A report on Israel’s Kan 11 news channel Sunday night claimed the Israeli Foreign Ministry discussed enlisting world-famous soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo toward its efforts to promote normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The Portuguese player recently signed a contract with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr Football Club, which has him living in Saudi Arabia for the next two years.
According to the report, Israel’s Foreign Ministry believes that Ronaldo – with his status and millions of followers on social media – could raise awareness and contribute to the process of normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo has 554 million followers on Instagram.
The Foreign Ministry has not released any statement about the plan.
Kan 11 reporter Gili Cohen commented, “I don’t think peace between the two countries depends on Ronaldo but on a few things that are a bit more important.”
Achieving a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia is one of the stated goals of Benjamin Netanyahu during his current term as Israel’s prime minister.
Last year, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reportedly told leaders of the American Jewish Committee that “normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel is only a matter of time.”
In late January, John Hannah, a former national security advisor to then-U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, shared that a group of Saudi leaders had expressed willingness to normalize relations with the State of Israel.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.