Cristiano Ronaldo has propelled Al-Nassr to the fourth spot on the list of most social media interactions generated by football clubs in January, as per Spanish outlet DeporFinanzas (h/t AS).
The Portugal icon officially joined them on New Year's Day as a free agent on a contract that will see him earn $200 million in yearly wages. The mammoth investment is starting to show results on and off the pitch.
He has played a direct part in all of his team's last 10 goals across competitions, amassing eight goals and two assists in six games for his new club. Off the pitch, he has made Al-Nassr one of the most popular clubs on social media.
The Saudi Pro League giants reportedly generated 150 million total social media interactions in the month of January. They are behind Barcelona (203 million), Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) [207 million] and Real Madrid (209 million) but are ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United.
Manchester City (9th), Chelsea (11th), Arsenal (14th), and Liverpool (17th) are the other representatives from the Premier League on the list. Al-Nassr also received around 12.5 million interactions on Twitter, which is behind only Barcelona and Galatasaray.
They also rank fifth in terms of follower growth on Instagram, while their TikTok posts amassed a total of 166 million views.
The club have gained close to 13 million followers since Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival. They will hope his influence extends onto the pitch as well. The Riyadh-based outfit currently lead the table by two points after 18 league games.
Agent reveals Serie A side rejected chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo long before Al-Nassr transfer
Agent Alessandro Moggi has revealed that SS Lazio rejected the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo during the early years of his career.
Sergio Cragnotti, who was Lazio's president until 2002, was reportedly offered the chance to sign the current Al-Nassr centre-forward by superagent Jorge Mendes. However, he rejected the offer and remarked that he would instead want to sign Ronaldo Nazario if he was available.
Moggi told Calciomercato.com (h/t GOAL):
"Mendes was a good friend of [ex-sporting director Gianmarco] Calleri, we proposed Cristiano to [then-president Sergio] Cragnotti, but he answered that he didn’t want him, that he would have wanted the ‘real’ Ronaldo, so there wasn’t even a negotiation."
Cristiano Ronaldo has since gone on to win five UEFA Champions League titles and as many Ballon d'Or awards in his career. Lazio, meanwhile, haven't won a Scudetto or played in a Champions League knockout game since the 1999-2000 season.
Mendes and Cristiano Ronaldo broke off their ties in 2022 when the latter wanted to engineer an exit from Manchester United.