Cristiano Ronaldo strops after Al-Nassr defeat as he kicks bottle and throws armband | Football | Sport

Cristiano Ronaldo strops after Al-Nassr defeat as he kicks bottle and throws armband | Football | Sport 1

Cristiano Ronaldo kicked a water bottle and threw away his captain’s armband in a strop after Al-Nassr fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of title rivals Al-Ittihad. The result means the former Manchester United man’s side lost their spot at the top of the table as the race to be crowned Saudi Arabian champions intensifies. 

Ronaldo has enjoyed his start to life in the Middle East after overcoming a slow start to hit form in the league. The 38-year-old has now scored eight times in his first eight games in a run that has included two hat-tricks. 

However, he was powerless to do anything as Al-Nassr slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their closest rivals Al-Ittihad. Romarinho scored the winning goal in the 80th minute to send his side top of the league at the halfway mark for the season as they leapfrogged Ronaldo’s team. 

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner left his frustration clear after the game kicking away a water bottle and throwing away his armband as his team mates tried to calm him down before he then sulked down the tunnel. 

Al-Nassr have not won the Saudi Pro League in four years and Thursday’s defeat was a major blow for that aim, with the result in Jeddah their second defeat of the season.

Ronaldo appeared to have calmed down somewhat after getting away from the passion of the stadium as he thanked supporters on Twitter. 

“Disappointed with the result, but we stay focused on our season and the games ahead,” he wrote. “Thank you Al Nassr fans for your support, we know we can count on you.”

The defeat was Ronaldo’s first since joining as he tries to help Al-Nassr become a better team. Club nutritionist Jose Blesa has suggested he does a lot behind the scenes as he tries improve his team mates diets in order to improve performance. 

“Cristiano helps me a lot, because we can no longer teach him anything, but he creates a school around him,” he told Spanish publication Ideal. “The rest of the players do what he does because everything he does is wonderful to improve his performance.

“Since he has been here, all the players have trained more intensely and followed a stricter diet. I have not seen a club like this in which the players improve practically 90 per cent in their body composition every time I see them: they have less fat, more muscle and they do all the exercises at their fingertips. It is a luxury to work there.”

Ronaldo will not have to wait long to put things right with Al-Nassr next in action against Abha on Tuesday. 


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