Ronaldo hopes of Al-Nassr reunion with two Real Madrid stars dashed
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Cristiano Ronaldo has suffered another Al-Nassr setback after Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti ruled out Saudi moves for Karim Benzema and Luka Modric. The Los Blancos duo had been linked with transfers to the Middle East in January.
Al-Nassr were rumoured to be interested in attracting either Benzema or Modric to Riyadh to link up with Ronaldo. But Ancelotti took a swipe at the speculation on Wednesday, insisting both players will remain at the Bernabeu for the rest of their careers.
The former Everton boss said the Madrid legends would see out their playing days with the club, and does not expect either to want to move to the Saudi Pro League. Ronaldo will therefore be denied a reunion with his former team-mates.
In a withering put-down of Al-Nassr, Ancelotti said: “I don’t think Benzema or Modric are going to come to my office, because I don’t think they need my advice. The legends of Madrid have to stay in Madrid, and retire here. That’s what I think and we’re talking about two legends.”
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Ronaldo has endured a tough start to life in Saudi Arabia. The Manchester United icon has failed to score in his first two matches, while his new club were dumped out of the Saudi Super Cup last weekend.
Al-Nassr boss Rudi Garcia appeared to blame Ronaldo for missing an excellent chance in the 3-1 cup exit against Al-Ettihad. “One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed opportunity in the first half,” the Frenchman said.
Ronaldo penned an eye-watering £175m per-year deal to join Al-Nassr in January. It came after a valiant effort to find a club in Europe following his November axe by Man Utd, including training at Real’s Valdebebas base in view of first-team coaches.
But Ancelotti decided not to sign Ronaldo and has now denied him another reunion with his former colleagues. The Saudis believe they have pulled off a coup by tempting the 37-year-old striker to the Gulf nation, handing him an incredible contract.
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They believe they can keep Ronaldo for the remainder of his career, with the player’s deal taking him beyond the age of 40. However, Garcia appeared to suggest that Ronaldo will return to Europe before too long.
He said: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a positive addition, as he helps to disperse defenders. He is one of the best players in the world. He will not finish his career at Al Nassr, he will return to Europe.”
Ronaldo will next feature for Al-Nassr in their Saudi Pro League clash with Al-Fateh on Saturday. He will be hoping to score his first goal for his new side.
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