Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr were enjoying a run of five matches without a loss. The Riyadh-based team travelled to Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium in Jeddah for the Round of 32 clash in the King Cup of Champions, where they faced Ohod on Monday, September 25.
However, the fans were left disappointed when they got to know that their favourite football star Ronaldo was rested. Their excitement turned to disappointment when the football legend was absent from the starting lineup. Ronaldo was not even among the substitutes, likely due to a strategic decision to manage his workload.
This decision may have been influenced by Al-Nassr’s match against Al-Ahil on September 22, with another match scheduled just three days later. The head coach opted to rest Ronaldo to avoid subjecting him to back-to-back matches in such a short timeframe. However, Ronaldo’s absence didn’t affect the performance of the team as they convincingly defeated Ohod 5-1. Ronaldo also wished the team to do well in the match through an Instagram story.
“Good luck team! (Al-Nassr).” he wrote on Instagram.
Brilliant consistency by Al-Nassr
Sadio Mane scored the first goal for Al-Nassr in the 16th minute, followed by Konrad Michalak equalizing in the 49th minute. Seko Fofana extended Al-Nassr’s lead to 2-1 in the 62nd minute, with Anderson Talisca adding the team’s third goal in the 73rd minute. Ayman Yahya found the back of the net for Al-Nassr in the 81st minute, and just five minutes later, Sami al-Najei registered the club’s fifth goal.
Al-Nassr have been very consistent throughout the tournament with almost every player contributing their everything to make their side win. Al-Nassr’s magnificent performance has helped them to acquire the 5th spot in the Saudi Pro League’s standings while Ohod are at the 16th place in Saudi Division 1.
It is to be believed that Ronaldo has had a significant impact on Saudi football, influencing both its on-field and off-field aspects. He has brought increased attention to the Saudi Pro League and attracted top-tier talent. Players of the calibre of veterans like Neymar, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante have chosen to join him in the Middle East as a result.