Cristiano Ronaldo has rejected an offer to advertise tourism in Saudi Arabia according to The Telegraph.
The Portuguese, formerly of Sporting, Manchester United and Real Madrid and currently of Juventus, was offered a reported figure of €6m per year. The agreement would have required Ronaldo to feature in commercial campaigns and visit the country.
Saudi Arabia is trying to improve its image internationally, using sport as a principal tool. The country held last year’s Supercopa de Espana in Jeddah, with Madrid winning out ahead of Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid. The tournament caused quite the stir in the country.
Lionel Messi also received an offer from Saudi Arabia, but as his great rival didn’t accept. Saudi Arabia has been accused by the international community of human rights violations and endeavours to change that view. Through its “Visit Saudi” campaign it aims to become an attractive tourist destination, and enlisting the help of famous footballers would help in this greatly.