Cristiano Ronaldo rules out Portugal return while assessing competitiveness of Kylian Mbappe’s Ligue 1

Cristiano Ronaldo’s long and illustrious career continues to grow with each passing year. The 38-year-old Portuguese megastar recently added another feather to his cap, as he won the Maradona award at the 14th Globe Soccer Awards held in Dubai for scoring the most goals in the calendar year of 2023, while Erling Haaland won the “Best Men’s Player of the Year”.

The award ceremony, however, was not without its moments of controversy and speculation as Cristiano Ronaldo took the stage to assert his dominance over fellow soccer stars Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, while also throwing shade over the French League, the Ligue 1.

Ronaldo holds SPL in higher regards than Ligue 1

During the award ceremony, Cristiano Ronaldo took the opportunity to voice his opinions about the competitiveness of the Saudi Pro League. He said, “Saudi League is not worse than Ligue 1. Saudi Pro League is more competitive than Ligue 1, I can say that after one year spent there. We are better than French league already now.” He also went on to say the Saudi Pro League has the potential to become a top-3 league in the world in the upcoming years.

Since his comments, Ligue 1 seem to have responded by sharing pictures of Mbappe holding Cristiano Ronaldo’s face from a friendly that was played earlier in 2023 and of Lionel Messi with the words “GOAT” in the background, on X (formerly Twitter).

It is interesting to note that Ronaldo’s positive comments about the Saudi Pro League are coming at a time when players who arrived from Europe into Saudi Arabia are growing increasingly frustrated with the quality of football and life in the country.

Recently, ex-Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson terminated his contract with Al-Ettifaq and signed for Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam while ex-Man City centre back Aymeric Laporte has come out and talked about the “difficult life” and “cultural disconnection” many European players have felt in Saudi Arabia.

As of now the French Ligue 1 is ranked as the fifth best league in the world while the Saudi Pro League is ranked as the 68th.

Cristiano Ronaldo rules out return to Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo, also spoke about his future plans, as he joked that he would hang his boots up for good, before adding that that would at least be another 10 years or so. Ronaldo, who already did declare that a return to Europe was not on his mind anymore, as he intends to finish his current contract with Al Nassr, reiterated his intentions saying that a move back to Portugal was not something that he is considering anymore.

Regardless of where he plays, it is sure that a player of his stature and abilities will continue to dominate, set records and grab headlines. He currently has scored 30 goals for Al Nassr in 31 games this season and will surely aim to repeat Portugal’s 2016 success of winning the Euros in 2024.

Would like to see Cristiano Ronaldo back at Sporting Lisbon and at the FIFA World Cup 2026 before finishing his career? Let us know in the comments below!

SZ Desk

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