Rudi Garcia compares Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Pelé
Cristiano Ronaldo is set to appear in a match against Lionel Messi and PSG later this month.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game in 2023 will come against World Cup winner Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ronaldo completed a move to the current Saudi league leaders Al Nassr last month following his controversial departure from Manchester United.
After carrying over a two-match ban from the Football Association for smashing an Everton fan’s phone last year, the veteran forward has yet to make his debut for his new club.
Al Nassr head coach Rudi Garcia has revealed that Ronaldo’s first appearance in Saudi Arabian football is likely to come for a Pro League XI against PSG on 19 January.
“It [his debut] won’t be with the Al Nassr jersey. It will be a mix between Al Hilal and Al Nassr,” Garcia said.
“As the coach of Al Nassr, I cannot be happy with this match. For development, to see PSG, to see the great Parisian players, indeed it is a good thing. But we have a championship game three days later.
“In terms of scheduling, it could have been better thought out. But it’s not a big deal. We are in the lead, we are happy. It is a difficult championship to win, but we intend to do it.”
Garcia also compared Ronaldo’s move to the great Pelé in an interview with French outlet L’Équipe.
The 37-year-old is expected to be involved in the friendly against PSG and Garcia says the signing of the Portuguese forward will help develop the game in the Middle East.
“You wouldn’t have been able to imagine ten years ago that all of these great champions would come to this country. If I can make a comparison for Cristiano, it’s a bit like Pelé's arrival in the USA back in his day, in terms of the development of football, sports and culture in Saudi Arabia.”