Cristiano Ronaldo's Saudi Arabia debut DELAYED after receiving ban

The former Man Utd star’s salary is £160million-per-year

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut for his new side Al Nassr has been delayed after an incident that took place when he was still a Manchester United player.

The 37-year-old, who is set to earn a whopping £160million-per-year in a contract he described as “unique”, said he had been chased by clubs from around the world, but he put pen to paper on a deal until 2025 with Al Nassr as he declared “in Europe, my work is done.”

But the first appearance on the pitch for his new Saudi Arabian club will have to wait because of a ban he received when playing for Manchester United.

The Portuguese star has been banned for two matches for hitting a mobile phone out of a 14-year-old fan’s hand against Everton in the Premier League in April 2022.

Cristiano Ronaldo's first match will not take place this week
Cristiano Ronaldo's first match will not take place this week

Despite the ban put in place by the Football Association, it will carry over under the jurisdiction of the FA and it will also be transferred to a new association, meaning his debut will be delayed by at least two weeks.

As a result, his first match for Al Nassr could in fact be against long-term rival Lionel Messi.

The Argentine forward’s Paris Saint-Germain will be taking on the Saudi All-Star XI on January 19 in the Riyadh Season Cup.

In November 2022, when issuing the ban, the FA said: “Cristiano Ronaldo has been suspended for two matches, fined £50,000 and warned as to his future conduct for a breach of FA rule E3.

“The forward admitted that his conduct after the final whistle of the Premier League game between Manchester United FC and Everton FC on Saturday 9 April 2022 was improper.

“An independent regulatory commission found that his conduct was both improper and violent during a subsequent hearing, and imposed these sanctions.”

His first appearance could be against Lionel Messi
His first appearance could be against Lionel Messi

At his first public appearance for his new club, Ronaldo told a press conference: “I’m feeling very good. I’m so proud to make this big decision in my life.

“In Europe, my work is done; I won everything, I played at the most important clubs in Europe and for me now, it’s a new challenge.

“This is a great opportunity. Nobody knows this but I had many opportunities in Europe, many clubs in Brazil, in Australia, in the US and even in Portugal.

“Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club to develop not only the football but other parts of this amazing country.”

Al Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia, formerly of Roma, Marseille and Lyon, hailed Ronaldo as a terrific coup for the club.