Press "Enter" to search and "ESC" to close.

Ronaldo would have changed MLS forever

Cristiano Ronaldo followed the money to Al-Nassr instead of joining an MLS club. But it's still fun to think about what could have been.

Those chants echoed throughout. Mrsool Park is the new home of Cristiano Ronaldo and his club Al-Nassr FC. A celebration for an all-time great, and it must be nice waking up to a couple of million dollars every day. 

CR7 left his mark in Europe. He won everything he could in that world, and now it’s time for a new quest. Many fútbol fans awaited to hear where Ronaldo would play next after a nasty divorce from Manchester United. 

Al-Nassr won the CR7 sweepstakes in the end, but there was a surprising candidate that finished a close second. Sporting Kansas City came a lot closer to signing him than many expected, meaning we were probably just a few contract details away from having Ronaldo in MLS. And though it didn’t come to fruition, just imagine what Ronaldo could have done.

Ronaldo was that close to Kansas City

It has been reported that SKC had Ronaldo’s discovery rights, a convoluted MLS procedure to help smaller market teams stay competitive. It’s the reason why Ronaldo wasn’t initially linked to a big club like LAFC or Seattle, as it’s easy to file paperwork to the league office for a certain player, even if that player happens to be Ronaldo. 

I’m not sure how the finances would have worked, just like with most major MLS transactions. But SKC would have made a fortune in merchandise, television, ticket sales, and experiences, and everyone and their grandmas would have joined the bandwagon. Some may wonder why he would make the move from Manchester to the prairie, but Ronaldo’s camp liked the idea of a superstar playing in a small market. Patrick Mahomes certainly hasn’t shied away from the small-market experience. 

SKC need all the help they can get, too. They finished twelfth in the Western Conference last year, partly because they finished with only 42 goals in 34 games, the second-least in the conference. Having someone on the team who can score goals with strands of hair can only help one of the most offensively challenged clubs in the league. And his presence wouldn’t just help SKC. 

The MLS dreams will have to wait

Ronaldo would have been the best player to step on the pitch in MLS history. The whole fútbol world would have had eyes on Kansas City, of all places, and SKC would have skyrocketed to the top of the most lucrative MLS clubs. They would have automatically been a contender for the MLS Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. A new major franchise would have emerged.

But sadly for MLS fans, it is not to be. In his introductory press conference with Al-Nassr, Ronaldo stated he had offers from Europe, Brazil, Portugal, and the United States. Who knows if he even took the SKC offer seriously? But it doesn’t really matter, because for the time being Ronaldo will spend his time in Saudi Arabia. Best of luck to him.