January 27, 2023

RIO FERDINAND defended Cristiano Ronaldo for cashing in on mega money by moving to Saudi Arabia.

Ferdinand believes Ronaldo “deserves” his £173m-a-year contract with Al-Nasr – just like Wayne Rooney and David Beckham were worth their lucrative swan songs in the US.



Cristiano Ronaldo is reportedly set to become the highest paid athlete in history after joining top Saudi club Al Nasr.1 credit
Rio Ferdinand believes Ronaldo's move to Saudi Arabia has been criticized unfairly as every country has its own problems.


Rio Ferdinand believes Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia has been criticized unfairly as every country has its own problems.1 credit

Portugal legend Ron, 37, has chosen a country criticized for human rights violations after European clubs reportedly showed little interest.

But fellow Manchester United legend Ferdinand believes “no other person on the planet” has earned a transfer as lucrative as Ronaldo’s.

The former England centre-back is outraged by claims that it is ‘sad’ and ‘shameful’ that Ron chose Saudi Arabia.

Ferdinand told his Vibe with FIVE podcast: “Let a man go and live, let a man go and enjoy it.”


United terminated Ronaldo’s contract by mutual consent in mid-November after he criticized the club in a TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan.

And it is believed that he signed a 2.5-year playing contract with Al-Nasr.

He will then reportedly become an ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup with Egypt and Greece.


But Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville were unhappy with the move.


Former Liverpool star Carragher said: “It’s a sad end for him, isn’t it.


“Ronaldo ended his career interviewing Piers Morgan and Messi won the World Cup.”

And former United defender Neville added: “I thought he would want to stay in Europe.

“It tells me that the offers are overwhelming and the clubs didn’t agree to him.

“For me there is an element of sadness – () the last of Ronaldo at the highest level. Looks like Cristiano is ending his career in Saudi Arabia.”

But Ferdinand told his podcast: “It was great to see David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, it was great to see them go to America.

“What a way to end your career, get big money, move into a league that is not as competitive, they deserve it, they deserve the right.

“That’s all I saw in the media. But since this is Saudi Arabia, it’s a shame, it’s sad.

“It’s a new adventure where he takes his family to experience a new culture.

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“Every country in the world has its own problems, so America has fewer problems than Saudi Arabia, right?

“I do not like this. It smells like we don’t hear that kind of talk. It’s out of order.”

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