Cristiano Ronaldo's Saudi club Al-Nassr hires Portuguese coach Luís Castro

AP , Thursday 6 Jul 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo got a new club coach on Thursday when Al-Nassr announced it hired his fellow Portuguese Luís Castro.

Luis Castro
- Shakhtar s head coach Luis Castro gives instructions from the side line during the Europa League round of 32 second leg soccer match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv, Ukraine. AP


The Saudi Arabian club confirmed the appointment from a preseason training camp in Portugal. The length of the coach’s contract was not disclosed.

Castro is the latest coaching hire this week in the cash-rich Saudi Pro League, following Jorge Jesus at Al-Hilal and Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq.

The 61-year-old Portuguese is best known for his two seasons in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk including home and away wins over Real Madrid in the group stage of the 2020-21 Champions League. He spent last season in Brazil with Botafogo.

Castro will lead Al-Nassr into a qualifying playoff for the Asian Champions League next month after the team finished runner-up last season in the Saudi Pro League. The champion Al-Ittihad was coached by another Portuguese, Nuno Espírito Santo.

Al-Nassr was coached last season by Frenchman Rudi Garcia then Dinko Jeličić of Croatia as an interim hire.

Al-Nassr is among four top Saudi clubs effectively nationalized last month by being taking into majority ownership by the sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund. PIF claims to have assets of around $700 billion and is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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