Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr were knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday after a 3-1 semi-final loss to Al Ittihad in Riyadh. Despite the presence of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, the Al Ittihad defense managed to keep Ronaldo at bay for most of the match, limiting his chances to score.
Anderson Talisca’s 67th-minute goal for Al Nassr was not enough to overturn the deficit created by two first-half goals from Romarinho and Abderrazak Hamdallah for Al Ittihad. To add insult to injury, Muhannad Al-Shanqeeti sealed the victory for Al Ittihad with a third goal three minutes into stoppage time.
Al Nassr will be traveling to Al Fateh in the Saudi Pro League on February 3rd.
Cristiano Ronaldo made a triumphant debut in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday, as he steered Al Nassr to a 1-0 victory over Ettifaq. This marked his first match since becoming the highest-paid footballer in history, and he certainly made it count.
The Portuguese superstar may not have scored, but there were promising signs for Al Nassr, who are aiming for domestic and continental glory after the 37-year-old’s transfer deals totalling more than 400 million euros.
The move to Saudi Arabia is a step down for Ronaldo, an indisputable all-time great who has consistently delivered on football’s grandest stages and accumulated an impressive collection of team and individual accolades. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is the all-time Champions League top-scorer, having won five titles in the process, and has also earned seven domestic championships with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. His illustrious career has been marked by remarkable feats and unparalleled success, making this move a surprising one for the legendary footballer.
Ronaldo holds the record for the most international goals scored, with 118 for Portugal, for whom he won the Euro 2016 championship. He also holds the record for career goals, with an impressive 819. Last year, in Qatar, he made history by becoming the first man to score at five different World Cups.
His shock move to Al Nassr came after his second stint at Manchester United ended in acrimonious circumstances, with him launching a scathing attack on the club in a televised interview.
A source close to Al Nassr has revealed that he signed a staggering 400 million euros deal, which includes a separate 200 million euro agreement to act as an ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s anticipated joint bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
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