The former England midfielder believes Rondalo “still has a lot of football to offer”. he credits him with boosting the sport’s popularity
Former England midfielder Steven Gerrard has praised Cristiano Ronaldo for joining Saudi Arabia’s professional football league and the impact he has had on the sport.
Speaking in an interview with the Saudi Pro League, Gerrard called Ronaldo “one of the best players” to ever play the game and revealed that he was influenced to join the Saudi Football League by Ronaldo’s decision to join Al Nasr.
“The arrival of the ‘GOAT’ as we call it [Ronaldo]arriving in January apparently [was] a massive signing,” he said.
“He still had a lot of football to offer. So, from afar, for six months, I watched his [Rondalo’s] results, in the league, watching some games and watching some highlights. I think since that time, the championship around the world had become a very popular talking point for everyone. After his [Rondalo’s] The arrival, even more, big signings, talents and skill sets were coming into the league.”
“At the time it coincided with me being out of the game and looking for my next opportunity, so I was intrigued from afar and when my agent brought up some opportunities in the Bay Area at the time, I was intrigued to explore them,” he added.
It should be noted that Ronaldo signed for Saudi Arabian club Al Nasr in a deal believed to be worth more than €200m in December last year. The 37-year-old signed a contract that will take him until June 2025.
Meanwhile, Gerrard joined Al Ettifaq as manager in July earlier this year.
“The proposal and opportunity for Ettifaq was the most exciting for me because I have signed up for a club where the board is very passionate. They understand where the club is, they understand it’s something that will need to be built and it will take time,” said Gerrard, while expressing his views on becoming part of Saudi football.
“That’s why I was very interested in analyzing it because in my job you need time. Especially when a club has finished seventh in the league and so many points behind the top four. It’s not an easy fix. It’s not something that can be fixed in a week , a month or six months,” he added.
“It’s a project that needs to be built on the pitch, which is obviously the priority, but also a lot of things that need to change around that to give the first team the support they need,” he concluded.
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