Portugal's goal-scoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo cleared the air of uncertainty about his future that started to build around him after his team Al Nassr failed to clinch the title this season.
Ronaldo now 38 years old began his journey in the Saudi League following his January move after his Manchester United contract was cancelled by mutual consent last November. In his first season, he scored 14 goals in 16 games. With Ronaldo's arrival, Al Nassr had a realistic chance to clinch the league after falling short consecutively in the past three seasons.
Rumours started to build up and the Portuguese forward was in contention to return to the Premier League with Newcastle United. However, his recent interview has put them to rest.
"I am happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top-five league in the world," Ronaldo said in an interview with the SPL as quoted by ESPN.
"The league is very good. But I think we have many, many opportunities to still grow. The league is competitive. We have very good teams, very good Arab players, but they need to improve a little bit more the infrastructure.
"Even the referees, the VAR system, should be a little quicker. I think other small things they need to improve."
As football icons of the current era - Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema are being linked heavily to the clubs from the Saudi League, Ronaldo believes that such transfers will help the league to improve.
"If they are coming, big players and big names, young players, 'old players,' they are very welcome because if that happens, the league will improve a little bit," Ronaldo added.
Ronaldo has been a serial winner in his entire career. He has dominated every single league as soon as he set his eyes on it. Even though he joined Al Nassr during the halfway point, the expectations of lifting the trophy were still there, hiding behind his presence.
"Well, my expectation was a little bit different," he said. "To be honest I expected to win something this year, but it is not always the way we think or the way we want, sometimes we need passion, consistency, and persistence to achieve the best things."
"So, I still believe that next year we will improve a lot, let us say in the last five or six months, the team has improved a lot, even the league, all the teams improved."
"It takes time sometimes, but if you believe and you think it is your goal, I think everything is possible. I expected to win something this year, but we didn't, but next year I am really positive and confident that things will change, and we go in a better way. So, let us believe that and work on that," Ronaldo signed off. (ANI)