Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo faces a wait to make his Al Nassr debut because the Saudi club have exceeded their quota for foreign players, club sources told AFP on Thursday.
When he was unveiled with great fanfare on Tuesday, the 37-year-old said he was keen to play as soon as possible, starting with Thursday’s home game against Al Ta’ee.
But Ronaldo, whose deal is worth an estimated 200 million euros to June 2025, is Al Nassr’s ninth foreign player — one more than the eight allowed by Saudi football authorities.
“Al Nassr has not registered him yet because there is no vacancy for a foreign player,” one club official, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media, told AFP.
“A foreign player must leave to register Ronaldo, either by selling or by terminating the contract by mutual consent.”
Al Nassr’s foreign contingent includes Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo and forwards Anderson Talisca of Brazil and Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon.
Saudi reports said Uzbek midfielder Jaloliddin Masharipov was most likely to make way for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and Champions League record scorer.
A second club source confirmed that Ronaldo was not registered as of Thursday afternoon local time.
“There are ongoing negotiations to sell one of the players, but they have not reached their final stages yet,” he said.—AFP