May 4, 2023
For those who don't know much about Saudi Arabia, this article might come as a surprise. The country has many interesting options from a tourist perspectivea and Ronaldo could be a tremendous ambassador to increase the country's popularity...
Life is going well for Cristiano Ronaldo after his high-profile move to Saudi team Al Nassr earlier this season. While many in the west accuse the Saudis of sportswashing, CR7 completed a move to one of the country's most successful domestic teams without looking back, notching 12 goals in his first 12 league games. But what's life like for the Portuguese superstar off the field? Saudi Arabia is a fabulous country with brilliant leisure and tourism opportunities. The array of new interests adds to the many hobbies the football star already enjoys, such as playing online poker and, of course, working out. So, if CR7 is at a loose end, here are some things he might get up to in the oil-rich nation...
Cristiano Ronaldo - A day in the life of CR7 in Saudi Arabia:
It's no secret that Cristiano Ronaldo is a fitness fanatic, and while he spends a lot of time in the gym, there are countless outdoor hiking opportunities in the vast Saudi countryside. Al Ahsa National Park is home to Al Qarah Mountain, which overlooks a stunning desert oasis.
Although the peak is only 205 metres above sea level, the panoramic views you can enjoy of the surrounding landscape make it worthwhile. Who knows, maybe CR7 might like to go running in the hills of Al Ahsa National Park in his spare time.
Lying out in the bay past the southern province of Jazan is a small group of coral outcrops called the Farasan Islands. The tiny islands have white shorelines and bucolic views, making for the perfect getaway for CR7 and his family.
The Farasan Isles are also home to diverse birdlife, including ospreys, falcons, pelicans, and even flamingos. If footballers like Ronaldo need a break from the stifling heat of the Saudi mainland, a trip to the Farasan Islands is a perfect way to kick back and relax.
Located at the heart of a green oasis in the vast Saudi desert is Diriyah. Perched on the banks of Wadi Hanifa, this stunning historical city is just 20km northwest of Riyadh, perfect for a cultural visit from football’s biggest superstar.
The city is significant as the place that Muhammad bin Saud laid the foundations of what would become the first Saudi state. The ancient buildings stand thousands of years old and are a fascinating look into what life was like long before CR7 arrived!
Jeddah is a fabulous city with some stunning architecture. There are some mouth-watering eateries in the King Abdullah Economic City, which in spite of its name, features one of the best beaches found anywhere in the Arab world.
Just outside Jeddah is a gold and salt village, located close to the town of Dhaban where CR7 can learn about the historic trade routes that have passed through the Arabian peninsula for generations. As modern cities go, Jeddah is a must-visit.
Ronaldo comes from a Christian family, but when you're in Saudi Arabia, it's amiss not to spend some time in Mecca, the home of Islam. Located in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, Mecca is the holiest city in the world and is the site of the annual pilgrimage that brings millions of Muslims together worldwide.
You can visit Mecca at anytime of the year and bear witness to the stunning Islamic architecture in the city. Undoubtedly, CR7 would be a welcome visitor to this Holy Land if he makes the trip from his home base.
When people today think of Saudi Arabia, they consider it an oil-rich nation located in the middle of the Arabian desert. However, this often oversimplifies the stunning natural beauty in Saudi and the fact that there's so much to see and do there.
Now that Cristiano Ronaldo calls Saudi home, people also think of the nation as a worthwhile name in soccer, particularly given the fact that the Saudi Public Investment Fund owns Newcastle United in the Premier League.
So, if you plan a trip to watch Al Nassr play in the near future and want to mimic some of the activities that Ronaldo and his teammates might do in their spare time, you can use this article as a helpful guide.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al Nassr for the Saudi Pro League is on May 8, against Al Khaleej. You can watch Al Nassr vs Al Khaleej, Tottenham vs Crystal Palace, AC Milan vs Lazio, Brighton vs Man United, Bournemouth vs Chelsea and Liverpool vs Brentford, all matches provided from our soccer live game pages.
Al Nassr next game:
Al Nassr vs Al Khaleej kick-off time (08-05-2023):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 00:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 21:30
Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+3: 19:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 18:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 17:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 13:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 12:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 09:00
Sources: ronaldo7.net / saudigazette.com.sa / tripadvisor.com