Cristiano Ronaldo receives the award from his native Portugal even though he is still in Saudi Arabia

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) awarded Cristiano Ronaldo the ‘High Prestige Sports Merit’ award at the 26th Sports Gala at the Casino Estoril on Thursday (2 February).

The event honored Portugal’s finest sporting personalities in the 2022 calendar year. The Al-Nassr centre-forward wasn’t present for the awards ceremony but gave an acceptance speech in a video message.

Cristiano Ronaldo finally breaks his silence about his deal with Saudi club Al Nassr; Here's what he said - Culture

It was an eventful 2022 for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. He was unable to steer Manchester United to a fourth-placed finish last term and started just four league games under manager Erik ten Hag this campaign.

Cristiano Ronaldo ended last season as the Red Devils’ top scorer with 24 goals in 38 games across competitions. But he left Old Trafford by mutual agreement in November after failing to join a UEFA Champions League-playing club last summer.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup brought him no joy either, as he captained his side to a quarter-final exit against Morocco. The former Real Madrid forward ended the year by signing a humongous $200 million-a-year contract at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.

Given the career that he has had, the awards aren’t going to stop coming anytime soon for Cristiano Ronaldo. At 37, he continues to operate at a high level, although it seems that the goals are starting to dry up.

He has scored just once in his last eight games for Portugal and is yet to officially score for Al-Nassr, for whom he has played two games so far. Ronaldo managed to score a brace in his team’s 5-4 loss to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on 19 January.

However, it was an exhibition match for which the statistics do not add up to the player’s official tally.


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