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Booked, subbed and goalless – a rough night for Ronaldo



Booked, subbed and goalless – a rough night for Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in January on a two-and-a-half-year contract for a reported fee of about €200 million (S$288 million).PHOTO: AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr beat Abha 3-1 in the King’s Cup on Tuesday but it was a disappointing night for the Portuguese forward, who failed to score, received a yellow card and was substituted for the first time since his move to Saudi Arabia.

Ronaldo failed to score for the third consecutive game and is yet to open his account at Al-Nassr stadium.


The former Manchester United striker, who moved to Al-Nassr in January on a two-and-a-half-year contract for a reported fee of about €200 million (S$288 million), had contributed to 10 consecutive goals, scoring eight with two assists before going empty handed in the last two league games.

In Tuesday’s quarter-final, Al-Nassr were leading 2-0 when Ronaldo had the opportunity to launch a counter-attack but Latvian referee Andris Treimanis ended the first half.

Ronaldo angrily grabbed the ball and then hit it away, which saw the referee bring out a yellow card.

Al-Nassr scored a third in the second half before Ronaldo was replaced in the 87th minute by Anderson Talisca, the league’s top scorer returning from injury.

Ronaldo did not enjoy the best of games last Thursday, kicking away water bottles before going up the tunnel after a 1-0 defeat to rivals Al-Ittihad.


“Ronaldo’s presence gives the opposing teams an incentive to play the game of their lives against him,” local media quoted Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia as saying after the game.

While Ronaldo’s famous celebration was not seen at Al-Nassr Stadium it appeared in another King’s Cup game, with Al-Hilal’s Michael Delgado performing it in their 3-1 win against Al-Fateh.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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