Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: AFP 23:05 p.m., June 01, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo well on his way to extending his stay in Saudi Arabia. The Portuguese striker said he wanted to "continue" to play in Saudi Arabia during his half-hearted season with his club Al-Nassr. The former Ballon d'Or winner put an end to rumours of his departure.

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo said on Thursday he wanted to "continue" playing in Saudi Arabia despite a mixed season with Al-Nassr, which ended without a trophy. The five-time Ballon d'Or, who signed at the end of December in the Saudi club, seemed to cut short the rumors of recent days about a possible loan to Newcastle, owned by Saudi investors, qualified for the next Champions League.

"I am happy here, I want to continue here and I will continue here," Ronaldo said in an interview with the Saudi Pro League, the kingdom's professional football league. "I think if they continue to do the job they want to do here, the Saudi championship can be one of the top five in the world in five years," he continued.

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Two-and-a-half contract

Ronaldo scored 14 goals in 16 matches in the Saudi league, but the Riyadh club finished in second place behind champions Al-Ittihad. At the end of December 2022, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Al Nassr for an estimated fee of more than €400 million. Since then, the Portuguese star has admitted that some local practices have surprised him, such as nightly workouts during the month of Ramadan.

"In Europe, we train more in the morning, whereas here we train in the afternoon, or in the evening, and during Ramadan, we train at 22:00," he noted. "It's strange, but it's part of an experience, of memories. I like to live these moments because you learn from these things." "I expected to win something this year, but we didn't," Ronaldo concluded. But next year I'm really confident that things will get better."