Patrick Mahomes and Sporting Kansas City tried to pull off the biggest move in American soccer history.
Per soccer insider Fabrizio Romano, the team tried to sign five-time UEFA Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo after his unceremonious exit from Manchester United in November. Romano revealed on Twitter:
“Sporting Kansas City were really trying to sign Cristiano Ronaldo. SKC held a meeting before [Piers] Morgan interview then one more with concrete talks about the prospects of CR7 playing in Kansas City commercially. Salary package was huge but Ronaldo decided for Al-Nassr move.”
Ronaldo ultimately chose to join Saudi Arabian team Al-Nassr on a two-and-a-half-year deal and will reportedly earn $214 million a year. The Portuguese superstar would have joined former Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale in moving to the MLS in 2022.
Patrick Mahomes’ team’s pitch to Cristiano Ronaldo falls short
Cristiano Ronaldo would have easily been the highest-profile player to join Major League Soccer. The move would have been on par with another former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar David Beckham’s surprise signing with LA Galaxy in 2007.
Beckham spent five years on the West Coast and won two MLS Cups. His association with the MLS did not end after his playing days. Beckham is one of the owners of MLS side Inter Miami, who were reportedly interested in signing FIFA World Cup winner Leo Messi for the 2023 season. Like Mahomes and Sporting Kansas City’s effort to land Ronaldo, Inter Miami’s dream of signing the Argentine will seemingly fall short as he has reportedly decided to renew his contract with French side Paris Saint-Germain.
Patrick Mahomes and Sporting Kansas City swung for the fences and tried to land the biggest name in soccer. But ultimately, Ronaldo chose not to follow Beckham, Bale, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s path in moving to the MLS after a wildly successful career in Europe. Instead, the five-time Balon d’Or winner will play in the Saudi Arabian league on potentially the largest annual contract in soccer history.