Cameroon captain, Vincent Aboubakar has revealed how Cristiano Ronaldo tried to convince him to stay at Al-Nassr following his arrival from Manchester United.
It was gathered that Aboubakar knew that Al-Nassr would sacrifice a foreign player to make room for Ronaldo and he did offer himself up to Rudi Garcia.
Aboubakar, who had six months left on his Al-Nassr contract, said he had ‘offers’ to play elsewhere and that he wanted to leave the club for ‘family reasons’.
However, Ronaldo made it clear he wanted Aboubakar to stay after he arrived in Saudi Arabia following the United exit in December 2022.
Speaking to Talents d’Afrique on Canal+, Aboubakar said: ‘We talked a bit and his [Ronaldo’s] opinion was that he wanted me to stay. I told him no, that I will leave for family reasons.
‘He asked me where my family was, I told him they are in France and so I prefer to go to Turkey, it’s closer. And he told me it’s better, if your family is really far away, it’s more complicated. I was firm, I wanted to leave.’
When asked whether he was annoyed Aboubakar said yes but insisted it ended up being the right decision.
‘I left a little angry because it was not easy,’ he said. ‘When Cristiano arrived, [Al Nassr] coach Rudi Garcia called me into his office. He told me that normally an international player has to leave, it’s either me or Jaloliddin Masharipov [from Uzbekistan].
‘I told him that I already wanted to leave before and, honestly, as Cristiano was coming, my playing time would be reduced and it was better for me to leave. I had offers, including one from Besiktas. They wanted me to stay until the end of the season. I said ‘no honestly president I prefer to leave’.
‘It was a bit complicated but finally they let me go.’
Aboubakar joined Al-Nassr in July 2021 from Besiktas and went on to score 13 goals and register six assists.
His 39 appearances for the Riyadh outfit helped him secure a place in the 2022 World Cup for Cameroon.