Spectators and pundits were disappointed when Cristiano Ronaldo, also known as Mr. UEFA Champions League, decided to leave the European continent and join Saudi Pro League’s Al-Nassr at Asia earlier this year, but their dismay might soon go away in the near future, since it is reported that UEFA have been considering to send an invitation to Ronaldo’s current club for them to play in next season’s UEFA Champions League. If the situation does turn into reality, we might be welcoming a renewed opportunity to see Ronaldo extend his prolific record in the competition in 2024/2025!
UEFA on Al-Nassr: “They Have “Great Popularity” Among European Supporters.”
Ronaldo recently led his Al-Nassr side to beat Al-Wehda 3-1 at King Abdul Aziz Stadium with his 16th goal in all competitions of the season, allowing the team to close the gap on leaders Al-Hilal to four points in the Saudi Pro League table. Apart from increasing his season tally, the Portugal national team captain also have nine assists in 17 games under his belt in 2023/2024 thus far, and he would be delighted to know that there is a chance for him to compete in his favourite tournament of all time, that is, the UEFA Champions League.
According to a Saudi journalist, the prospects of having Al-Nassr in the European club football competition are no longer a dream, since UEFA are seriously considering about bringing the Saudi Pro League outfit to play in the tournament as a special guest based on their up-and-coming popularity and news values for club football fans in the European continents. The invitation could come as early as the next season, and if it does happen, one would imagine an announcement to be made some time in 2023/2024.
الاتحاد الأوروبي ينوي تقديم دعوة إلى نادي النصر السعودي للمُشاركة في بطولة دوري أبطال أوروبا 2024م “كونه أحد أشهر ثلاث أندية في كُرة القدم” ولما يملكه النصر من شعبية عظيمة وكبيرة في القارة الأوروبية . pic.twitter.com/XaxOX6sa6K
— علي الحربي (@alharbi_44) November 12, 2023
Ronaldo — Most Goals, Most Assists and Most Appearances in the Champions League
A successful invitation for Al-Nassr to play in the 2024/2025 Champions League could see the return of Ronaldo and other ex-European football club players to the celebrated football continent, namely Sadio Mané, Alex Telles, Aymeric Laporte, Marcelo Brozović, Talisca, etc. For the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, he is of course still the all-time top scorer, top assist provider and the holder for most appearances in the competition with 140 goals and 48 assists in 183 appearances, while translates to an emphatic goal / assist ratio of 1.03 per game. These amazing statistics are further elaborated into seven occasions as the competition’s top scorer, 67 goals in the knockout round of the tournament and most goals in the finale at four.
Should Ronaldo does have another shot at the most prized football competition at club level in Europe, the chance is there for him to equal another Real Madrid legend Paco Gento for most wins (Six) in the European Cup / UEFA Champions League, having emerged victorious five times with Manchester United and Los Blancos in the 2007/2008, 2013/2014, 2015/2016, 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 Seasons respectively.
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Do You Think UEFA Should Invite Al-Nassr to Next Season’s Champions League?
Should UEFA break their traditions and invite a team outside the European continent to play in the Champions League for the first time next season? We at OtherLeague.com certainly think it would be a unique occasion when it does happen, especially considering Ronaldo’s rich experiences and accolades in the competition and his teammates’ exposure to the famous tournament. What say you, folks?