Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo came close to continuing his career in MLS before finally choosing Saudi Arabia, where the player signed with Al-Nassr in return for a mountain of money on Friday.
According to reports from various sources, including MLSSoccer.com, there was a “real possibility” the 37-year-old striker would end up with Sporting Kansas City.
Ronaldo has been chatting with SKC for weeks, it seems, and the offer from the Kansas club was very tempting. Sporting owned Ronaldo’s rights (« discovery rights ») in the event of a move to MLS. The club had prepared a very detailed plan if the player, a planetary star of professional sport, was hired.
Former player turned analyst Taylor Twellman clarified that several MLS clubs had contacted the Portuguese, but that Kansas City was several steps ahead of everyone.
Unfortunately for North American soccer fans, the former glory of Real Madrid and Juventus chose Al-Nassr and his two-and-a-half-year contract worth close to C$300 million.
Ronaldo had been without a club for a few weeks after leaving Manchester United, where manager Erik ten Hag confined him to the bench most of the time.
The famous number 7 is therefore likely to end his European career after collecting trophies and Ballons d’Or over the past two decades.