EPL

Cristiano Ronaldo 'soap opera' is 'important promotion' for Al Nassr

By Sports Desk December 14, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo would be easy to coach and the "soap opera" surrounding his links to Al Nassr have been "important promotion" for the club, says boss Rudi Garcia.

Portugal great Ronaldo remains a free agent after his contract with Manchester United was ended by mutual consent following his incendiary interview with Piers Morgan in which he criticised the club's hierarchy and manager Erik ten Hag.

Reports surfaced earlier this month suggesting the Real Madrid legend had agreed an eye-watering two-and-a-half-year contract with Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr.

Ronaldo later denied any decision regarding his future had been decided, but Portugal exiting the World Cup at the quarter-final stage means he is free to focus on his next move.

Al Nassr coach Garcia would be more than happy to have the 37-year-old in his ranks, saying the situation would be similar to when he had Francesco Totti working under his tutelage at Roma.

"I can't say anything about Cristiano because otherwise it would immediately appear in the headlines," he told AS.

"What I see is that it has been a soap opera and it has been a very important promotion for Al Nassr.

"I think that any coach would be delighted to train a great star like Cristiano. I have always thought that the great players are the easiest to manage because they are very intelligent, I verified this with Francesco Totti at Roma."

According to Garcia, if circumstances had played out differently he would already have experienced what it is like to coach Ronaldo.

The Frenchman claimed to have been in discussions about taking over United on a temporary basis following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal before the Red Devils plumped for Ralf Rangnick instead.

"In November 2021, I was very close to going to United," he added. 

"They chose Ralf Rangnick, but I met twice with John Murtough and Darren Fletcher [United's director of football and technical director]. 

"I came very close to coaching this club and was very motivated to go, who wouldn't be motivated to coach United? 

"United's simple interest has allowed me to be sure of my ambitions in the future."

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