Al Nassr, one of Saudi Arabia’s historic soccer teams, shook the market earlier this year by signing Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, in the midst of the conflict that removed the player from Manchester United.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, in his first semester in Saudi football, failed to win any titles, but wants revenge and will continue there next season.
However, CR7 and his club, which also includes Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, received bad news: He will not be able to make transfers as long as he does not get out of debt, which is a brake on the sporting ambitions of the rich oil country, exclusive to Fifa this Thursday.
Al Nassr «is currently prevented from registering new players due to unpaid debts,» a Fifa spokesman told AFP, confirming a report in the British newspaper The Mirror.
The world body did not specify the amount and origin of these debts, the start of this ban, or whether it compromises the signing of the Croatian midfielder from Inter Milan Marcelo Brozovic, who he occupied at the beginning of July for Al-Nassr.
«The bans in question will be lifted as soon as the payment of the debts is confirmed by the creditors,» the spokesman added.
Al-Nassr, which has been made this summer with the services of the Portuguese coach of Botafogo Luis Castro, has in its squad, in addition to CR7 and Ospina, the Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo and the Argentine winger Gonzalo Martínez.
The origin of the sanction of Fifa to Al Nassr
In October 2021, the FIFA Players’ Status Commission ordered Al-Nassr to pay English Leicester 460,000 euros plus interest in a dispute over the transfer of Nigerian Ahmed Musa, concluded for a total of 18 million euros.
In the event of default, Al-Nassr could be deprived of the possibility of signing for a period of up to three seasons.
Backed by the sovereign wealth fund of the Gulf state, the Saudi Pro League is attracting big names from Europe’s top championships on the promise of high salaries.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard arrived to coach Al-Ettifaq in early July, while Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kanté have also recently arrived in Saudi football.