LISBON: Cristiano Ron­aldo said he has been surprised by the level of competitiveness in the Saudi Pro League since joining Al Nassr in January.

“I think you should look at the (Saudi Pro League) in a different way,” he told reporters. “I’m not going to say that the league is a Premier League, that would be a lie.

“But it’s a very competitive league that I’m positively surprised by, a very balanced league and good teams.

“I am sure that in the coming years the league will be ... the fourth, fifth or sixth most competitive league in the world,” added Ronaldo, who moved to Al-Nassr on a two-and-a-half-year contract worth a reported 200 million euros ($214.71 million).

Ronaldo is part of the Portugal squad for their Euro 2024 qualifiers.

The 38-year-old, who was benched by former coach Fernando Santos for their last two games at the World Cup, would make his 197th appearance for Portugal if he plays against Liechtenstein late on Thursday, surpassing Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa as the most capped player in men’s football.

“I like to break records, I have broken lot of records ...,” said Ronaldo, who debuted for Portugal in 2003.

“In addition to being the best scorer ever for national teams, I was also looking to be the international player with the most caps.”

Portugal, who are now coached by Roberto Martinez, are in the same qualifying group as Bosnia & Herzeg­ovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slov­akia and Liechtenstein.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...
Isfahan strikes
Updated 20 Apr, 2024

Isfahan strikes

True de-escalation means Israel must start behaving like a normal state, not a rogue nation that threatens the entire region.
President’s speech
20 Apr, 2024

President’s speech

PRESIDENT Asif Ali Zardari seems to have managed to hit all the right notes in his address to the joint sitting of...
Karachi terror
20 Apr, 2024

Karachi terror

IS urban terrorism returning to Karachi? Yesterday’s deplorable suicide bombing attack on a van carrying five...