Cristiano Ronaldo’s Brace Secures First Title for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabian Club

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Brace Secures First Title for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabian Club
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - AUGUST 12: Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr celebrates with teammates after the team's victory in the Arab Club Champions Cup Final between Al Hilal and Al Nassr at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on August 12, 2023. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo is still winning things at 38 years old. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

While thriving in MLS, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo just secured his first title in Saudi Arabia.

The renowned ex-Real Madrid player scored two goals, leading his team, Al Nassr, to a 2-1 victory against Al-Hilal in the final of the prestigious Arab Club Champions Cup. This triumph marks Ronaldo’s major achievement since he joined the Saudi Arabian club and represents their first-ever championship in the tournament.

Despite playing with 10 men, Al Nassr sealed the win in the 98th minute, thanks to the winning goal delivered by Ronaldo himself.

In December 2022, Ronaldo signed a staggering deal worth more than $200 million per year. His move to Saudi Arabia was part of the country’s ambitious strategy to elevate its soccer league’s status by attracting renowned players through lucrative contracts. This endeavor is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s broader mission of leveraging sports to redefine its global image and reputation.

While Messi declined an offer reportedly double Ronaldo’s salary, popular players like Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino, N’Golo Kanté, Edouard Mendy, Ruben Neves, and Jota embraced the opportunity to join the league. Ronaldo was accompanied by notable teammates such as Sadio Mané, Seko Fofana, and Marcelo Brozović, all of whom contributed to the victory on Saturday.

Al Hilal took the lead with a goal from Michael in the 51st minute. Michael celebrated by emulating Ronaldo’s iconic celebration, which turned out to be fruitless as Ronaldo equalized in the 74th minute and ultimately secured the win in extra time.

With six goals, Ronaldo won the golden boot of the tournament. Nevertheless, his joy was dampened as he had to be escorted off the field a few minutes after scoring his second goal. However, Ronaldo seemed to be in high spirits while dancing with the trophy and on social media after the match, indicating that the injury may be minor.

Ronaldo and Al Nassr won’t have much time to celebrate, as their Saudi Pro League opener against Al Ettifaq is scheduled for Monday.

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