €200 million ($214 million) for the deal,” said the source, with knowledge of the deal but who requested anonymity.
“He will be an ambassador for the Saudi World Cup 2030 bid for another €200 million.”
The arrival of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus player came just weeks after neighbouring Qatar became the first Arab nation to host the World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who has also won the Champions League five times and holds that tournament’s goal-scoring record, is expected to make his Al Nassr debut on January 22.
The deal was backed by senior royals who support Al Nassr, including Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — widely known as “MBS” — the source said.