Cristiano Ronaldo trolled as Al-Nassr opponents belt out Messi chant
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Cristiano Ronaldo was taunted by opposition fans on Thursday evening as his Al-Nassr side were narrowly beaten by title rivals Al-Ittihad. The Portuguese has been amongst the goals since his move to the Middle East but he wasn’t able to influence the most important match in his side’s season so far.
Al-Nassr went into the clash with a two-point lead over second-place Al-Ittihad, who hosted the latest edition of the match dubbed ‘the Saudi Superclasico’. Neither team manufactured anything clear-cut in the first half but the affair sprung into life after the break.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s Al-Ittihad broke the deadlock through Romarinho in the 80th minute but Al-Nassr rallied, with Ronaldo himself missing their best chance from close range in second-half stoppage time.
Having tumbled down to second in the Saudi Pro League table, the 38-year-old was visibly infuriated after the final whistle, booting a water bottle on his way off the pitch.
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After the final whistle he was also heckled by opposition Al-Ittihad fans, who belted out the name of his archrival, Lionel Messi. Many considered the ‘GOAT’ debate to be signed and sealed in Messi’s favour when he won the World Cup with Argentina late last year.
Those feelings were further compounded when Ronaldo left Manchester United for the relative obscurity of the Saudi league, with the deal sweetened by an eye-watering £173million-per-year package.
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Ronaldo has made a fast start with eight goals in his first seven league games, although seven of those goals came in just two matches. Al-Nassr fans will be frustrated that he drew blank in Thursday’s crunch encounter – when his quality would have mattered most.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was let down by his team-mates on occasion but suffered the humiliation of a simple backheel that rolled out of play and a wayward free-kick that sailed wildly off target during the match.
Some pointed out that Ronaldo’s former club, Man Utd, could have used his influence when they were hammered 7-0 by Liverpool last weekend, with Arsenal fan Piers Morgan among those to needle Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag on social media.
On the same night that Al-Nassr were hit with a painful defeat, however, United picked themselves back up with an important 4-1 first-leg victory over Real Betis in the Europa League.
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