Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has spoken about how Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to the Saudi Pro League and Lionel Messi’s to the MLS have been treated differently.
Ferdinand was asked to share his thought on the recent surge of world-class players joining the SPL. Apart from Ronaldo, the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Riyad Mahrez, Kalidou Koulibly, Ruben Neves and Sadio Mane have joined the Middle-Eastern league.
Ferdinand reckons top players have moved to Saudi Arabia as they get to secure their family’s future with a good pay cheque. The legendary defender added that he would have made a move to the SPL, too, if he was still active. Ferdinand told the JOE YouTube channel (quotes as per CristianoXtra Twitter):
“Look at how the media and people dealt with Messi going to America & Cristiano Ronaldo going to Saudi Arabia. When a player goes to America, you greet him, but when a player goes to Saudi, he is attacked. Do you want to tell me that America is a perfect country?”
“If I had not retired 100%, I would go to Saudi Arabia without thinking & without a doubt.”
Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr as a free agent on Dec. 31, 2022. He has made 24 appearances for the SPL club, scoring 18 goals and providing three assists across competitions.
Lionel Messi, meanwhile, joined MLS club Inter Miami as a free agent on the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract. He has bagged seven goals and an assist in four games.
Watch Ferdinand’s interview with JOE:
Cristiano Ronaldo was asked whether he will join Lionel Messi in MLS
Lionel Messi has already taken the MLS by storm, and the US football league is gaining popularity by the day. Cristiano Ronaldo made the same sort of impact when he joined the SPL.
Ronaldo was asked during Al-Nassr’s pre-season about whether he would join Messi in the MLS in the near future. The 38-year-old dismissed the possibility and said that the SPL is a better league (via GOAL):
“The USA? No, the Saudi championship is much better than the USA.”
Fans, though, are still getting to see Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi continue at near full throttle. Both players have been in stunning form recently and have netted in their last four games for their respective club.