• May 28, 2023

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Cristiano Ronaldo fumes after Al Nassr slip up in title race

Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked by league rivals Al-Feiha on social media after he left the pitch in anger after they held Al Nassr to a frustrating goalless draw on Sunday.

The result saw Al Nassr suffer a huge blow to their hopes of winning the Saudi Professional League.

Leaders Al-Ittihad did not waste the chance to widen the gap with Al Nassr to three points with seven games left, with a 2-1 victory versus Al-Wehda. Al-Ittihad had an advantage also in a head-to-head result with Al Nassr.

Al-Feiha later posted on Twitter an edited image of their captain Sami Al-Khaibari sitting in front of Ronaldo at a chess table, reflecting a famous advertisement featuring rivals Lionel Messi and Ronaldo.

The image, captioned “checkmate,” drew more than 1.9 million views, compared to fewer than 100,000 views for other page posts.

Ronaldo, 38, who joined Al Nassr in January and signed a record-breaking $75 million-per-year contract, hit a ball into the hands of goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, who kissed the ball in the 68th minute.

The Portugal captain later fired twice over the bar in the space of six minutes, and Brazilian Anderson Talisca, the league’s top scorer, was also ineffective.

Ronaldo appeared furious while leaving the pitch after his goal tally stopped at 11 goals in 10 league matches, and he took off the captain armband and left it in his hand.

Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia was dissatisfied with the performance and the result.

“The result is definitely bad, and we are not happy,” the French coach told the Saudi Sports Company (SSC) through an interpreter.

“I don’t feel satisfied with the players’ performance. I asked them to play at the same level as the last game [in the 5-0 victory against Al-Adalah], but this didn’t happen.”

Al Nassr, who won the title for the last time in 2019, will play a crucial match next week versus Al-Hilal, the defending champion and fourth in the standings, which may determine the race for the title.

Steve Carr

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