Cristiano Ronaldo will not remember the beginning of his career in Saudi Arabia fondly, as he was already eliminated from the national cup in the second official game he played after arriving in Asia. Ronaldo’s Al Nassr was knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday after a 3-1 semi-final defeat by Al Ittihad in Riyadh.
The defeat of Christiano’s club is a huge surprise because, on paper, they had the status of absolute favourites.
The 37-year-old Portuguese international, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, had several chances to score, but Al Ittihad’s defense was well-chained for most of the match. Al Ittihad took the lead with Romarinho’s goal in the 15th minute, and Hamdallah made it 2:0 in the 43rd minute. Talisca gave Al Nassr hope with a goal in the 67th minute, but Shanqeeti made the final 3:1 in the 94th minute for Al Ittihad’s place in the finals of the competition. The outcome of the match would have been different if Ronaldo had put in the goal the chance in the first half which, in everyone’s opinion, he must do.
The loss hurt the Portuguese, which was clear from the look on his face after the game. He scored two goals for Al Nasr in the exhibition match against Paris Saint-Germain, but after a total of 180 minutes in one match each of the championship and the Super Cup, he is still waiting for his goal debut in competitive duels.
Adding salt to the wound were the fans of the opposing club who, while he was going to the dressing room, shouted “Messi! Messi!”
The legendary striker of Juventus, Manchester United, and Real Madrid had a great opportunity in the first half but managed to miss it. After that detail, Al Nassr’s rival turned the situation around on the field. Al Nassr coach Rudy Garcia admitted it after the defeat. “One of the things that certainly had an impact on the defeat in the Cup was the missed opportunity of Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half,” said French coach Rudy Garcia to the media after the game.
To make matters worse for Al Nasr, the overrich club is now on the pole of shame because it invested 200 million euros in Ronaldo’s contract, and he is not yet providing the expected performances.
The next match for Ronaldo and Al Nassr will be played on Friday, February 3rd, on the away field against Al Fateh.
Al Ittihad 3 x Al Nassr 1 | FULL Highlights