“Get out of here. I spent 200 million euros and Ronaldo only knows how to say ‘siwoo’.”
These are the words of a male soccer fan who appeared in a short video circulating among soccer fans in Saudi Arabia recently. It is a sharp criticism towards Cristiano Ronaldo (38, Al Nasr), who has been sluggish without goals or assists during his debut two games. ‘Siwoo’ is a sound that Ronaldo jumps and turns back to show his back whenever he scores a goal, shouting in the meaning of “Yes, I did it”.
Al Nasr lost to Al Ittihad 1-3 in the semi-final of the Saudi Super Cup held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on the 27th and failed to advance to the final. Fans who expected many championships, such as the league championship by recruiting Ronaldo, were greatly disappointed. At the end of the match, fans chanted “Messi, Messi, Messi” towards Ronaldo.
Al Ittihad is a rival that divides the Saudi league with Al Nasr. The anger of the fans who lost to their rivals on the verge of advancing to the finals was beyond imagination. Saudi media reported that “fans stepped on Ronaldo’s shirt and demanded that he leave.”
Coach Vicente Moreno, who worked for Espanyol in Spain and took over as Al-Shabaab head coach in Saudi Arabia in July last year, cited the weather as the reason for Ronaldo’s sluggish performance. Coach Moreno said, “The first thing that surprises the players after arriving in Saudi Arabia is the heat,” and “I wonder how Ronaldo will adapt to the very hot weather.” “It may not sound like a major change, but if you’ve stuck with a specific training routine your entire life, adapting to Saudi Arabia can be difficult,” he added. 메이저놀이터
Because of the high temperatures, Saudi clubs typically only train once a day. “This in turn means that the coaching staff cannot have strong control over the players,” said Sergio Piernas, who served as assistant coach for the Saudi Arabia under-23 national team in 2021. “There are bound to be barriers to communication with colleagues,” he added. “Most Saudi players cannot speak English.”
According to the Daily Mail, Ronaldo is staying in a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh for 3,150 euros (approximately 4.42 million won) per night. His annual salary is 200 million euros (about 267.9 billion won), which is the highest in the world. According to Saudi media, only 10% of his salary is paid by the club and the remaining 90% by the Saudi government. The club plans to soon provide Ronaldo with a luxury home in an area where foreign wealthy people live. Ronaldo is a shopping fanatic. Media outlets such as the Daily Mail said, “The Riyadh shopping center was closed and Ronaldo was served so that Ronaldo could shop exclusively.”
Al-Nasr has a precarious lead in the Saudi professional league. As of 14 matches, Al Nasr has 10 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss, with 33 points. Al-Hilal is second with 32 points, and Al-Shabaab is third with 31 points. Al-Nasr’s goal is to win the league for the first time in four years. The most successful team in Saudi Arabia’s history is last year’s winner Al Hilal, with a total of 18. Al Nasr is next, staying in the ninth.
Since Ronaldo came, Al Nasr’s crowd has almost doubled, filling most of the 25,000 seats. According to data provided by Al-Nasr, Ronaldo has gained 12 million Instagram followers, 4.5 million Twitter followers and 600,000 TikTok followers since his arrival. It is unknown whether this high interest and popularity will continue. A person familiar with the Al Nasr club told the press, “The manager’s job is to develop the club. They have money, but they are not stupid.”