In a recent report, Reuters called football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's choice to join a Saudi club "another symbol of Chinese decline."

The Portugal icon left Manchester United in November and after several weeks of being a free agent, joined the Saudi Pro League club on New Year's Day. He signed a huge contract that will see him pocket around €200 million in yearly wages.

Having won every trophy at the club and international level barring the FIFA World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo has cemented his status as a legend of the sport.

He is one of the most famous personalities on the planet and boasts 541 million followers on Instagram.

37-year-old  Cristiano Ronaldo will carry the spotlight with him wherever he goes. According to Al Misehal, Ronaldo's arrival in Saudi Arabia will inspire a generation of young Saudi children to pursue their dreams.

For over a week, the eyes of the soccer world were fixed on Saudi Arabia, but its hope is to remain the centre of attention for much longer.

The direction of Saudi soccer, and sport in general, is not in question -- it's the motive, and where this is all leading that's up for debate. Ronaldo's arrival and the World Cup in 2030 might only be the start.

There's been talk that Messi could be the next global icon tempted to the Saudi Pro League (SPL) with the idea that if Ronaldo and Messi are there, other star names will follow.