Cristiano Ronaldo finally made his Al-Nassr debut. The Portugal international captained the Saudi giants to a win against Ettifaq on Sunday.
Never did anyone think that a Saudi League game would generate plenty of interest from followers of the European game. The Saudi Pro League is one of the leagues where ageing European professionals go to retire. The money is good, but it is not near what obtains in Europe, which is why it attracts little interest.
These days, the league is attracting worldwide attention. Perhaps it is safer to say Al-Nassr has become appealing to the world. People are beginning to take notice, all thanks to one man – Cristiano Ronaldo. Several players that have played for the club include Luiz Gustavo, Alvaro Gonzalez, David Ospina, Talisca and Vincent Aboubakar. None of them brought much appeal to the league.
When Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Al-Nassr, it signaled the end of the road for him as far as European football is concerned. The former Real Madrid player could not find a European club to pay for his services. He has waited on the sidelines for a couple of weeks to make his debut, but it finally came this weekend.
After a little wait, Cristiano Ronaldo has finally made his much-awaited debut for his new club Al-Nassr. Many had looked forward to when he will take to the pitch for his new club despite seeing him score a brace in a game that involved an All-Star team against Paris Saint-Germain. His performance in the game served to whet the appetite of the fans, making them look for more.
D-Day finally arrived with Ronaldo as captain of his new club as they took on Ettifaq FC at Mrsool Park. It was not the type of debut the UEFA Champions League all-time top scorer would want. He led his team to a 1-0 victory over their opponent but could not get off the mark.
Ronaldo arrived at Al-Nassr with a massive reputation. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is well-respected in Saudi Arabia.
In football terms, Ronaldo is in his twilight, but they expect him to bring plenty to the pitch.
After his unveiling at Al-Nassr, the former Juventus striker asked the club president Musalli al Muammar he should get the same treatment as his teammates. Despite not scoring on his depute, the win by Al-Nassr helped them back to the top of the Saudi Pro League, a point above Riyadh rivals Al Hilal.
The only goal of the game came courtesy of a first-half Talisca header.
Ronaldo has an incredibly lucrative contract with the Saudi club. According to reports, Ronaldo will receive an eye-catching amount of money over the next two years – roughly £175 million per season.