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‘MLS can’t compete with the money but his brand won’t grow as much in Saudi’: Alexi Lalas tells Cristiano Ronaldo he’ll be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ if he joins Al-Nassr for $211m-a-year as he urges him to head to the US

Cristiano Ronaldo will be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ if he joins cash-rich Saudi club Al-Nassr following his Manchester United exit, according to former USA defender Alexi Lalas.

The 37-year-old left the Premier League giants ahead of the World Cup after his relationship with the club went beyond repair following his bombshell TV interview with Piers Morgan.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s team dismissed reports Monday that his $211m-per-year move to Saudi club Al-Nassr was complete and ready to be sealed on January 1 as ‘nonsense’.

Cristiano Ronaldo

FOX Sports analyst Alexi Lalas

Cristiano Ronaldo (R) will be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ if he joins Al-Nassr, says Alexi Lalas (R)

Ronaldo’s next destination is a hot topic amid the Qatar World Cup and Lalas spoke on the subject ahead of Portugal’s last-16 clash with Switzerland.

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The FOX Sports analyst urged the under-fire superstar, who is facing the axe from the national team line-up after his public sulk, to choose the MLS over Saudi Arabia if the option is on the table. 

‘It sounds like he’s going to a make a boatload of money and go to Saudi Arabia and play,’ Lalas said on the network’s Tonight Show.

Al-Nassr are one of the most successful clubs in Saudi, having won the Saudi league nine times

Al-Nassr are one of the most successful clubs in Saudi, having won the Saudi league nine times

Ronaldo left Manchester United after his relationship with the club went beyond repair

Ronaldo left Manchester United after his relationship with the club went beyond repair

‘It kind of is out of sight and out of mind. I can’t remember the last time we heard about the Saudi Arabian league.

‘For a guy that is so concerned about his brand, and certainly has more money than he can do with, it’s a strange type of thing for him to do. For 200 million dollars you’ll figure it out, but if the alternative is making less money and I get to go and play and live in Miami or Los Angeles.

‘MLS can’t compete with that type of money, but what MLS can give him is a much bigger entrée into the American market – he’s already huge in America. For a guy that’s cultivated this brand over the years, that might have been more appealing. 

‘In the moment he might not have made the money, he might have also established his brand.

‘I’m not saying we’re not going to hear from Cristiano Ronaldo or his brand can’t grow but it’s sure as hell I would think isn’t going to grow as much being in Saudi Arabia relative to the United States.

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‘We’ve seen it with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham, Thierry Henry or Wayne Rooney. The moments they have from a MLS perspective they do go viral, it’s not completely out of sight, out of mind.’

Inter Miami owner Beckham has reportedly already spoken to the Portuguese superstar’s representatives over a switch to the MLS team.

The report states that Beckham received a positive response with Ronaldo interested in a move to Miami.

It has previously been reported that Ronaldo’s great rival – Lionel Messi, is Beckham’s No 1 target for his MLS franchise, but the possible availability of the United forward has alerted Beckham.

Ronaldo could ‘have that Beckham effect’ with a move to MLS, FOX’s Jimmy Conrad claimed last month.

Ronaldo has been linked with a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in recent weeks

Ronaldo has been linked with a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in recent weeks

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