Ronaldo’s Saudi debut on hold over player quota: sources

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