“Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed opportunity,” Al-Nassr manager indirectly blames CR7 for team’s loss at Saudi Super Cup Semis

Rudi Garcia believes that the missed opportunity by the Portuguese star cost the team a place in the final


“Cristiano Ronaldo’s missed opportunity,” Al-Nassr manager indirectly blames CR7 for team’s loss at Saudi Super Cup Semis

Ronaldo vs Al Ittihad (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Al Nassr manager Rudi Garcia placed some of the blame on Cristiano Ronaldo after his side was beaten 3-1 on the 26th of January by fierce rivals Al Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup Semi-finals on Thursday. The match, which took place at the King Fahd International Stadium, saw Romarinho strike the opener 15 minutes into the contest, followed by a goal from Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah just before half-time.

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Anderson Talisca reduced the deficit for Al Nassr in the 67th minute, but Muhannad Al Shanqeeti sealed the win for Al Ittihad in stoppage time. However, the match may have turned out differently if Ronaldo had converted a huge chance to equalize moments before Hamdallah made it 2-0 to Al Ittihad. The ball was crossed into him and it looked like the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was going to open his account for Al Nassr. However, he could only direct his header at goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, who made a fine save.

Ronaldo highlights vs AL-Ittihad

After the match, in an interview, Garcia brought up Ronaldo’s chance as a turning point in the game. “One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo‘s missed opportunity in the first half,” Garcia said. “I congratulate Al-Ittihad. They presented a much better first half than us, and we played a good second half, but unfortunately, we were not able to adjust the result.”

To rub salt in the wounds, Ronaldo was subjected to Lionel Messi chants by the opposition supporters. After a brace for the Riyadh XI in the friendly against Paris Saint-Germain, Ronaldo is still searching for his first goal in his new colors after two blanks. Al Nassr’s next game is in the league against Al Fateh on Friday, February 3.

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Rudi Garcia after the loss

Despite the Super Cup loss AL-Nassr still on course to win the League Title

Cristiano Ronaldo could join a distinguished list of footballers to have won league titles in four different countries if he wins the Saudi Pro League with Al-Nassr. Their local rivals, Al-Hilal, are not far behind with 32 points from 15 matches. With 16 matches still left in the 16-team league, the Rudi Garcia-managed team cannot afford to take their foot off the gas with such a slim lead at the top.

Al-Nassr’s next task will be an away-league game against Al Fateh. However, it remains to be seen if the five-time Ballon d’Or will be fit to take part in the game against manager Nassif Al Bayawi’s side, as he reportedly suffered swelling in the joint of his foot in the defeat to AL-Ittihad.