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The Cristiano effect as Al Nassr Instagram rockets past 10M followers

The Portuguese striker joined the top flight Saudi club on 30 December penning a deal that will see him stay with the Riyadh club through to 2025.

Capitán de Sporting Kansas City: “Cristiano Ronaldo habría tenido que comprarme el número 7”

Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to change the rest of the world’s perception of football in Saudi Arabia as he was recently formally unveiled as an Al Nassr player with the Portuguese striker on a reported €200 million per year which makes him the highest paid player in the history of the game. The Madeira born striker signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Saudi Pro League leaders Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United as a free agent.

At his high profile unveiling in Riyadh last week Ronaldo declared he had nothing left to prove in Europe and insisted the move did not represent the end of his distinguished career.

“It’s a new challenge and I’m so glad that Al Nassr has given me this opportunity to develop” said Ronaldo.

CR7 Saudi boom

Ronaldo joining Al Nassr will have a similar impact as Pele’s move to New York Cosmos nearly 50 years ago, according to the Saudi club’s head coach Rudi Garcia.

The Portugal international has yet to make his debut due to a domestic suspension carried over from his time at United, but his impact is already being felt off the pitch.

 Al-Nassr's new Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo
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Al-Nassr's new Portuguese forward Cristiano RonaldoAL-NASSR CLUB HANDOUTEFE

“It’s a bit like Pele’s arrival, especially for the development of football, sport and culture in Saudi Arabia,” Garcia was quoted as saying by L’Equipe.

The Riyadh based club has been swamped with fans looking to buy replica shirts with the Ronaldo name and No.7 with a four-day backlog for fans looking for an $80 replica kit souvenir.

A fan is seen holding up a Al Nassr jersey in the Al Nassr club shop
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A fan is seen holding up a Al Nassr jersey in the Al Nassr club shopAHMED YOSRIREUTERS

The CR7 acquisition has also lead to a surge in the social media accounts connected to the ‘Knights of Fajd’ with the official Instagram account alone rocketing from 850,000 users to 11 million as a result of Cristiano’s signing.

Al Nassr Instagram account
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Al Nassr Instagram account