Cristiano Ronaldo could have joined Al Nassr’s rivals Al Hilal before they picked up a transfer ban

REVEALED: Cristiano Ronaldo could have joined Al-Nassr’s fierce rivals Al-Hilal but the Saudi champions blew any chance of a deal when they were hit with a transfer ban… for urging a player to renege on a deal with the 37-year-old’s new club!

  • Al Hilal were prevented from signing Cristiano Ronaldo due to a transfer ban
  • Saudi Arabia midfielder Mohamed Kanno signed a new contract at the club
  • Kanno already had a deal in place to sign for Riyadh rivals Al-Nassr 
  • Al-Hilal on paper would have been a more logical destination for the 37-year-old 
  • READ: Rudi Garcia claims Ronaldo’s arrival is an ‘important development’ 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s high-profile move to Al-Nassr understandably grabbed the headlines, however the 37-year-old could have joined fierce rivals Al-Hilal but for a transfer ban. 

Al-Hilal are currently serving a transfer embargo which ended their pursuit of Ronaldo in 2022, after Mohamed Kanno extended his contract at the club despite already having an agreement in place with Al-Nassr, according to the Athletic. 

Ronaldo signed a £175million-a-year contract at the club – who are reportedly plotting a swoop for Sergio Busquets – but his deal does not include the obligation to support a 2030 World Cup bid from Saudi Arabia as had been speculated.

Al-Hilal were prevented from joining the race for Cristiano Ronaldo due to a transfer ban

Mohamed Kanno was part of the Saudi Arabian World Cup squad at the World Cup in Qatar

Mohamed Kanno was part of the Saudi Arabian World Cup squad at the World Cup in Qatar

Irrespective of their previous interest in his services, Al-Hilal would on paper have looked the logical move for any of Europe’s elite making the transition to the Saudi Pro-League. 

Not only have they won the last three national titles on the bounce, but they also triumphed at last season’s Asian Champions League. 

The club also holds the record for the most Asian Football Confederation trophies, having won eight titles – four Champions Leagues, two Asian Cup Winners Cups and two Asian Super cup titles. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was subject of an approach by Al Hilal in summer 2022

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was subject of an approach by Al Hilal in summer 2022

However, Al Hilal would appear to have allowed their rivals to make the biggest signing in the history of Asian football, as a result of their own error. 

The SPL champions did attempt to appeal the transfer ban after Kanno’s contract confusion, but after an unsuccessful outcome in August they were forced to pull out of the race to sign Ronaldo.  

The Portugal icon’s arrival at Al Nassr has already seen the club’s profile grow to previously unexpected levels, and the man who was approached by their rivals could now be the one to deny Al Hilal a fourth consecutive title. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's arrival has seen Al Nassr's profile grow to new heights

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s arrival has seen Al Nassr’s profile grow to new heights

The club’s manager Rudi Garcia claiming that he will have a similar effect on Saudi Arabian football as Brazil legend Pele had on the USA after arriving at New York Cosmos.  

Moreover, his arrival at the club saw their Instagram profile saw a nine-fold increase in followers, highlighting the spotlight that the forward has now shone upon the Saud Pro-League. 

But Al Nassr fans will have to wait to see their new star in action, after Sportsmail revealed that he must still serve a two-game FA ban after smashing an Everton fan’s phone.