Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Al-Nassr© AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo made his Saudi Super Cup debut for Al-Nassr on Thursday but it was not a happy outing for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner as his side was beaten 1-3 by Al-Ittihad. Anderson Talisca was the only scorer for Al-Nassr but that was not enough as Al-Ittihad moved into the final of the tournament with goals from Romarinho, Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti and Abderrazak Hamdallah. Al-Ittihad fans were heard taunting Ronaldo at the end of the match as they chanted Argentine star Lionel Messi’s name. In a video on social media, fans can be heard chanting “Messi, Messi, Messi” in the stadium.
🐕 شاهد كيف ودعت جماهير #الاتحاد لاعب فريق النصر كريستيانو رونالدو #الاتحاد_النصر pic.twitter.com/7NVR73VEbc
— قصي نقادي (@Qusay_itfc) January 26, 2023
The rivalry between Ronaldo and Messi on the football field has been legendary over the years but the Argentine gained a massive advantage in the debate after winning the FIFA World Cup in 2022. On the other hand, Ronaldo ended his contract with Manchester United and made a big-money move to Saudi Arabia.
In the semifinal encounter, Ronaldo had a couple of chances to score but was unable to convert them as he was marked by two opposition defenders. The man-marking allowed Al-Ittihad to keep the Portuguese star in control and ultimately it proved to be crucial as they clinch the encounter.
Earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo made a winning start to life in the Saudi Pro League as he led Al Nassr to a 1-0 victory over Ettifaq on Sunday in his first match since becoming the best paid footballer in history.
The Portuguese superstar didn’t score but there were promising signs for Al Nassr, who are eyeing domestic and continental silverware after the 37-year-old moved for deals totalling more than 400 million euros.
(With AFP inputs)
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