Cristiano Ronaldo believes that the Saudi Pro League is better than Major League Soccer and says he will never play in Europe again.
The former Manchester United Real Madrid and Juventus made the surprise switch to Al-Nassr last December after his contract with Manchester United was terminated.
Several high-profile players have followed in Ronaldo’s footsteps this summer with Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Roberto Firmino and former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard among those who have made the move to Saudi Arabia.
Messi, meanwhile, opted for a different path as he was unveiled as Inter Miami’s new signing on Sunday evening after the Argentine World Cup winner opted to leave Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer earlier this summer.
Speaking after Al-Nassr were beaten 5-0 by Celta Vigo in a pre-season friendly on Monday evening, Ronaldo categorically ruled out a return to European football and believes several leagues have dropped in quality.
Ronaldo was asked about a potential return to a European club.
‘No, that door is completely closed,’
‘I’m already 38-and-a-half years old and it’s not worth it.
‘In my way of seeing football, I think Europe has lost a lot of quality.
The only league that for me has a lot of quality and is at a higher level than all the others is the Premier League.
‘The Spanish league does not have that great quality. The Portuguese league is a good league, but it is not a top, top league. The German league I think has also lost a lot.
I’m sure I won’t play in Europe again. I want to play in Saudi Arabia.
He also Asked about a possible move to MLS:
‘I think the Saudi league is much better than the United States. My team is Al-Nassr.’
Ronaldo, 38, also believes he has been the catalyst for several other players to make the move from Europe to Saudi Arabia this year.
‘100 per cent. It’s a fact,’ Ronaldo said.
‘It was going to take a year, but it was six months. I was wrong for six months.
‘But I knew this was going to happen because in the Italian league, when I went there, it was also dead and then rejuvenated.
‘Where Cristiano goes, it generates greater interest and I knew it was going to be like that.
I’m sure that next season more stars will go there [to Saudi Arabia].’