Cristiano Ronaldo has changed environments drastically, at least as football goes, leaving storied Manchester United of the ultraluxe English Premier League (where he cut his teeth) to join Al-Nassr FC in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His new first-place Saudi squad plays what will likely be a star-struck Al-Shabab on Saturday, as Ronaldo and his enormous reputation take the field.
Ronaldo’s transfer no doubt nets the superstar untold millions, but Ronaldo and his new club are positioning him less as a highly-paid soccer dominator and more as a soccer evangelist, bringing the beautiful game to the people.
(Sort of what Pele did in the 70s for America with the New York Cosmos.)
And by people, they evidently mean all of the people, women included — it’s all part of Saudi Arabia’s stated objectives to modernize its society and diversify its economy. Indeed, the Saudi club’s initial Ronaldo announcement explicitly mentioned “girls” saying how his presence would inspire “future generations, boys and girls.”
But in Ronaldo’s first social shares from the pitch, it’s understandably all male camaraderie on display, as the star gets downright cuddly with his new teammates in Riyadh, including Jaloliddin Masharipov and goalkeeper David Ospina.
Ronaldo, who is famous for hiking his shorts to show off his leg muscles, gives the other players an Instagram lesson on how to pose in the slideshow below.
Swipe to the second slide and you’ll see Ronaldo’s erumpent quadriceps in full flex. Is it part of his contract? Or is he just proving that no matter where he is, Ronaldo will always be true to himself.