Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Ronaldo comes cheap as a propaganda instument for KSA

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly

So superstar footballer Ronaldo (and his family, including companion Georgina) are in Saudi Arabia after his deal with Al Nasr club to the tune of 214.5 million Dollars. Well, to begin with there was a special rule for Ronaldo allowing him to live - without wedding (gasp!) - with his partner, something unheard of prior in KSA. Here's what is interesting, the footballer is actually coming off as a cheap propaganda machine for KSA.

Forget the NEOM project, the real attraction are the shoes of Georgina displayed in a row in from of her shower - the image made the tour of every other instagram page reporting from the region. His children are "speaking Arabic 2 months after being in Saudi" - again, another video that made the tour. He celebrated founding day dressed in a local attire (you guessed where it came from), and the list continues. A Saudi "blogger" (or was that a "youtuber"?) who is considered "chabihat Georgina" (the doppledanger of Georgina) had a nose job for the comparison to be more complete, and Egyptian actress Yasmine Sabri has been accused of copying the photos of Georgina (same poses, same outfits, etc...) on her own social media pages.

If you wanted a cleaner, more polished image for a land that is otherwise different in reality, 214,5 million Dollars are getting you an excellent deal. As I said, when it comes to a propaganda machine, Ronaldo - and in extenso his family are the perfect instruments. Everyone is obsessed with their every move, every outfit, and believe it or not Al Nasr actually lost a match recently but hey football is just a "side game" in the bigger echelon of things.

So is the Salvator Mundi on the royal yacht of a major Saudi royalty? Is NEOM some silly delusion in the middle of a desert? Who cares? Because did you see the 4th shoe to the left in Georgina's photo?