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Thursday, March 23 2023
World at Feet

Ronaldo’s starting trouble with Al Nassr reaps huge condemnation

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Cristiano Ronaldo not less than often has become a talking point and most often for his impeccable skillsets in football. The player has earned a spot which will never be erased from the pages of the history of football. From the dawn of the new year, the player has been in limelight for one major reason he joined Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in one of the biggest transfers of the transfer window, effectively ending his European career.

Ronaldo undoubtedly stands as one of the most decorated players in football history, not only winning five Ballon d’Ors but also multiple domestic league titles and lifting the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy five times. He was felicitated by FIFA recently as the number one player in terms of the number of goals internationally.


In a thunderbolt situation, Ronaldo relocated to Saudi Arabia in a massive deal where he signed a two-year-old deal with 200 million euros. The entire Middle East perhaps felt that the football glory has been bought and shifted from Europe to themselves. Relatively that was the reality too if his football accolades are considered. While the expectations were heaped up taller than mountains across the globe the start of Ronaldo’s career at Al Nassr has been gruesome, which is perhaps the last thing that the Middle East would want. Not only on the football court but even before he made his first appearance, he had hurdles to jump over. His registration was delayed and prolonged and there was a suspension from his Manchester United too.

However, his interview during the days of the new contract was an interesting one though. He told the press then: “I’m a unique player. It’s good to come here, I broke all the records back in Europe and I want to break a few records here. I’m coming here to win, to play, to enjoy, to be part of the success of the country and culture of the country.” He continued, “in Europe, my work is done. I had many offers in Europe, many in Brazil, Australia, the US, and even in Portugal. Many clubs tried to sign me but I gave my word to this club, for the opportunity to have not only football but (to be) part of this amazing country.” It sounds like almost he has abandoned everything to be everything to the Middle East.


So far Ronaldo has played two games and is yet to score a goal. Last week, Al Nassr was knocked out of the Saudi Super Cup after losing the semi-final to Al Itthiad 2-0. Since then, a video has gone viral on social media in which a man said to be Al Nassr’s sporting director was seen frustrated with Ronaldo. While complaining about Ronaldo’s performance he has mocked his ‘SIUU’ celebration. He said, “Get out of here. I spent 200 million euros, and he [Ronaldo] only knows how to go ‘Siuuuu’. It’s not possible,” he said. Ronaldo’s manager also blamed him for the defeat stating that the chance missed by him is the reason for the team’s defeat.

After this incident, the entire football world has only one major topic of discussion, that there is every possibility that Ronaldo will land back on the football fields of Europe. Interestingly, Rudi Garcia has said that Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual consent, and could make a surprise return to Europe, saying: “He is one of the best players in the world. He will not finish his career at Al-Nassr, he will return to Europe.” Now suddenly there is a twist in the story, Cristiano Ronaldo appears to have made a U-turn with his plans to finish his career in Saudi Arabia. He seems to be working under former Lyon, Marseille and Rudi Garcia at Al-Nassr contradicting what he had previously said at his unveiling.


To add to Ronaldo’s misery, a video of Al-Ittihad fans also surfaced on the internet in which they can be heard chanting Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi’s name as Ronaldo missed a chance to win the first trophy in Saudi Arabia. They chanted ‘Messi, Messi, Messi…’ as Ronaldo was walking back to the team dressing room.

In all the drama that has been around Ronaldo, one can certainly expect that he will make a strong comeback irrespective of any situation. History has proved it right on many occasions. Perhaps a few non-football followers think that he had dazzling opportunities back in Europe which he has abandoned to opt for a better pay scale which is not the reality. Maybe a little celebrative moment for the rivals but he might come up with a better surprise. Has ever been, no sports person has had the smoothest of sails. More important no one has ever given up despite all odds. That’s why it is rightly termed as, “sportsperson spirit.”


Starting trouble is quite normal though not for Ronaldo in history. But this time it has hit him perhaps a little aggressively. However, the reason for failure of Ronaldo could be many, like changes in players, management, expectations etc. All said and done the entire Middle East is impatiently waiting to see a miraculous return from the most skilled foot works of Ronaldo.

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Roshan H. Raj

The author is the Vice Principal at Spearhead Academy and has Postgraduation in Communication and Journalism from Kannur University. He is a passionate journalist, debater and an orator. As a resource person he has conducted workshops and seminars on communication in Schools and Colleges of Karnataka and Kerala.

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