Saudi Arabian sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faizal recently hailed the impact that Cristiano Ronaldo has had since his arrival at Al-Nassr.
The Saudi Pro League (SPL) was not as widely recognized across the globe as it is now. Its popularity has spiked immensely, thanks to Ronaldo's move to the Middle East. The league is now broadcasted in 137 different countries across the globe.
The arrival of a superstar like Ronaldo was bound to give the league a great amount of recognition. The reality has been just that so far. Al Faizal hailed the Portuguese ace for his impact, saying (via The Athletic):
“I’ll give you an example, just by Ronaldo coming we have 137 channels around the world broadcasting the Saudi league. We wanted that in the beginning but they said they were not interested, but since one player came now it’s all over the world.”
“There is a possibility to come to a new place and grow the development of sport, and we saw that with Ronaldo coming and how the attraction happened all over the world.”
Cristiano Ronaldo's impact hasn't just been outside the pitch. He has taken a leading role in Al-Nassr's attack as well, scoring nine goals and providing two assists in 10 games this term.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner recently bagged his first home goal, scoring a 30-yard rocket of a free kick against Abha at Mrsool Park in an SPL clash.
Cristiano Ronaldo back on international duty with Portugal
Portugal are set to play Liechtenstein and Luxembourg in their upcoming UEFA Euro qualifiers and Cristiano Ronaldo will be a part of the team for the matches.
Ronaldo wasn't at his best during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and was even benched for Portugal's knockout matches. The legendary number 7, though, is back on international duty.
Speaking about Ronaldo's inclusion, newly-appointed Portugal coach Roberto Martinez said (via Fabrizio Romano):
"Cristiano Ronaldo is a very committed player. He can bring experience and is a very important figure for the team. I don't look at age."
Ronaldo has made 196 appearances in international football during his career, scoring 118 goals and providing 43 assists.