Just days after agreeing to a $305 million contract, plans for Cristiano Ronaldo to make his Saudi Arabian debut have been derailed.
The English Football Association has prohibited Cristiano Ronaldo from playing for Al-Nassr tomorrow.
The 37-year-old five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or is now the highest-paid athlete in history after agreeing to a lucrative A$305 million contract with the Saudi Pro League club, according to The Sun.
After his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo was let go by Manchester United last month. On Monday, he landed in Riyadh and was met by a throng of adoring supporters.
The forward then had his physical on Tuesday before being officially introduced at Mrsool Park, Al-home Nassr’s stadium.
Later, he joined his new teammates for his first club practise.
Al-Nassr sold out all 28,000 seats for their match against Al Ta’ee and were hoping to give the Portuguese sensation his big debut on Friday morning (AEDT).
He has been informed that he is suspended, though, as a result of the penalty the FA meted out after he smacked an Everton fan’s phone out of their hand.
Following the incident with the autistic fan at Goodison Park in April, Ronaldo was given a two-game suspension and fine by the FA in November. He also missed the rest of the season for the Red Devils.
After Everton defeated United 1-0 at Goodison Park, Ronaldo was reprimanded by Merseyside Police for shoving the young boy’s phone out of his grasp as he was walking down the tunnel.
Later, he apologised for his “outburst” on social media and extended an invitation to the fan to attend an Old Trafford match as a guest “as a demonstration of fair play and sportsmanship.”
It’s never simple to deal with emotions in trying times like the one we are going through, he wrote.
“However, we must constantly show all the young people who love the beautiful game respect and patience, and we must lead by example.
As a gesture of fair play and sportsmanship, I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if it is feasible, invite this fan to witness a game at Old Trafford.