Ronaldo’s exhausted ‘extra’ is celebrated in Riyadh

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Ronaldo’s exhausted ‘extra’ is celebrated in Riyadh

Still aimless, at least on the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut in the Saudi league is not in the history books, but the man in the 200m is a very good “complement” to his team’s success against Al-Ettifaq. The fans celebrate it and we also win a car.

The cult of personality surrounding former best player Cristiano Ronaldo had also clouded his club’s clear view of things a bit. “The whole world is watching,” Al-Nassr boasted on social media, presumably meaning the world not interested in domestic leagues. At that time, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen were battling for points in the Bundesliga and Arsenal and Manchester United were battling it out in the Premier League. In Saudi Arabia, on Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-awaited league debut, Al-Nassr stayed top of the Saudi league with a 1-0 win over Al-Ettifaq thanks to a goal from 28-year-old Brazilian Talisca. Even if the world didn’t care that much.

Nevertheless, the attention for a match in the Saudi league was of course greater than ever. Thus, the journalists present from the strongholds of football were also able to report on the oddities of daily life in the league, completely unknown until the transfer of Ronaldo. According to US broadcaster ESPN, a fan was chosen as the winner of a car during the half-time break. Ronaldo, who would earn around 200 million euros a year at Al-Nassr, has meanwhile struggled with circumstances. During the warm-up, the experienced striker ran straight into the wrong half and had to be caught by his teammates. It didn’t bother the fans much. They shouted “Ronaldo, Ronaldo” and “Siu” and celebrated the star in front of Riyadh’s yellow wall. Until they can’t anymore.

Garcia focuses on stress

Ronaldo failed to score in his club Al-Nassr’s 1-0 lead but entertained the crowd with his strides and tricks. And later, he received a lot of praise from his coach Rudi Garcia. “It’s a positive addition when you have a player like Ronaldo because he helps distract defenders from what happened when we scored,” the Frenchman explained of his new superstar’s performance. At the same time, he drew attention to the unusual rhythm of the game. After all, explained Garcia, CR7 had only taken part in the match (sportingly meaningless test) between a selection from Riyadh and Paris Saint- Germain only a few days earlier. We must not forget it and also “he did not have enough breaks”.

“Where are you going here to warm up, please?” »

(Photo: IMAGO/MB Media Solutions)

After his debut for Al-Nassr was delayed due to a suspension imposed on Ronaldo while still in the Premier League, the Portuguese has been on the fast track to success. Al-Ittihad are already a strong opponent in the semi-finals of the Arabian Super Cup on Thursday. After that, place for a week of relaxation. It was not until February 3 that the league continued with Al-Fateh, a mandatory task for Al-Nassr.

“Even with Ronaldo, it’s not easy to win the Saudi league. The competition is tough,” coach Garcia warned of football’s imponderables. With Super Cup opponents Al-Ittihad and defending champion Al-Hilal, two teams are waiting for Al-Nassr to lose points. Both clubs have yet to go without a real engine, but that could soon change.

Who else goes to the desert?

Because Ronaldo should not be the last world-class footballer to spend his sporting retirement in the gigantic desert kingdom of the Gulf. Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal recently pledged support for new “quality deals with international stars”. Growing hot and cold, the rumors surrounding Lionel Messi’s move to the desert are sure to continue until the world champion signs a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Until then, the focus will be on Al-Nassr and superstar Ronaldo. He, according to reports, left the stadium, shielded by his security, an hour after the end of the match in the direction of his hotel, a huge bottle opener overlooking Riyadh. Soon he will score his first goal and then the world will watch Al-Nassr once more. Until then, however, global public interest is likely to wane significantly. As much as Al-Nassr would like the opposite.

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