It was a highly anticipated event for football fans around the world: the debut of Cristiano Ronaldo for his new team, Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia. The former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus star had recently signed a massive £175 million-a-year deal with the club and was officially unveiled to the public on Tuesday.
As the day of the game against Al-Ta’ee approached, excitement among Al-Nassr supporters was at a fever pitch. Ronaldo is a world-class player and a true icon of the sport, and the prospect of seeing him take the pitch in new jersey was thrilling.
Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Ronaldo was spotted in a VIP box at the game but left at half-time and never returned. Some have speculated that this was due to an issue with Al-Nassr coach Erik ten Hag, similar to the problems that arose between Ronaldo and ten Hag during their time together at Manchester United.
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However, the real reason for Ronaldo’s absence on the pitch was more mundane: the rules of the Saudi league only allow for a certain number of non-Saudi Arabian players to be registered on a team’s roster, and Al-Nassr had already reached their limit. As a result, Ronaldo could not play in the game and could only watch from the stands as his new team secured a 2-0 victory.
While it was certainly disappointing for fans to see Ronaldo unable to participate, the fact remains that he is an integral part of the Al-Nassr team, and his presence alone will be a huge boost to the squad. With his skill, experience, and leadership, there is no doubt that Ronaldo will play a key role in the team’s success in the coming months and years. And who knows, perhaps one day he will finally get the chance to step onto the pitch and represent Al-Nassr in a competitive match, thrilling fans and opponents alike with his world-class talent.