Cristiano Ronaldo is not a unique player and his comment on the £170m deal with Saudi Arabia smacks of conceit, says Karren Brady

IN Saudi Arabia they enjoy Ronaldo’s latest adventure.

And how can this modern-day Robinson Crusoe not love his pay package, which is said to be worth over £3million a week?

Cristiano Ronaldo is now paying around £170million a year in Saudi Arabia at the age of 37


Cristiano Ronaldo is now paying around £170million a year in Saudi Arabia at the age of 37Photo credit: Getty
Karren Brady writes exclusively for Sun Sport


Karren Brady writes exclusively for Sun SportCredit: The Sun

A little research will show you that this total equals the combined earnings of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne.

Which rather suggests that Ronaldo’s new club has more money than it can afford!

Ronaldo’s £170million-a-year is seven times De Bruyne’s, which could mean he’s a seven times better player – but it doesn’t and he isn’t.

The Portuguese is in the supernova phase, emitting one final burst of eye-sore brightness before plunging into a post-football afterlife.

Any chance of a reputation to rival that of Pele or Messi seems gone.

Pele was with one club, Santos, for almost 20 years and won three World Cup medals.

Messi has one of those but also seven Ballon d’Or awards to Ronaldo’s five.

And with an eighth narrow win thanks to Argentina’s Qatar win, he too must have a real shot at a Middle East fate as his light begins to fade too.


The minor thing about these huge sums is what they’re doing to football.

It still holds onto its reputation as a game for working men: women too!

But the driving force of wages spurs the creation of haves and have-nots among clubs.

Chelsea have spent over £420m on players this season to return to the Premier League top six.

The widening divide is all but insurmountable for many even in the top flight – let alone the EFL – leading to a growing churn of the better players and a lack of competition which will sooner or later result in a drop in viewership.

A cliff is forming below the Premier League’s top six clubs, boosted by the Champion League’s millions. . . and the rest.

But back to Ronaldo – while the 37-year-old player remains a jumping jack in his pursuit of headed goals, last season’s reactions and pace have been slowed, perhaps marginally, but enough to limit his paramount effectiveness.

Not that he saw it that way. He wanted to remain the exception, the world-famous one who apparently thought he could break the rules and stand up to Erik ten Hag at Manchester United – and add an insulting TV interview to the damage.

The manager won and Ronaldo was out.

Jorge Mendes, his agent and close friend, didn’t agree to the interview because it would put off leading clubs – no manager likes a diva.

He was right and it did. So he (without his agent Mendes) went to see Al Nassr.

Perhaps there is a lot to like about Ronaldo.

He is athletic and an unstoppable goalscorer. But this recent comment smacks of conceit: “I am happy and proud to join Al Nassr. . . This contract is unique because I am a unique player. It’s normal for me.”

First off, he’s not a unique player. He does most things well and some brilliantly, but nothing that others can’t or don’t have.

Neither Messi nor Pele would say such a thing.

And constantly bumping into Ronaldo is his obsession with Messi, whose career at Barcelona has been at least as good as his at Real Madrid.

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Imagine his outrage at being benched in Portugal’s Qatar campaign compared to Messi’s miracles.

Worse, how would he live if Messi goes to the Middle East and earns in excess of £170m a year? It’s a real possibility. Cristiano Ronaldo is not a unique player and his comment on the £170m deal with Saudi Arabia smacks of conceit, says Karren Brady


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