Cristiano Ronaldo‘s move from Manchester United to Saudi club Al-Nassr was filled with rumours and controversies. During the initial days of the transfer, there were reports of a dissent among the Al-Nassr players regarding Ronaldo becoming the club captain. However, his teammate – Uzbekistani midfielder Jaloliddin Masharipov – opened up about the situation inside the dressing room and explained the situation and team reactions around Ronaldo’s appointment as skipper. He also made it clear that it was a simple decision for the team to accept the Portuguese superstar.
“It’d be a little strange if the rest of the players are captaining Ronaldo. We expected it. Our former captain willingly handed over the armband [to Cristiano Ronaldo] without any problems. I think this is the best solution. It cannot be otherwise,” the Uzbekistan midfielder told Sports.ru.
Masharipov also spoke about giving his No 7 jersey to Ronaldo after he joined the club.
“When [Cristiano] Ronaldo arrived, many people spread rumours about my departure from the team, all kinds of false news came out. Before Cristiano’s arrival, many people asked me, ‘Will you give him the No. 7?’ How can you not give it?! He is Cristiano Ronaldo!” Such players should always be respected! After giving my number, many people assumed that I would leave the team. I gave my number without any problem. There was no talk of leaving. Both the club and the coach wanted to see me in the team.”
“I have a contract with the team. I only changed my number because Ronaldo came. This guy is one of the two best players in the world. There’s no need to talk much,” he added.