Cristiano Ronaldo and his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez will be allowed to live together in Saudi Arabia in spite of the Kingdom’s laws which prevent unmarried couples from cohabiting.
The 37-year-old star striker joined Saudi club Al Nassr on a two-and-a-half-year deal believed to be worth around £175 million per year, and was officially unveiled to supporters in a grand ceremony on Tuesday.
Argentine-born Spanish model Rodriguez, who accompanied Ronaldo at the unveiling, will also move to Riyadh along with Ronaldo’s five children, two of which are her own.
The pair have never married, and with Saudi’s Islamic laws strictly prohibiting ‘cohabitation without a marriage contract’ it was unclear how the family would remain together.
But authorities are said to be turning a blind eye, allowing Rodriguez and Ronaldo to live under one roof given the star power that the footballer brings, two Saudi lawyers told Spanish press.
Cristiano Ronaldo accompanied by his partner Georgina Rodriguez and his son Cristiano Ronaldo Jr, greet the crowd during the official unveiling of Cristiano Ronaldo as an Al Nassr player at Mrsool Park Stadium on January 3, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Rodriguez looks on as Ronaldo waves to a stadium full of cheering fans at his unveiling in Riyadh
A handout picture released by Saudi Arabia’s al-Nassr football club shows Al-Nassr’s new Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (C) alongside his partner Georgina Rodriguez (CR) and their children greeting the crowd during his unveiling at the Mrsool Park Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on January 3, 2023
Although the laws of the kingdom still prohibit cohabitation without a marriage contract, the authorities have recently started to turn a blind eye and no longer prosecute anyone.
‘Although these laws are used when there is a problem or a crime.’
Another lawyer added: ‘Nowadays Saudi authorities no longer interfere in this matter – for expatriates – even though the law prohibits cohabitation without marriage.’
The next problem facing the couple is Rodriguez’s visa.
She will not receive a visa automatically through marriage, and Saudi employment laws decree that ‘any woman who obtains an entry visa to the kingdom be the wife, worker or first-degree relative of a man residing in the Kingdom’, according to one of the lawyers who spoke to EFE.
The lawyers posited that football club Al Nasr could personally sponsor the model’s visa, with the alternative of Rodriguez obtaining a one-year tourist visa, although this would expire long before the end of Ronaldo’s contract.
MailOnline has approached Ronaldo’s representatives for comment.
Ronaldo and Rodriguez, who have been together since 2016, are parents to a nine-month-old daughter Bella, five-year-old Alana Martina and are also raising Cristiano’s near-five-year-old twins Eva and Mateo born to a surrogate mother and the football pro’s 12-year-old son Cristiano Jr.
Although their permanent living arrangements have not yet been finalized, Ronaldo wasted little time assuring the pair were royally received, securing a luxury suite in the Kingdom Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the country at 99 floors.
Georgina Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo attend the MTV EMAs 2019 at FIBES Conference and Exhibition Center on November 03, 2019 in Seville, Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo and his family are staying at the Four Seasons hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ronaldo was filmed by MailOnline leaving the Four Seasons hotel on Sunday night (pictured)
Chefs are providing an exclusive in-room dining service for Ronaldo and his family at the hotel
Ronaldo and Rodriguez will stay at the Four Seasons hotel until he finds long-term accommodation in Saudi Arabia
Ronaldo and Rodriguez have been put up in one of the best lodgings that Riyadh can offer in one of 17 rooms occupied by his entourage, including his family, friends and security detail.
The footballer is booked to stay in the Kingdom Suite, one of the best in the 99-story building, for one month.
The cost of the hotel suite is not even listed on the hotel’s website and has to be booked privately, as does the adjacent ‘Royal Suite’. But the smaller ‘Presidential Suite’ can be booked online and the cost for a night is a staggering £3300 a night.
It is estimated that the hotel bill for Ronaldo and his entourage will exceed £250,000 when the striker leaves the suite and heads to his new Saudi home with Rodriguez.
Until then they can enjoy the most spectacular views of the city and tuck into the finest food at their five-star temporary home, with a team of chefs providing an exclusive in-room dining service.
The hotel says of its Kingdom Suite: ‘Entertain guests with unparalleled views of Riyadh. Our newest two-storey suite spans the 48th and 50th floors of the Hotel, with a soaring living room, a private office, a dining room and a media room.’
Its ‘Royal Suite’ offers less space, but at 2,595ft it would still be bigger than most apartments in Britain, where Ronaldo lived twice during his stints with Manchester United.
The hotel says the suite offers panoramic views of Riyadh ‘and its surroundings lend a unique sense of exclusivity to this versatile suite, which features an elegant dining room, pantry, living room and executive study.’
12-year-old Cristiano Jr. (pictured left) hugs his baby sister Eva while Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez cradles Mateo on her lap, Cristiano (pictured right) holds his two baby daughters Bella and Alana Martina
The 37-year-old star is staying in the hotel’s lavish ‘Kingdom Suite’ – which stretches two floors
When Ronaldo and his family do eventually leave the hotel, they are likely to live in one of the city’s prestigious neighborhoods, such as Al Muhammadiyah, which is known for its top-end restaurants, or Al Nakheel, which is popular with families due to its international schools.
Both areas are close to Al Nassr’s 28,000-seat stadium at Mrsool Park, formerly known as the King Saud University Stadium, and boast a large number of high-end gated compounds, built for Western residents.
Many feature their own swimming pools, pre-schools, shops, clinics, gyms and restaurants, meaning residents hardly ever have to leave.
Property rental websites in Saudi Arabia do not list any high-end rental compound properties as they tend to be let out through private agreements with employers of expats.
But properties currently for sale in Riyadh include an eight-bedroom palace priced at 55 million Saudi Riyal (£12.2 million) which includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a reception foyer with waterfall-features and three additional villas in its grounds.
The palace which could sit alongside Ronaldo’s reported portfolio of eight other properties around the world is in the Al Macqa neighborhood just three miles from Mrsool Park, and includes accommodation for maids and chauffeurs.
He has plenty of time to locate a suitable mansion as he is banned from playing competitive football until he has served a two-match suspension for hitting a mobile phone out of the hand of an Everton-supporting schoolboy last April.