Even though Saudi Arabia has laws that say unmarried couples can’t live together, Cristiano Ronaldo and his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez will be able to do so.
The 37-year-old star striker signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Saudi club Al Nassr that is thought to be worth around £175 million per year. He was officially introduced to fans at a big event on Tuesday.
Rodriguez, a Spanish model who was born in Argentina and was with Ronaldo at the unveiling, will also move to Riyadh with his five children, two of whom are her own.
The two have never been married, and living together without a marriage contract is against the law in Saudi Arabia. It was not clear how the family would stay together.
But two Saudi lawyers told the Spanish press that the authorities are turning a blind eye and letting Rodriguez and Ronaldo live together because Ronaldo is a famous football player.
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 visa for Rodriguez is the next problem the couple has to deal with.
She won’t get a visa just because she got married, and Saudi law says that any woman who gets a visa to enter the country must be the wife, worker, or first-degree relative of a man who lives there.
The lawyers said that soccer team Al Nassr could sponsor the model’s visa personally. Rodriguez could also get a one-year tourist visa, but this would run out long before Ronaldo’s contract was up.
Ronaldo and Rodriguez have been together since 2016. They have two daughters, Bella, who is 9 months old, and Alana Martina, who is 5 years old. They are also raising Cristiano’s twins Eva and Mateo, who were born to a surrogate mother and are almost 5 years old, as well as Ronaldo’s 12-year-old son, Cristiano Jr.
Even though they haven’t found a permanent place to live yet, Ronaldo made sure they were treated like royalty right away by getting them a luxury suite in the 99-story Kingdom Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the country.