Ronaldo winning first match in Saudi League
Ronaldo's league debut felt underwhelming in front of 22,862 spectators after he scored twice in this week's entertaining 5-4 exhibition loss to Paris Saint-Germain of Lionel Messi.
As the highest-paid footballer in history, Cristiano Ronaldo guided Al Nassr to a 1-0 victory over Ettifaq on Sunday, giving him a winning start to life in the Saudi Pro League.
Despite the Portuguese superstar's goalless performance, Al Nassr saw encouraging signals as they eyed local and continental honors after the 37-year-old moved for agreements worth more than 400 million euros.
However, Ronaldo's league debut felt underwhelming in front of 22,862 spectators after he scored twice in this week's entertaining 5-4 exhibition loss to Paris Saint-Germain of Lionel Messi.
"He's one of the best players in the history of football, so it's very important for us to do everything possible to put him in the best condition," said Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia.
"I want him to enjoy playing and tonight he was happy to play for the first time with his new team."
As captain for Al Nassr, Ronaldo had a quiet first half and twice tried trickery cost him the ball as his teammates struggled to get it to him.
Ronaldo nearly connected with Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem's cross that Anderson Talisca headed in for the game's lone goal on 31 minutes after Ronaldo's early attempt from the edge of the box was deflected over.
Soon after, Ronaldo blasted over a free kick from a prime location just outside the penalty area while being greeted with cries of "Siu!" whenever he touched the ball.
After a few of his signature stepovers, Ronaldo set up Pity Martinez and Talisca for successive near calls as Al Nassr's front three started to gel in the second half.
After dribbling into the box, Ronaldo attempted a shot from an almost impossible angle after swinging and missing with a bicycle kick to indicate he was getting comfortable with the task.
In a victory that kept Al Nassr atop the Saudi Pro League, Ronaldo was unable to score in front of his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.
This comes after Ronaldo joined Saudi football club Al-Nassr earlier, agreeing to a £175 million per year contract. He left the Manchester United club after an interview with Piers Morgan that saw him criticize the club, Erik ten Hag, and the Glazers.