From the death of his newborn son during birth and playing from the bench for club and country to an unceremonious exit from Manchester United after a bombshell interview as well as a failed World Cup attempt on his last trial, 2022 was an indescribable rough year for football megastar Cristiano Ronaldo. With such an unfortunate series of events unfolded before the eyes of global football fans, the 37-year-old Funchal-born five-time Ballon d’Or winner decided to take his talents far away from Europe, to the oriental continent of Asia: Joining 9-time Saudi Pro League champion and the current league leader Al-Nassr with a monstrous contract of over €200m plus sponsorships. (Click here for the complete breakdown of Cristiano Ronaldo’s €200m contract with Al-Nassr)
The former Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus icon has iterated that his mission in Europe is done and dusted, and ready to open another chapter of his illustrious football career in a different region. Since the star’s luxurious move to the oil-rich Middle-East State, he has started his training sessions, with questions being asked about the time and date over his official debut for the Riyadh-based club.
Al-Nassr’s Next Matches
Al-Nassr, founded by Hussein Al-Jabaa and Zaid Al-Jabaa, has not won the Saudi Pro League since the 2018/2019 Season, but is the current leader of this campaign, after winning nine of their 12 league matches and collecting 29 points out of a possible 36. The Rudi Garcia-led Saudi club has been firing on all cylinders in its league endeavour, scoring a league-most 27 goals and conceding the second least of six goals. All these brilliant statistics allowed the team to enjoy an 11-game undefeated streak, with their last loss came against Al-Taawoun FC. Here are Al-Nassr’s next five club fixtures in all competitions and their kick-off times.
Who Are Ronaldo’s Teammates? When Will He Play?
Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates in Al-Nassr are largely made up of players from Saudi Arabia, with notable ones who played in European leagues namely former FC Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo and former Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina. Ronaldo could have formed a deadly partnership with Vincent Aboubakar, the Cameroonian striker who famously scored against Brazil and made his country the first African nation to beat the Seleção in the FIFA World Cup, but the latter had mutually agreed with Al-Nassr to terminate his contract to give room for the club to register Ronaldo as per the eight-foreign-player rule stated in Saudi Pro League regulations.
As for Ronaldo’s debut for his new club in Saudi Arabia, fans would have to wait a little longer because the four-time European Golden Shoe winner has to serve a two-match ban imposed by the England Football Association over smashing an Everton fan’s mobile phone during a Premier League game at Goodison Park. Ronaldo had also been slapped with a £50,000 fine for further punishments.
The suspension will see CR7 miss Al-Nassr’s Saudi Pro League games versus Al Ta’ee and Al-Shabab on 6th and 14th January 2023, delaying his official debut to as early as 22nd January 2023, which is another league clash against Ettifaq at home. The occasion is set to make the home fans at Mrsool Park go crazy and tickets are reportedly selling at an unprecedented speed.
Al Nassr coach Rudi Garcia has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut in Saudi Arabia will be as part of an exhibition side in a friendly against PSG, which could pit him against Lionel Messi 👀 pic.twitter.com/sY7oCh5ahY
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 9, 2023
The Last Dance of Ronaldo vs Messi
While the said league game is still 10 days away from kicking off, fans would have another much more anticipated match-up to look forward to as stars from both Saudi Pro League clubs Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are going to have an exhibition match with French Ligue 1 giant and ten-time former champion Paris Saint-Germain in King Fahd Stadium on 19th January 2023. In other words, we are looking at a possible showdown, and what might be the last clash between two of the Greatest Players of All-Time (GOATs) in the history of football, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. When asked about the clash between two football greats, Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia had also confirmed that his newly-signed expensive talisman will be involved in the game. That leaves us to one last question, “Where and how can you catch Cristiano Ronaldo’s matches live for his new club Al-Nassr?”. Fred not as we have got you covered, scroll down right away!
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