- Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be distancing himself from Saudi Arabia
- The Asian country is trying to make the 35-year-old the face of their ' Visit Arabia' tourism campaign
- Sources claim Ronaldo could earn as much as £5.3m a year if he accepts the offer
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Cristiano Ronaldo is definitely not about the money as the Juventus forward has reportedly rejected a mega-million pounds deal to become the face of Saudi Arabian tourism.
The 35-year-old sensation is expected to rake-in a staggering £5.3 million (€6m) annually while the winger's image would be used on all promotional material.
He will also be scheduled to make visits to the Asian country periodically.
The Saudi Arabian tourism authority has equally contacted Barcelona legend, Lionel Messi, however, it is not clear if he will take the deal or not.
Daily Mail reports that neither camps of the superstars are yet to react to the matter when approached by The Telegraph.
Meanwhile, the Portugal international reached a major milestone in his career after becoming the player with the most goals in the history of football.
The five-time Champions League winner led Juventus to win the Italian Super Cup title after beating Napoli in the clash, while Messi has won a record six world player of the year crowns.
Saudi Arabia are massively campaigning to become an attractive tourist hub through its 'Visit Saudi' theme but the country's lack of respect for human right seems to be staining their reputation.
Although travel is currently limited due to Covid-19 and Visit Saudi adverts state that a visa must be acquired to go there.
The international reach of two of the most successful players ever to play the game would have added significant clout to their campaign, but any athlete willing to strike a deal with the kingdom would face severe criticism.
Saudi Arabia is using sport as a vehicle more generally to promote itself, staging the Spanish Super Cup in Jeddah last January, with Messi's Barcelona competing for the trophy alongside Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
Barca's manager at the time Ernesto Valverde admitted that 'we are here because of the money' in what was the first year of a three-year worth £102m to the Spanish football federation (although the event was ultimately held in Spain this year due to the coronavirus pandemic).
Messi was also in Riyadh in November 2019 to play a friendly for Argentina against Brazil, where he met Turki Al-Sheikh, the chairman of the country's 'general entertainment authority' and the majority owner of Segunda Division side Almeria.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo was on target as Juventus claim their first title in the New Year following their 2-0 triumph over Napoli in their Italian Super Cup clash earlier this week.
The 35-year-old broke the deadlock for the Old Lady in the 64th minute before Alvaro Morata sealed the victory in the extra minutes.
He has however won his fourth title since he joined the Turin-based club from Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup.
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