Breaking news came out on Friday evening that Cristiano Ronaldo was on the verge to sign with Sporting Kansas City first reported by Taylor Twellman and confirmed by Tom Bogert.
Sources can confirm: Sporting KC were the MLS team that came closest to signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Talks ongoing for weeks, it was a real possibility.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) December 31, 2022
Package was very good. Plans were being made to make it happen. SKC had his "discovery rights" (i.e. path to sign him). Wild. https://t.co/MIXxIEPHHY pic.twitter.com/On4bRwasdo
Everyone who watches the beautiful game and some that don’t, know who Cristiano Ronaldo is. The Portuguese legend has 949 competitive appearances between club and country with 701 goals and 223 assists in his career. He has had spells at Sporting Club de Portugal in Liga Portugal in the Premier League at Manchester United, La Liga side Real Madrid, Seire A at Juventus.
The 37-year-old striker was most recently at Manchester United for a second time in his career. Ronaldo had 40 appearances with 27g/5a. The five-time Champions League winner struggled with Manchester United this season with new coach Eric Ten Haag only making 10 appearances and scoring 3g/2a in all comps. Ronaldo’s contract was terminated just before the start of the World Cup after his infamous interview about the club.
Ronaldo signed with Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League. He is reported to make $200 million a year with his new club. The other closest team to sign him... Sporting Kansas City! He was reported to have interest from other MLS teams as well.
That news was seemingly confirmed by club owner Robb Heineman retweeting the news from Twellman.
Robb Heineman over here Retweeting this... #SportingKC pic.twitter.com/eyZFWBKhhn— Chad Smith (@PlayFor90) December 31, 2022
What Does This Mean About Sporting KC?
If Peter Vermes pulled this off, then boy we would probably have to move back to Arrowhead stadium to play games for a while.
All jokes aside this is big news for Sporting KC. Sporting were close, next to Al Nassr, on wages (further confirmed by the Kansas City Star’s Daniel Sperry) which is really intriguing. It shows that Vermes and ownership is willing to spend the big money for a big name (historic) player.
Not that @TaylorTwellman needs confirming, but I can confirm this. According to a source, #SportingKC was one of the final few teams in consideration to land Ronaldo before he signed with Al Nassr today. https://t.co/WeWSJxt8A3— Daniel Sperry (@sperrydaniel94) December 31, 2022
Sporting currently (supposedly) have a free DP spot open with Kinda’s contract being able to be bought down. Assuming Ronaldo signed, he would’ve been a DP. Ronaldo can play as a striker or on the left wing. It might have been the best for Sporting to not sign him with his known issues off the field, but it would’ve been massive for the club and the league.
It appears it wasn’t meant to be, but The Blue Testament will bring you more from this unlikely story as it continues to unfold.