Don't go! Cristiano Ronaldo to Al-Hilal would prove Ten Hag right

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 25 Nov 2022 12:00 GMT 3 min read
Cristiano Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo faces what might be the last big decision of his professional career following his release from Manchester United.

Does the five-time Ballon d’Or winner gamble that a major European club will take a chance on him during the January transfer window or does he chase riches by moving to Saudi Arabia, where both Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr are waiting to offer him huge deals.

Ronaldo has little need for money. His net worth is disputed but its generally agreed that is worth well in excess of €100 million thanks to a career of excellence at the summit of the game.

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His problem, though, is that he prospected for a move in Europe but did not receive an offer that was to his satisfaction.

Little appears to have changed in the intervening period, during which he scored only three times for Manchester United before being cast out in disgrace following an interview that was not given the OK by the club.

Bayern Munich need a striker but don’t appear to have Ronaldo in their plans, Chelsea’s interest has faded while Real Madrid don’t seem to be interested, despite ongoing concerns over Karim Benzema’s fitness.

MORE: Maguire defends Ronaldo after Man Utd exit

Time to think of retirement?

Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo

Doubtless, all of these options would be more attractive to the Portugal international than a switch to Saudi.

Indeed, if Ronaldo was to take the option of Al-Hilal or Al-Nassr, it would simply serve to prove Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag correct: he is no longer cut out for the top level of the game.

At 37, one of the most decorated players in the world has no need to play in a retirement competition like the Saudi Professional League.

He would add nothing to his footballing legacy by going to Al-Hilal, and while his already impressive bank balance may become healthier still with a jaunt to the Middle East, it would simply confirm the fact that he is finished.

Cristiano Ronaldo is not a man to accept defeat so readily, but if Saudi Arabia really is his best option in January, it's time to think about quitting.