Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr transfer will be a 'challenge' says Barcelona manager Xavi - "I played against several of their teams" 

Barcelona manager Xavi spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo
Barcelona manager Xavi spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has shared his bits on Cristiano Ronaldo's headline-grabbing transfer to Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr. Ronaldo will earn a mammoth €200 million per year with the Riyadh-based club. The amount is inclusive of image rights and other promotional deals.

Xavi has previously played in the Middle East for Qatari side Al Sadd. The Spaniard was also the coach of Al Sadd before taking over at Camp Nou.

Ronaldo has played for clubs like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, and Sporting CP during his career. He is the leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League and a record five-time winner.

Given his accolades, the consensus belief is that the Saudi Arabian league would not be much of a challenge for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. Xavi, however, refuted the notion.

He opined that Cristiano Ronaldo will be challenged in Saudi Arabia. The point of view comes from Xavi's experience of playing against some of the teams of the SPL during his time in Asia.

The Barcelona manager said (via GOAL):

"He has signed for one of the best clubs in Saudi Arabia, but it's a challenge. This league is very complicated. I played against several of their teams when I coached Al Sadd. It will be a challenge."

Ronaldo is yet to make his Al Nassr debut since making the move. He was handed a two-game suspension by the FA for smashing an Everton fan's phone back in April. The Portuguese ace is halfway through his ban at the moment.

Ronaldo's debut in Saudi Arabian football might come against his eternal rival Lionel Messi. Saudi Arabian All-Star XI is set to take on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Riyadh Super Cup on January 19.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr is eyeing a move for Barcelona legend

Cristiano Ronaldo is Officially Unveiled as Al Nassr Player
Cristiano Ronaldo is Officially Unveiled as Al Nassr Player

Al Nassr are not content with signing Cristiano Ronaldo. They are also eyeing up a move for Barcelona stalwart Sergio Busquets. The SPL side is reportedly ready to offer the Spanish World Cup winner an appealing salary of €13 million.

The Spaniard is currently in the final months of his contract with the Catalan club. At 34, Busquets has lost a yard or two in his game. Al Nassr might very well be a tempting retirement home for the midfielder.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann