As Lionel Messi gets set to make his debut with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, his longtime rival on the field Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to fire a shot at the American organization.
Ronaldo decided to join the Saudi Pro League after a disastrous return to Manchester United. He has appeared in 16 matches for Al-Nassr and spoke to the media Monday about the possibility of following Messi to the United States and playing in MLS.
“The Saudi league is better than MLS,” Ronaldo said, via ESPN, adding that he had no plans to play in the U.S. or return to the Premier League in England or any other European club.
“I’m 100% sure I won’t return to any European club,” he said. “I’m 38 years old. And European football has lost a lot of quality. The only valid one and still doing good is the Premier League. They’re way ahead of all the other leagues.”
The legendary striker said he paved the way for other top-flight soccer players to go to Saudi Arabia to play. Karim Benzema, Marcelo Brozovic, N’Golo Kante and Roberto Firmino have been among the players to head to the Middle East, following in the Portuguese star’s footsteps.
Ronaldo predicted that the Saudi league’s presence would take over that of the main Dutch and Turkish leagues.
Al-Nassr finished in second place in the Saudi Pro League during the 2022-23 season. They were five points behind Al-Ittihad.