After lighting up football’s biggest stages, Cristiano Ronaldo faces a very different reality in Saudi Arabia with smaller stadiums and less exalted teams — and some very high temperatures.

Ronaldo, 37, says he’s embracing the “challenge” of the Saudi Pro League, a step into the unknown for a player who is more used to Real Madrid’s heaving Santiago Bernabeu stadium or the “Theatre of Dreams”, Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

The transition has been eased by the combined 400 million euros he’ll receive in wages from his new team, Al Nassr, and a separate payment to act as an ambassador for an expected Saudi World Cup bid, according to sources close to the club.

But it will be a big adjustment for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who will soon be running out at modest venues including the 6,000-seat Al Batin Stadium.

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