Cristiano Ronaldo made history on Thursday night when he scored four goals in one match, prompting his manager to back-track on comments made since the star moved to Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo left Manchester United before the start of the 2022 World Cup after a public falling-out with Erik ten Hag, and in January joined Saudi outfit Al-Nassr as a free agent.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is now the highest-paid player in the history of the game, and on Thursday he scored a quadruple that took his career league goal tally to 503. Only Pele (604), Romario (544), Josef Bican (518) and Ferenc Puskas (514) sit higher on the all-time list.
However, that doesn’t mean his start to life at his new club has been entirely plain sailing.
In recent weeks the former Lyon manager has publicly voiced concerns about how Ronaldo fits into his team, something that has not gone down well with the club’s fanbase.
“It is very important that the players play normally and don’t always try to give Cristiano the ball,” Garcia said after his side lost to Al Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup last month.
“I told them they had to make the right decisions on the pitch.
“Obviously, when Cristiano or Anderson Talisca are alone and ask for the ball, we have to give them the ball. These two players are capable of making a difference. We have to work on it, have one of them in the area and maybe the other will play outside the area.
“Ronaldo has reached a great stage of homogeneity and harmony with his teammates,” he said.
“Over time, his teammates realized what he wanted and when he will score. I think it was a good night for Cristiano Ronaldo because he scored four goals.”