Despite the influx of new signings in the Saudi Pro League over the summer, there is still one player fans want to see in action more than any other: Cristiano Ronaldo. Having arrived at Al-Nassr in January, the Portuguese superstar is ready to embark on a full campaign with the club for the first time.
Ronaldo and his new team came up short in the title race last season, and so he will be determined not to let that happen again. Factor in the famous faces that have now joined him in the league who will be aiming to outshine the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and Ronaldo should be even more keen to ensure he remains top dog in his new home.
As Ronaldo was slipped through in the dying stages of Al-Nassr’s 2-0 defeat to Al-Taawoun, it seemed he was going to redeem himself after an underwhelming evening in Riyadh. Instead, he saw his close-range effort cannon back of the inside of the post. And, to add insult to injury, a few moments later the offside flag was raised.
This summed up a torrid night for Ronaldo and Co, as they slipped to a second shock defeat in four days. After missing the game against Al-Ettifaq through injury, Al-Nassr’s star attraction would have been desperate to get the season back on track.
But he ended up being a hindrance to his team. It’s debatable whether he should have even played. He certainly didn’t look fit, often well off the pace of his side’s attacks and was caught offside several times. He took out his frustrations on the officials at regular intervals, but this defeat had little to do with the referee.
There’s still plenty of time for Ronaldo’s side to turn things around, but with an AFC Champions League play-off to come before their next league clash against Al-Fateh, things do not get any easier in the coming week.