Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr have been banned by FIFA from registering new players in a huge blow for the Saudi Pro League. The club, which signed the Portuguese superstar on a £173 million-a-year contract in December 2022, have been punished for failing to pay add-ons owed to Leicester City as part of the Ahmed Musa deal.

Musa won the league with Al-Nassr after playing 60 games for them and was released as a free agent two years later. According to a FIFA official judgment, the Saudi team failed to pay €460k (£390k) plus interest on performance-related add-ons. The judgment was originally issued in October 2021, with Al-Nassr warning that if they did not pay Leicester the unpaid money, they would face a transfer registration suspension.

FIFA has prohibited Al-Nassr from registering new signings, whether domestic or international, for three transfer windows. The ban will be lifted if the club pays the outstanding fee as agreed upon on the terms of the contract.

Al-Nassr have been linked with Italy international Domenico Berardi and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech. However, their transfer business might be done for the foreseeable future unless they comply with FIFA’s ruling. The club has said they will promptly pay up and hope their new structure and improved finances will prevent such issues from happening again.

Al-Nassr finished second in the Saudi Pro League last season and kicked off Saudi Arabia’s takeover of football when they secured Ronaldo’s services. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward has scored 15 goals in 18 games for his new club so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo back in training at Al-Nassr for pre-season

Cristiano Ronaldo is back with the Al-Nassr squad for pre-season training after his holiday. The Portuguese star, who joined the Saudi club on a £173 million-a-year contract in December 2022, had more days off than the others as he played the EURO qualifiers with Portugal.

Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in 19 games for his new club so far and is looking forward to the new season. Al Nassr finished second in the Saudi Pro League last season and will look to retain the coveted title. Ronaldo posted the update on his Twitter account as he captioned the training snapshots, “Good to be back!”

The  2023-24 Saudi Pro League season will also see the likes of  Karim Benzema, Ruben Neves, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy gracing their talents in the league. Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has also become the new manager of current champions Al Ettifaq.