Al-Nassr midfielder, Jaloliddin Masharipov, has finally addressed claims that he wanted to leave the club after having to hand his No. 7 jersey to forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, 38, put an end to speculations over his future after joining Al-Nassr on a free transfer last December.
The Portugal captain signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Saudi Pro League club.
Ronaldo was also made the club’s new captain, replacing Abdullah Madu.
The former Manchester United forward was handed the No. 7 shirt as well, with its previous owner Masharipov picking up another jersey.
This led to speculation that Masharipov was growing frustrated at Al-Nassr and wanted to leave the club.
However, Masharipov has now rubbished claims that he did not want to give the No. 7 shirt to the former Real Madrid star.
Masharipov told Sports.ru, “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.”
He continued: “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.”
Al-Nassr midfielder opens up on Ronaldo taking his No. 7 jersey