Freestyle footballer Do Kim Phuc has praised star footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, saying that he “is a like a spiritual leader at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr”.
The statement came after Phuc was offered to meet Ronaldo and watch him train.
“It was a strange feeling, since it was a private training session, and nobody was allowed to record anything. Ronaldo is like a spiritual leader of Al Nassr. He moved around, trained with every small group, and encouraged his teammates,” Do Kim Phuc was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Ronaldo signed for Al Nassr in a deal believed to be worth more than 200 million euros in December last year. The Portuguese penned a contract that will take him to June 2025.
He notched up 14 goals in 16 games this season, but it could not help his side claim the Saudi Pro League (SPL) title, with Al Nassr finishing second behind Al Ittihad.
Ronaldo headed to the Gulf after being relegated to the bench for Portugal and cut adrift by Manchester United in 2022.
United parted ways with the Portuguese star after the veteran forward gave an explosive TV interview in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for coach Erik Ten Hag.
United terminated his contract while Ronaldo was with Portugal at the last year’s FIFA World Cup.
Earlier, Ronaldo said that he was enjoying his time in Saudi Arabia.
“We have very good teams, very good Arab players, but the infrastructure – they need to improve a little bit more. Even the referees, the VAR system, should be a little quicker,” Ronaldo said in an SPL interview.
“But I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here.”
Ronaldo also spoke about the difference in training routines in Saudi Arabia as compared to Europe.
“In Europe we train more in the morning and here we train in the afternoon, or night. When you start Ramadan, we train at 10 o’clock in the night. It was so strange,” he added.
Since Ronaldo’s arrival, several other top players, including Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema, have received offers from Saudi Arabia.
“If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, ‘old players’, they are very welcome,” said Ronaldo.
“If that happens, the league will improve a little bit. Age is not important.”