Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: April 25, 2023, 12:00 IST
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in as man games. (AFP Photo)
With Al-Nassr’s elimination from the King Cup of Champions, Ronaldo’s dream to win his first silverware in the Middle East came to an end
Cristiano Ronaldo could not hold his nerve as Al Nassr were knocked out of the King Cup of Champions, losing the semi-final game 1-0 at the hands of Al-Wehda. Ronaldo, evidently disappointed with the team’s performance, was captured venting out his frustration on his club’s coaching staff right after the first-half whistle, when Al Nassr had already gone down by one goal. Both sides were leaving the pitch when a visibly annoyed Ronaldo charged towards the bench and directly got involved in a furious battle of words with his own coaching group.
Al Nassr dominated the majority of the proceedings against Al-Wehda. They enjoyed a superior ball position and registered more shots on target but could not strike the net. Al-Wehda took the lead in the 23rd minute with Jean David Beauguel breaking the deadlock. Since conceding the goal, Al-Nassr increased their pace in the attack with Ronaldo invading the opposition penalty box frequently. But they could not find a way out.
Ronaldo and Co were mostly in the driver’s seat in the second half too. Al-Wehda was reduced to 10 men after Abdullah Al-Hafith was sent off following a brutal challenge on Ronaldo in the 53rd minute. It had no effect on the scoresheet as Al-Wehda successfully held on to the one-goal lead till the final whistle.
With Al-Nassr’s elimination from the King Cup of Champions, Ronaldo’s dream to win his first silverware in the Middle East came to an end. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner shifted his base to Saudi Arabia after the FIFA World Cup 2022, leaving Manchester United by mutual consent. Since his arrival, the Portuguese superstar has scored 11 goals in 14 appearances but winning a trophy is still a too-far bridge to cross.
Al-Nassr are currently playing without a designated head coach. Dinko Jeicic, who has formerly served as the manager of the club’s U-19 squad, is now guiding the senior team along with the assistant managers. Their previous boss Rudi Garcia parted ways with the club last month via mutual consent and the name of his successor is yet to be confirmed.
Garcia remained in the position for less than 12 months. At the time of his departure, Al-Nassr was placed second in the Saudi Pro League. A number of prominent figures including Jose Mourinho and Luis Enrique have been reportedly in talks with Al-Nassr to take over the managerial responsibility.
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