Xavi sends warning to Cristiano Ronaldo before first match for Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo has been sent a blunt warning ahead of his Al-Nassr debut by Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez, who knows all about the challenges the Saudi Pro League can pose

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has warned Cristiano Ronaldo that the Saudi Pro League is “very complicated” ahead of his eagerly anticipated Al-Nassr debut.

Xavi Hernandez
Xavi Hernandez knows all about the Saudi Pro League from his spell in Qatar with Al Sadd ( Image: Joan Valls/Urbanandsport)

Ronaldo, 37, signed a lucrative two-and-a-half-year deal with Al-Nassr on New Year’s Eve after finalising an agreement to leave Manchester United six months early during the World Cup. However, the Portuguese superstar has yet to make his eagerly anticipated debut in the Saudi Pro League due to a ban he incurred during his second stint at United last year.

The veteran could make his Al-Nassr debut next Sunday when his new club, who are top of the Saudi Pro League, face Al-Ettifaq.

Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr debut date confirmed as he trains and has image projected on world's tallest building | The Sun

But ahead of his Al-Nassr bow, Xavi has warned Ronaldo that the Saudi Arabian league is a “challenge” and that anybody claiming the former Juventus and Real Madrid man has taken the easy option is wrong.

Xavi, who spent six years playing in Qatar as a player and a manager with Al Sadd after leaving Barcelona, said: “Ronaldo has signed for one of the best clubs in Saudi Arabia, but it’s a challenge. This league is very complicated. I played against several of their teams when I coached Al Sadd. It will be a challenge.”

Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr move no surprise as ‘Middle East the future of football’, according to former Juventus team-mate Pjanic

Miralem Pjanic was first to welcome Cristiano Ronaldo in the Dressing Room of Juventus - Sarajevo Times

Pjanic, who played alongside Ronaldo at Juventus and linked up with UAE side Sharjah as a free agent last summer, has told Tuttosport of why the Portuguese superstar’s latest adventure makes perfect sense: “It’s a very ambitious club, I am convinced that the Middle East will be the future of football.

There are countries with a lot to offer, but their potential hasn’t been fulfilled yet. Surely, football will develop here. This is why I was not surprised by Ronaldo’s decision. Football in Arabia is not as easy as people think. I think he will contribute to the development of the sport in the country.”

SOURCE: mirror.co.uk, goal.com

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