RIYADH - Footballer Christiano Ronaldo will earn 200 million euros to promote Saudi Arabia's joint 2030 World Cup bid in addition to his club salary, a source close to his club told AFP Monday.
The Portuguese superstar is by far the most famous player to sign for a club in Saudi or any other Gulf country.
The oil-rich kingdom, along with Egypt and Greece, is bidding to host world football's 2030 showpiece tournament, and Ronaldo's ambassadorial role will bring his reported earnings in the country to over 400 million euros ($428-million).
"Ronaldo will be paid more than 200 million euros ($214-million) for the deal," said the source, with knowledge of the deal but who requested anonymity.
"He will be an ambassador for the Saudi World Cup 2030 bid for another 200 million."
The arrival of the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus player came just weeks after neighbouring Qatar became the first Arab nation to host the World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who has also won the Champions League five times and holds that tournament's goal-scoring record, is expected to make his Al Nassr debut on January 22.
The deal was backed by senior royals who support Al Nassr, including Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman -- widely known as "MBS" -- the source said.
"MBS (and his brothers) Naif, Turki and Rakan, the sons of King Salman, are all honorary members of Al Nassr since before their father even become the crown prince," the source said.
"They wanted to grant their beloved club supremacy and put it in the international spotlight. The best way was to bring the best player in the world."
The deal has been financed by the conservative kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the source added.
"Al Nassr and the other Saudi clubs don't have this huge fund for such a big deal. It's PIF that secured the payment," the source said.